Party condemns ‘illegal arrest’ of Izhar Ahmed, claims paramilitary force took him away from another party leader Abdul Haseeb Khan’s house
Izhar Ahmed, a member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s coordination committee, was arrested by Rangers in Federal B Area on Tuesday.
He was arrested at the house of another coordination committee member, MPA Abdul Haseeb Khan.
The coordination committee condemned Ahmed’s “illegal and arbitrary” arrest and demanded his immediate release.
In a statement, the committee said Ahmed was at Khan’s home Federal B Area to inquire about his health when Rangers arresting him without telling him why he was taken away and took him to an undisclosed location.
The committee said Ahmed was a heart patient and also suffered from high blood pressure and the illegal arrest could cause him health complications.
It added that some elements as part of a conspiracy were trying to eliminate the MQM.
The committee said during the last three years of the ongoing crackdown in Karachi, 61 MQM activists were murdered in custody by Rangers and police and over 135 were still missing after illegally being whisked away.
It demanded that President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, COAS General Raheel Sharif and Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah should take notice of Ahmed’s illegal arrest and order his immediate release.
It also appealed to human rights organisations to take notice of these atrocities.
Reports of the arrest came a day after the MQM, at a demonstration held outside the Karachi Press Club, appealed to the state and its institutions to stop pushing the party to the wall.
Addressing the rally, senior MQM leaders had said the people would be compelled to think of some other direction if the process of the MQM’s being pushed to the wall was not stopped.
They had alleged that in the targeted operation being conducted in Karachi by the Sindh Rangers since 2013, 61 persons had been killed through extrajudicial killings. The MQM leaders termed the murders a gross human rights violation and said it was unfortunate that not a single person had been arrested in this regard. They demanded that the killers be arrested and awarded stern punishments.
Siddiqi asked if there were separate laws for civilians and people in uniform. He and Naveed demanded that all missing persons be recovered and the killers of slain workers arrested immediately.
They called for creating 20 more provinces, including Karachi, on an administrative basis. They asked the state and its institutions when the MQM would be provided with justice.
The rally’s participants included women and children holding MQM flags in their hands. The protest had been announced a day earlier after Riazul Haq, a worker of the party in Kandhi, was allegedly killed extrajudicially.
Haq had been arrested at his house in 2015. His elder brother, along with MPA Mehfooz Yar Khan, also addressed the rally.
Containers had been placed on Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road to prevent the protesters from marching on the Chief Minister House.
On Sunday, the MQM had demanded on that a judicial commission be formed to investigate the “extrajudicial killings” of 70 activists.Speaking at a press conference at the Khursheed Begum Secretariat, senior deputy convener Dr Farooq Sattar also asked that the unannounced ban on the party’s activities be lifted.
Speaking about MQM activist Riazul Haq, who was arrested by Rangers last year and whose body was found in Surjani Town on Saturday, Sattar said a petition had been filed in Sindh High Court, seeking action against his extrajudicial murder. “We want the court to take suo moto notice of these extrajudicial killings,” he added.
Sattar said there should be a neutral or third party which could listen to the MQM’s reservations, complaints and grievances. “If the MQM is found to be guilty by the neutral party, then we are ready to face any punishment.”
He recalled that a committee was formed to hear the grievances of the party but now that panel was nowhere to be found. He said Haq’s missing case was also sent to the UN Human Rights Commission and the UN Crisis Management Cell.
“In an all parties’ conference held in 2013, it was unanimously decided that the Rangers should be given additional powers and all steps taken would be within the ambit of the constitution and the law, and it was also agreed upon that the paramilitary force would not be given a free hand, but now many questions are arising over the continuous operation in Karachi under way for over two years,” Sattar noted.
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