Karachi: 6th March 2013
First of all we are thankful to you for coming to attend this Press Conference.
You know it very well that a massive bomb blast had rocked Abbas Town in which over 50 innocent people died and over 150 were seriously wounded which includes women, children and elderly. Many people are still unaccounted for. Hundreds of residential flats have been damaged. Poor inhabitants of Abbas Town have lost everything. It has been three days since this tragic incident occurred but no action has been taken against the terrorists. Attempt is being made to hoodwink the people into believing that certain terrorists connected with the tragedy have been arrested.
It is also in your knowledge that Mr Altaf Hussain had strongly condemned the barbarism committed on the residents of Abbas Town. He had demanded the government to bring the perpetrators to justice within three days otherwise the MQM would be forced to adopt the path of a peaceful protest.
You are also aware that the blood-thirsty killers behind the tragedies that occurred on Alamdar Road and Kirani Road in Quetta have not been arrested even to date. Salt has been rubbed in the wounds of the affected people by giving them false assurances. This has placed a big question mark on performance of the government and the law-enforcing agencies.
We condemn the apathetic attitude of our national leaders on the Abbas Town tragedy. They are not only maintaining silence but also supporting the banned outfits instead of sympathizing with the martyrs.
The Government and its agencies know very well as to who are the elements behind the incidents of terrorism, bomb blast, extortion, kidnapping for ransom, robbery and violence in Karachi. They are also aware of the perpetrators of the Abbas Town tragedy and their hideouts. It is evident that either it is the incompetence of the government and its agencies, or they do not want to take any action against the terrorists and their sponsors.
The Abbas Town tragedy has revealed that the citizens of Karachi are not safe even in their homes. Ruthless terrorists are roaming freely but the government is not taking any practical steps to curb their activities. The elements behind the Abbas Town tragedy have not been arrested and the government has failed to bring solace to the affected people. The government has also not taken any positive step for rehabilitating the people affected by the massive blast in Abbas Town. It is highly regrettable that government personalities did not visit Abbas Town for expressing sympathies to the affected families.
We believe that the people at the helm of affairs are not sincere at all in providing justice to the innocent citizens of Karachi and healing their wounds. This has also been conclusively established that it would be futile to expect practical steps from the government towards arresting the influential terrorists involved in the Abbas Town carnage.
How long will this terrorism, violence and blood-letting continue? How long will the government, administration and law-enforcing agencies continue to exhibit criminal negligence regarding their basic duties? How long will the people of Karachi continue to bury their loved-ones? Hence, in the present circumstances, the MQM is left with no other option but to adopt the democratic path of peaceful protests.
The Co-ordination Committee of the MQM has decided to start peaceful protests at the public level after making long deliberations in its meetings. The protest movement is being started during which the people of Karachi, particularly traders, industrialists, shopkeepers, transporters and people belonging to various others spheres of life would be asked to voluntarily suspend their business activities. This public protest would continue until the hard-hearted terrorists behind the Abbas Town tragedy are arrested and brought to justice.
The MQM is peaceful representative political party and the people of have been voting for the MQM in every general election for the past three decades. It is the basic responsibility of the MQM as a representative political party of the MQM to play its full role for protecting the life and property of the people.
We believe that if we did not take a decision on the basis of “now or never” then the barbaric terrorists would continue to strike and the people would continue to die. It is the call of the time to display exemplary unity by rising above all expediencies for protecting the life and property of the citizens.
We are also aware that the business community, shopkeepers, poor workers and general public would face severe hardships because of the suspension in business activities, but it is also a fact that the terrorists would be emboldened all the more if the public did not exhibit unity and selflessness and a spirit of sacrifice. Callousness of the government would increase and tragedies like Abbas Town would continue to occur.
We appeal to the members of the business community, industrialists, shopkeepers and transporters to feel the grief and pain of the grieving families who lost their loved-ones in Abbas Town bomb blast. We appeal to them to express solidarity with the affected families and play an active role in making the peaceful and democratic protest of the MQM successful. We appeal to them to show that the people of Karachi share the grief of the affected families of Abbas Town by closing down their business voluntarily.
We also appeal to the people of Karachi, particularly the younger generation, to restrain their emotions and not get provoked under any circumstance. We urge them not to harm public and private property during the peaceful protest.
We are once again thankful to you for coming to attend this press conference
Muttahida Quami Movement