Over the last few days, Karachi remained in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. This includes two minor blasts in three days, the opposition alliance’s anti-government rally, alleged abduction of IG Sindh Police, and the arrest and bail of Safdar Awan.
The situation that followed, i.e., collective leave applications from Sindh police’s senior command and verbal spat between the Sindh and the federal government, made it look even worse.
However, India’s fake news factory took it to a whole other level and declared it a ‘civil war’ like situation in Karachi.
Their so-called ‘most credible’ news sources, including Zee News English, CNN News18, India Narrative, The International Herald, reported that the Sindh Police has revolted against the Pakistan Army and have reportedly ‘killed’ five SSG commandos in an exchange of fire. And that people have barged in and destroyed ‘one of the shopping malls owned by the son of Army Chief.’
Sharing an old viral video, The International Herald declared ‘civil war’ in Pakistan.
Civil war in Pakistan. Reported clashes between Karachi Police & Pak Army.
BREAKING : Civil war in Pakistan. Reported clashes between Karachi Police & Pak Army pic.twitter.com/tQsUWPx5pa
— The International Herald (@TheIntlHerald) October 20, 2020
Times Now shared the same video with a different caption.
Massive unrest in Karachi, Sindh as a protest against Pakistan’s army chief is underway.
Massive unrest in Karachi, Sindh as protest against Pakistan’s army chief is underway.
Pradeep Dutta with details. pic.twitter.com/D5QNZiV9cF
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) October 21, 2020
To make it look real, Zee News killed 10 Karachi police officers in those clashes.
10 Karachi police officers were killed in clashes that broke out in the financial capital of Pakistan. It also claimed that a ‘civil war’ has broken out following the violent clashes between police and the Army.
How Pakistanis Reacted
Failing in its attempt to create unrest and anguish in Pakistan, the fake news factory triggered a hilarious response from the Twitterati in Pakistan, who enjoyed every bit of the ridiculous reports.
Though #CivilWarInPakistan and #KarachiCivilWar trended all day long on Twitter, the hashtags were flooded with memes, video clips from action movies, and comics as scenes from the Civil War.
Some geniuses went a step farther and shared forged images of famous celebs in uniform as casualties from the ‘battlefield,’ getting an equally enthusiastic response with numerous retweets and likes from the Indians.
BREAKING: First confirmed casualties from "civil war like situation" in #Sindh, #Pakistan as clashes between police and army result in death of Assistant Sub Inspector Shafiqudin Siddiqui.#karachiblast
— Saad. (@ThisMyHandle) October 21, 2020
— Hasan Saeed (@hasansaeed6) October 21, 2020
— Muhammad Shahid Ali (@shahidisyours) October 21, 2020
— آزاد منش ؎ (@Jugartist) October 21, 2020
— Kashif Ali (@KaschifAli) October 21, 2020
Pakistan Army's Pindi battalion has joined the Civil war in Karachi. Pindi boys are being lead by Major Raja G on Al-Honda CD70 MBT😱
— 👑Ðʌɲɪɣʌʅ ɗƙ 🥀 (@Daniyal_khandk) October 22, 2020
— Kamran 🇵🇰 (@iamKamran_) October 21, 2020
— Adnan Rasheed (@adnanCad) October 21, 2020
The unending drama started when Safdar Awan of PML-N chanted political slogans at the Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum on Sunday, irking the public and the federal ministers who demanded legal action against him.
In the wee hours of Monday, Safdar was arrested from his hotel room. The following morning, Vice-President PML-N, Maryam Nawaz, alleged that the police barged in their room by breaking the door to arrest her husband.
PML-N leaders even claimed that the top Sindh Police officials were forced to sign his arrest orders. Later, PPP leadership blamed Rangers for ‘abducting’ their IG and making him sign the arrest order.
The Sindh Police Saga
The following day, senior command of the provincial police force submitted leave applications as a protest against the ‘mishandling’ of their high-ups. Hours before the development, Sindh Chief Minister, Murad Ali Shah, had commended the provincial police for discharging their duties in a ‘professional manner.’
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto addressed a press conference on Tuesday, asserted ‘the facts,’ and called on the Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa, and the DG ISI, General Faiz Hameed, to look into the matter.
Heeding to his request, the Army Chief directed the Corps Commander Karachi to submit a detailed report of the incident as soon as possible. He also spoke to the PPP leader on the phone and assured him of full and transparent inquiry.
The following day, an explosion in a residential building in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, claimed five lives. Indian media went out of control and declared it a result of clashes between the Sindh Police and Pak Army.
Govt Blames Foul Play
Meanwhile, the federal government has blamed Bilawal Bhutto for orchestrating the whole episode for political gains. Information Minister, Shibli Faraz, said on Wednesday that PPP, instead of condemning the shameful act of Safdar, politicized the whole incident for its gains.
Earlier, Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry, and Minister for Water Resources, Faisal Vawda, had termed the ‘collective leaves’ a pressure tactic of the Sindh government. In a TV show on Tuesday night, Vawda had predicted that all police officers will be back on duty by Wednesday.