Second Editorial: Jinnahpur: hoax revealed
Daily Times, August 26, 2009
Two army officers have lifted the veil from what has been called Jinnahpur Conspiracy allegedly hatched by the MQM to snatch Karachi from Pakistan. It was alleged in 1992 that maps had been found in the headquarters of the MQM indicating such a plot. Although never formally owned by any government, the “discovery” sowed hatred among the various ethnic groups in general but particularly between Punjab and the MQM.
The Jinnahpur Conspiracy was in fact not a plot by the MQM but a plot to defame the MQM. This has been disclosed by two military officers then in a position to know the truth. General (Retd) Nasir Akhtar, who was corps commander Karachi at the time of the operation in 1992, has stated that he had no knowledge of the “Jinnahpur map”; and that was the reason why the ISPR withdrew it two days after its publication.
More forthcoming has been the ex-ISI operative and ex-IB chief Brigadier (Retd) Imtiaz Ahmad Billa who says the plot against the MQM was hatched by an officer of middle rank during the 1992 operation against the MQM by the then-army chief General Asif Nawaz and President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, while keeping Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif out of the loop. The “Jinnahpur revelation” had the effect of painting the MQM as a separatist organisation bent upon breaking Pakistan into further parts after 1971.
While complaining that Mr Nawaz Sharif should have called off the 1992 operation in which countless people were killed, including a brother and a nephew of Mr Altaf Hussain, the MQM chief has appealed for a “truth and reconciliation” process in Pakistan. In other words, he wants the MQM and PMLN to forgive and forget the past. But unfortunately, the two parties have only recently engaged in a rather intense exchange of hot words in the National Assembly and may not be able to “readjust” quickly.
In the long run, however, democracy must win the day. The MQM is out of its early days of “identity conflict” and is placed squarely in the middle of the country’s electoral map. Predictably, the PMLN is going to need it as an ally in Sindh if it wins in 2014. The best thing would be an acknowledgement of the bogusness of the “Jinnahpur scheme” by all concerned. *
Retired army officers absolve MQM of Jinnahpur plot: Altaf calls for truth and reconciliation commission - Dawn