KARACHI: In a targeted operation early Wednesday morning, Rangers forces carried out a raid at Nine-Zero, the headquarters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in Karachi, with the party claiming that several leaders had been arrested.
MQM leaders claimed Rangers forces conducted a “siege and search operation” at the MQM headquarters, and had arrested several leaders of the political party.
In a statement issued hours after the start of the operation, the MQM’s Raabta Committee said Rangers personnel had forcefully raided and ransacked the MQM’s head office.
The party said that several members had been arrested, including central leaders Amir Khan, Abdul Haseeb, Dr Saleem Danish, Arshad Hussain, Dr Ayub Sheikh, and Sindh Assembly lawmaker Rehan Zafar.
MQM to observe 'peaceful day of protest'
The party announced that it would observe a “day of peaceful protest” on Wednesday, and urged transporters and traders to keep their businesses and commercial activities suspended.
The Raabta Committee also urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take immediate notice of the incident.
Speaking to Geo News earlier, MQM leader Farooq Sattar said that such an operation at a political party’s head office was “inappropriate and beyond understanding”.
“MQM has itself always maintained its policy of zero tolerance against crime and terrorism, and it has always offered to cooperate,” he said.
Sattar said such actions were “perplexing" and were meant to "push a peaceful political party against the wall”.
The MQM leader confirmed that all roads leading to Nine-Zero had been sealed off.
Sattar further claimed that such actions by the Rangers force were meant to “sabotage the national consensus”.