FROM the violent stirrings over the 'Mohajir province' to Friday's barbaric bus ambush, Sindh's fragile ethnic balance is being severely rocked. The attack, in which several men ambushed a bus near Qazi Ahmed in Nawabshah district killing at least seven people, is the latest in a disturbing trend witnessed earlier in the Mastung and Kohistan ...a backwoods district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa distinguished by being even more rustic than is the norm among the local Pashtuns.... incidents. But while the victims in those attacks were Shia, the passengers in Friday's atrocity were apparently targeted due to their ethnicity as the victims hailed from Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... . Some reports indicate that pamphlets of the Sindhu Desh Liberation Army were found near the scene of the crime. This is the same outfit that grabbed credit for the recent low-intensity blasts outside bank branches and attacks on railway tracks. There are also reports that the assailants claimed the attack was 'Dire Revenge™' for the killing of Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz leader Muzaffar Bhutto -- allegedly by intelligence agencies -- whose group is not known for violent tactics.
Ethnic tension in Sindh is nothing new. Along with Sindhi-Mohajir friction, anti-Punjab feelings have existed in the province since at least the 1960s, when migrants from Punjab settled in Sindh to cultivate fertile land after new barrages were built on the Indus. Though there have been sporadic attacks targeting non-Sindhis, the bus ambush is the first of its kind. And while the attack on the Awami Tehrik rally in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... was a dangerous portent as far as communal harmony is concerned, the Qazi Ahmed incident is even more alarming. Both attacks were clearly designed to stoke communal violence among the different ethnic groups that reside in Sindh. As for the impression some fringe political groups are trying to create comparing Sindh's situation to the deprivation in Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... , this is far from true. Unlike Balochistan, the political process has roots in Sindh and -- despite the hiccups -- is working. Also, we would not like to believe this is Dire Revenge™ for Muzaffar Bhutto's death. If it is, targeting innocent people is a despicable and cowardly reaction.
The Sindh administration has a lot to answer for as not only has it failed to prevent acts of terrorism and sabotage, it has also failed to promote ethnic harmony in the province. Those who rule Sindh -- the PPP and MQM -- must realise that if the situation degrades into ethnic conflict, they will be the biggest losers. All parties, both from the mainstream and the nationalists, must condemn such acts of violence and shun the politics of parochialism, and instead work for the rights of Sindh within the democratic framework.
[Asharq al-Awsat] Informed Paleostinian sources have revealed that major disputes between officials in the Fatah movement's armed divisions in Gazoo are preventing the unification of these factions under a single name and leadership. The sources stress that these disputes have developed lately, and have led to splits within Fatah gangs, and the formation of other groups that receive financial support and guidance from Iran and Hezbollah.
The sources asserted to Asharq Al-Awsat that, "major efforts were exerted in the past few months to unify these various gangs under the banner of the Fatah leadership; however, these efforts have failed."
The sources also stated that the disagreements have escalated to the degree that splits have taken place within some of the better-known and stronger Fatah armed factions.
"One of the officials of the well-known Ayman Judah groups, has split from them, and formed new groups under the name of "Abdul-Qadir al-Husseini Battalions," and now he is trying to attract dozens of gunnies from the other formations." The sources added.
According to the sources, this official recently met with leaders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - IRGC] and from Hezbollah in Leb, and then he returned to the Gazoo Strip and announced his split from the groups to which he belonged, and which also were supported in the past by Hezbollah. After that he formed his new group, and is now doing his utmost to expand its base.
The sources went on to say that the same official has held meetings with current and former leaders of Fatah formations, including the Al-Ansar Battalions, Al-Mujahidin, Imad Mughniyah Groups (Imad Mughniyah is the Hezbollah military commander who was assassinated in Syria some years ago), Ahmad Abu-al-Rish Groups, and the formations of Jihad Al-Imarayn Brigade, and is trying to reach an agreement with them, but the picture is not yet clear.
Fatah officials have confronted such attempts in the past, specifically in the Ayman Judah Groups. These officials want to unify the gunnies of the movement under the banner of the Fatah movement's central command following promises by Fatah to sponsor these groups. However, ars longa, vita brevis... this seems extremely difficult in the light of what the sources describe as "IRGC ambitions and support, and Hezbollah, both of which are supporting financially, in a big way, the formation of groups that are loyal to them."
According to these sources, the situation has reached the level of festivities in the streets between elements of Ayman Judah Groups and elements of the new Abdul-Qadir al-Husseini Battalions in front of hundreds of citizens. This took place more than a week ago after sharp arguments, and the police of the dismissed Gazoo Government nabbed Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! large numbers from both sides, and then released them later on.
Fatah in Gazoo suffers from the lack of a military framework, contrary to Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, that is represented militarily by Izzaldin al-Qassam Brigades, and Jihad Movement that is represented militarily by Al-Quds Battalions.
Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the, "Late President Yasser Arafat had been sponsoring Al-Aqsa Battalions in Fatah, but at the end of his era cracks started to emerge after the former leading member Muhammad Dahlan tried to sponsor some of these groups. After the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas ... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial... (Abu-Mazin) assumed the presidency in 2005, the splits increased, and the situation became worse when Fatah dismantled Al-Aqsa Battalions, and hence its members started to look for sources of funding."
Now, Fatah does not officially sponsor any gangs, and it even worked to dismantle officially the Al-Aqsa Battalions years ago, and referred its members in the West Bank to the Paleostinian security organizations. Fatah has tried to do the same in the Gazoo Strip. Fatah military officials in Gazoo have confirmed previously to Asharq Al-Awsat that they were receiving support from Hezbollah and Iran, and they were not receiving any support from Fatah leadership in the West Bank or Gazoo.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.