MQM ‘disappointed’ by PM’s Karachi visit

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KARACHI: - MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar addressing a press conference at Khursheed Begum Hall. ONLINE PHOTO by Syed Asif Ali

KARACHI, Aug 20:  Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Farooq Sattar on Thursday said his party was disappointed by the prime minister’s visit to Karachi, saying Nawaz Sharif had left Karachi without “answering our questions.”
Talking to reporters at Nine Zero, MQM’s headquarters, the senior Rabita Committee member said Nawaz Sharif was “gifted the arrest of MQM workers” on his arrival at Karachi.
He went on to say that under Article 10 of the Constitution, it was mandatory to state reasons for arresting anyone, reiterating his party’s earlier claim that workers are being detained illegally under the garb of the Karachi operation.
Sattar said it was clear that MQM was being cornered and voiced disappointment that the premier did not contact his party on the occasion.
The MQM leader also alleged that supremo Altaf Hussain’s live speeches had been banned on TV, which he claimed was a tactic to enforce the “minus Altaf formula.”
He also said the MQM will hold a protest demonstration outside Press Club on Friday against the ban on Altaf’s speeches. “Today they are not airing his [Altaf Hussain’s] speeches. Tomorrow it will be someone else.”
“The unannounced ban ban on Altaf Hussain’s speeches is illegal. We will take this matter to court.” Sattar went on to say that the MQM was Karachi’s representative party, bagging over 80% of the city’s votes.
Last week, MQM legislators had resigned for the National Assembly, Senate and the Sindh Assembly to protest what the party said were excesses committed during the Rangers-led security operation in Karachi.
MQM claims the paramilitary force, Rangers, which has been given special powers to cleanse Karachi of criminal elements, is targeting its workers and supporters and questions the partiality of the operation.
Since MQM’s resignation from Parliament, the federal government has been making efforts to reconcile differences with the party and push for its return to assemblies. Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of the JUI-F, has been tasked to conduct talks with MQM and thrash out a solution to the political crisis.

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