Maj Gen Muhammad Saeed, Director General of Sindh Rangers, on 13 November 2017, in an interview, denied that the Establishment played any role in brokering an alliance between the MQM-P and PSP.
Last week, both MQM-P and PSP came together to announce an alliance with “one manifesto, one party, one symbol”; the attempt failed miserably, and the alliance did not last even for 24 hours.
Subsequently, Mustafa Kamal, leader of the PSP (Pak Sarzameen Party) stated that the alliance was brokered by the Establishment. Kamal also was quoted to have stated, “…the establishment called us and made us meet Farooq Sattar…This did not happen a few hours ago. Sattar and his team have been calling us with help from the establishment for the past eight months.” Kamal was also reported to have stated that the plan originated in August 2016. According to Kamal, “MQM-Pakistan was launched in the office of Major General Bilal Akbar” the then DG of Sindh Rangers.
Did the Rangers play a role in the creation of MQM-P? Given the history of Pakistan’s politics, and the interaction between the Establishment and parties, it is not difficult to accept the possibility. The current DG, in his interview, did accept that since September 2013, the Rangers “had an intense interaction with all political parties that were allegedly involved in committing violence in Karachi” but denied, dictating “any organisational policy for the political landscape of the metropolis.”
Why should Sindh Rangers, a paramilitary organization, in the first place have an “intense interaction with all political parties”? Is it a part of the Ranger mandate? Or, have they usurped it?
A serious question would be: did the Rangers usurp the role to “dictate any organizational policy for the political landscape” in Karachi, or did the political parties have abdicated their primary role in any democracy – politicking? While the Sindh Rangers cannot be condoned for their political interference, the primary problem lies with the parties and their leaders.