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April 2, 2020

MQM-P reactivates charity arm amid coronavirus crisis


April 2, 2020

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has reactivated its dormant charity arm, the Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation (KKF), to help the needy people affected by the lockdown in the city.

The party says it has intensified its welfare activities by providing free food and rations. The MQM-P says it is also collecting blood donations for the organisations working for the treatment of thalassemia patients.

The MQM-P has already announced suspending its political activities, asking the party members to play an active role in the relief activities under the KKF’s banner. Party MNAs and MPAs along with their local government bodies’ representatives are also carrying out the welfare work.

On Wednesday, MQM-P convenor Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi visited a camp set up at the KKF’s central office in Federal B Area to collect the blood donations. “The party understands that the organisations working for the treatment of thalassemia patients have been facing the shortage of blood since people have been at home on the government’s order as part of a preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus.,” said Siddiqui, who is also a former federal minister, while talking to the KKF’s volunteers.

“It is the reason that the party has decided to collect donations of blood for them at a large scale because there are thousands of children suffering from thalassemia who need a regular blood transfusion, but due to the shortage their lives are at risk now.”

The MQM-P has also asked its district leadership to provide free cooked food to the needy people who are affected because of the lockdown.

Syed Aminul Haq, the MQM-P’s member of the coordination committee, said the party’s affiliated local government representatives were distributing food items among the residents at a neighbourhood level after collecting it from local donors and affluent people.

“But at a central level, the party is collecting essential commodities and food items at a large scale and will distribute them in the province’s major urban centres, including Karachi and Hyderabad,” Haque told The News.

He said that in the two-day blood donation drive, the party has so far collected at least 1,000 bottles of blood and handed them over to organisations working on the treatment of thalassemia patients.

He said the party has already opened kitchens to provide cooked food to the affected people because of the lockdown. “We have already set up the kitchens in Orangi Town and Qasba Colony and are now expanding the services to Surjani Town and other lower-income neighbourhoods of the city,” said Haque.

Downfall and revival

Since its formation in 1978, the KKF had been carrying out its operation, such running ambulances, funeral buses, morgues, dispensaries, blood banks and even a university. While most of these services were based in Karachi, the KKF had spread its services to other parts of the province too, particularly in Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas.

However, after the August 2016 speech of MQM founder Altaf Hussain, the KKF came under the law enforcement agencies' crackdown. After the LEAs started scrutinising the KKF over the allegations of money laundering and the usage of ambulances in terrorism, the MQM-P, which emerged a separate entity after separating itself from the party founder in London, disbanded the KKF’s services temporarily.

However, the MQM-P leaders said the party has now reactivated the KKF after forming a board of governors and opening new bank accounts to keep transparency in the charity's affairs. “The MQM-P and the KKF have nothing to do with a single person’s affairs of the past. After August 22, 2016, both the organisations have started a new journey,” said Haque.

He said the party will also reactivate its ambulance services in the upcoming months. “Our ambulances need some repairs and hopefully they will be on the roads of the city to help the residents,” he said.

The MQM-P leader said the KKF’s morgues are still active in Malir and North Karachi and running 12 funeral bus services in different parts of the city.