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MQM-P, PPP trade barbs

January 28, 2022
MQM-P, PPP trade barbs

Death of MQM leader becomes mystery

KARACHI: In an unusual turn of events, the death of MQM-P’s local leader Muhammad Aslam turned into a mystery as the government claimed he died of cardiac arrest while the MQM was holding police action responsible for his demise.

Following a showdown between MQM-P workers and Sindh Police during the former’s protest against local bodies act, leaders of two mainstream parties of Sindh, PPP and MQM-P, remained engaged in verbal spate and blamed each other for the mess.

Speaking at a press conference here at the Sindh Assembly’s Committee Room on Thursday, Ghani said that the deceased activist of MQM, Aslam, had died of cardiac arrest and police torture didn’t result in his death. He said the deceased MQM worker had been first taken by his family to the Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases and later he was taken to NICVD where doctors pronounced him dead.

He said the deceased MQM worker should have been taken to the nearby Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre or Civil Hospital, had he sustained injuries outside the CM House. Ghani appealed to the deceased MQM-P worker’s family to allow post-mortem of his body to determine the exact cause of his death.

Ghani asserted that a well thought-out plan had been behind the unpleasant incident of the previous day to create negative repercussions for international players participating in the Pakistan Super League matches. He alleged that the MQM-P had the plan to spread ethnic divide in Karachi and recent statements of the party leaders were a testament to this fact. “MQM-P had announced to take out a protest rally from Sharae Faisal to hold a protest at the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday and the opposition party had been in touch with the city’s administration with regard to their agitation plan.

“The city administration kept on facilitating the movement of the protest rally from Sharae Faisal till Metropole Intersection where it reached at 4pm. Later it had to move towards the KPC as per the original protest plan. But the participants of the rally abruptly decided to move towards the CM House,” he said.

Ghani said the deputy commissioner of District South and other senior police officials informed the MQM-P leaders Wasim Akhtar and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui that the area in the surrounding of the CM House had been declared a high-security zone owing to the presence of international cricket players lodged in nearby hotels. The administration advised the leaders of MQM-P to stick to their original protest plan and go to KPC for staging the demonstration, he said. The rally’s participants didn’t pay heed to the advice of the administration as they crossed the obstacles at the Metropole and reached outside the CM House. “What other option was then available to us as a PSL team present in the vicinity had to come outside the hotel and go for practice but the players didn’t go anywhere due to the situation,” he said. He said the incident was indeed unpleasant as it didn’t bode well for the Sindh government. He also recalled the statement of Interior Minister, Sheikh Rashid, that the overall law and order situation of the country was not satisfactory.

Ghani also announced that the PPP had decided to postpone its upcoming protest sit-in outside the KPC on January 30 due to the sensitive security situation of the city owing to the PSL matches.

Sindh Information and Labour Minister, Saeed Ghani, said that although an unpleasant incident took place outside the CM House on Wednesday but the fact was that the police were left with no option but to take action against the protesters for the sake of prestige and dignity of the country.

Talking to the media after the funeral, MQM-P’s convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that Aslam died of police torture which was witnessed by the entire country through the lens of TV cameras. He said how come one will bring his mother, sisters, children and elders along with him if he comes with the intention of resorting to violence. “Is there any other party whose offices were closed and demolished?” he asked. Siddiqui claimed that more than 100 party workers were missing and their whereabouts were unknown.

“There are innumerable videos in which Aslam can be seen battling the effects of tear gas shells. He did not die for delay in medical treatment but due to tear gas shelling and baton charge.”

Talking to the media at the party’s head-office, MQM leader Amir Khan said that all the political parties had condemned the brutality of police at the behest of Sindh government outside the Chief Minister’s House against peaceful protesters. “The PPP demonstrated its feudal mentality in Karachi. Such atrocities did not suit any democratic government,” he said. He said that Jamaat-e-Islami was also sitting in the red zone but the government was sending meal boxes to them. “Is any fixed match being played with them?” he jibed.

Separately, the MQM-P’s central leader Senator Nasreeen Jalil hailed the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) for issuing a statement condemning the use of tear gas and batons against the peaceful protesters outside the Sindh CM House.

“The Sindh government’s oppressive and brutal action will further boost the morale of workers who believe in achieving rights through political struggle,” said NasreenMeanwhile, a large number of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan workers and residents on Thursday attended the funeral prayers of the party’s local leader Muhammad Aslam. Leaders and workers of the Awami National Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Dr Farooq Sattar-led MQM faction and other parties also attended the funeral while leaders of the Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl and Paksitan Democratic Movement visited the MQM-P’s temporary headquarter to offer condolence.

MQM-P’s central leaders, including Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Amir Khan, federal minister Aminul Haque, former mayor Waseem Akhtar, ANP Sindh secretary general Younas Bunariee, central joint secretary Syed Hanif Shah, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s central leader Nihal Hashmi, veteran politician Dr Farooq Sattar were prominent among the people who attended the funeral. The slain worker was laid to rest in Muhammad Shah graveyard in North Karachi.

Leaders of the JUI-F led by central spokersperson Aslam Ghori and PDP leaders led by Basharat Mirza visited the party’s offices and met MQM-P leader Amir Khan to offer condolences on Aslam’s killing.

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