PIB emerges as another battleground for ethnic pressure groups


Pir Ilahi Bux (PIB) Colony, a multi-ethnic residential area in the heart of Karachi, has emerged another battle ground where show of power between various linguistic groups is on that had claimed lives of over two dozens people including three police jawans since the last two months, it is reliably learnt.
The entire colony was divided into various ethnic pressure groups and border lines have been drawn in the locality to classify the population on linguistic basis. The residents of different linguistic groups have started migration to other peaceful areas of the metropolis by leaving their belongings in order to save their lives. The power play is on between Urdu-speakers, Baluchi-speakers and the Pakhtuns.
Interestingly, if we thoroughly study the troubled colony, we will find a complete representation of provincial and federal governments. PIB colony is known with the name of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Sindh Senior Minister for Education Pir Mazhar-ul Haq who has his parental house in the colony. Like this, Muttaheda Qaumi Movement (MQM) Deputy Convener and Federal Minister for Oversees Pakistanis belong to PIB Colony and he also has his house in the locality. Awami National Party (ANP) has its stronghold in PIB Colony and its sister organization Pakhtun Students Federation (PkSF) has its control office in Mecasa Apartments.
However, Peoples Amn Committee (PAC), which remained sister organization of ruling-PPP and now declared outlawed group before operation in Lyari also has its existence in the colony. None of them ready to own the troubled colony after law and order situation in PIB Colony worsened. In night, the colony becomes a no-go area for the members of clashing linguistic group. The entire colony echoed with gun shots in exchange of fire between different groups. Rangers and police held routine patrolling in area, but they also left after the guns of fighters turned silent.
Now, there was a situation that the members of various linguistic groups were not ready to accept the members of their opposite group. As result, the residents have started evacuation of their houses and shifted to peaceful areas to save their lives.
A Pakhtun, resident of Nishtar Basti, PIB Colony, told that the routine life in the town paralyzed after murder of MQM activist three days before. “We have started migration to other Pakhtun majority areas of the city but now we stranded due to intense gunfire between two groups since the last three days,” the victim added.
The two groups have made trenches at both side of Nishtar Road. At one side, there is Nishtar Basti which is a Pakhtun dominated area and on the other side Goharabad is located which is Urdu-speakers dominated area. Gun-battle between two groups was from last few days but the law enforcers, both police and Rangers, do not reach at spot to handle prevailing law and order situation,” he alleged. “The law enforcers when approached for intervention they responded that face situation. Is this our work to bring peace in the colony or settle the dispute,” he questioned.
An Urdu-speaker, who was seen engaged in shifting of his house, told Pakistan Today narrated his story as under: “I was resident of Pakhtun Chowk, PIB Colony and I was asked by activists of ANP to vacate my house in 24-hours. I am working in private firm as assistant accountant, but I took a leave from my office to ensure shifting of my house to meet the deadline given by the activists of ANP. We have decided to shift to Gulshan-e-Iqbal which is near to PIB Colony in order to save our lives. I will keep visiting PIB Colony as the house is my property and I am afraid that the members of the opposite group occupy my property in my absence.”
SHO PIB Colony police Nusrat Sheikh in a conversation with this scribe said that the situation of colony turned worsened after the murder of MQM Member Sector Committee Mansoor Mukhtar two months before. Over two dozens of people, who have their affiliation with different linguistic and political groups, have lost their lives during the last two moths. The victims include three cops while a mobile of PIB Colony police has also torched during protest against killing of the MQM Member Sector Committee Mansoor Mukhtar. PIB Colony could be divided into two parts.