Monday, September 19, 2011

Islam and Politics
19 Sep 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com
Pakistan: Among Equals

By Nadeem F. Paracha

During MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s animated press conference on September 9, he talked at length about what he claimed was Karachi’s first militant outfit. Hussain was talking about the enigmatic Thunder Squad (TS) – an armed extension of the Islami Jamiat Taleba (IJT) which, in turn, is the student-wing of the Jamat-i-Islami (JI). Many of us who’ve been part of student politics in Pakistan’s state-owned universities and colleges are well aware of such a squad. It is also true that long before any major political party constituted armed wings within their respective student units, the TS was the first true manifestation of armed action that not only included student militants but common criminals as well. The KU professor who claims to have been attacked by the TS in the early 1980s also suggests that though the TS is very well armed, it has been struggling (in Karachi) to keep pace with the ways of the militant wings of the MQM, PPP and the ANP. ‘These parties have finally beaten the Thunder Squad at its own game’, says the professor, with a smug smile. -- Nadeem F. Paracha

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