Musharraf as principal culprit
50 people died including 45 lawyers on May 12, 2007. Eleven years after, the families of the victims still await justice. Terror was unleashed in the city on orders from Musharraf who had dismissed the then CJ Iftikhar Chaudhary. Chaudhary was invited to lead the rally organised by the lawyers and supported by the opposition and the civil society of Karachi. The MQM which was Musharraf’s ally both at the Center and in Sindh was given a free hand to shoot and kill those seeking the restoration of the CJ. Gunmen on motorbikes pumped bullets into crowds demonstrating against Pervez Musharraf while police stood by and watched. All routes to the Sindh High Court were blocked. MQM activists stopped the judges’ cars to prevent them from proceeding to the court premises and targeted media persons who were making live coverage. The deposed CJ remained confined to the lounge of the Karachi airport all day and had to fly back without attending the gathering. A jubilant Musharraf who had engineered the attacks addressed a victory rally in Rawalindi in the evening alongside the PML-Q leadership and punched the air in defiance. He declared that he had no regrets over Karachi mayhem and if they think they are powerful, then “they should know that the people’s power is with us,”
Under arrest in 2013 Musharraf continued to boast of enjoying the support of the army. His henchmen claimed that Musharraf would never be punished. The former military ruler finally wangled himself into a free man. It is a matter of shame that the man who gloated over 50 Karachi killings still remains unpunished. CJ Saqib Nisar has summoned records of the May 12 case. One hopes the SC would take note of the key role played by Musarraf in orchestrating the clashes that caused the carnage. While MQM’s Home Minister and others who played a role as Musharraf’s agents must share part of the blame, any attempt to put the entire responsibility on MQM while exonerating the chief culprit would create a perception that another chapter of politician bashing is being written.