The Muttahida Qaumi Movement said on Friday that an unannounced ban had been imposed on its political activities and the party was not allowed to hold political programmes even in its strongholds.
Talking to journalists outside the Karachi Press Club, where activists of his party as well as families of “missing” workers were on hunger strike, MQM leader Shahid Pasha asked the law enforcement agencies to make their operation “intelligence based” and not “information based”.
Friday was the second and the last day of the MQM protest, which was held against “illegal raids and arrests, false and fabricated cases, enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killings” of MQM workers and a ban on airing speeches and photographs of party chief Altaf Hussain.
Mr Pasha said that the purpose of the token hunger strike was only to highlight the unannounced “illegal and unconstitutional ban’ on political activities as well as opening of its offices.
“We are not being allowed to hold political programmes in our offices. When we organise a programme law enforcement agencies surround our office and arrest our workers,” he added.
He said that 125 MQM workers had been “missing” since long, while 1,800 activists were arrested and put behind the bars. “The held workers are being forced to join the Pak Sarzameen Party and all cases against them will be quashed.”
Mr Pasha, a deputy convener of the MQM coordination committee, questioned as to how those workers who had been “missing” since long after their arrest by law enforcement agencies could recover from the offices of the PSP.
He also criticised what he called the misuse of national flag by the PSP for its political purposes and demanded that a case was registered against them for insulting the national flag.
He said that the MQM would stage a rally from Ayesha Manzil in Federal B Area to the Quaid’s mausoleum in protest over the illegal raids and arrest and unannounced ban on the MQM.
He said that those who were allegedly responsible for any wrongdoings, ‘china-cutting’, land grabbing from 2008 to 2013 were in Karachi and they should be arrested and questioned about all such things.
Later in the evening, senior MQM leader Aamir Khan told journalists that it appeared that the authorities paid no heed towards the two-day hunger strike of the MQM. “The sense of deprivation among Mohajirs is becoming sense of alienation.”
He said that some elements were keep alleging that Altaf Hussain and the MQM worked for Indian intelligence agency RAW.
“It was Altaf Hussain who saluted the armed forces when they launched an operation against terrorists under the National Action Plan,” he pointed out.
Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2016