The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Friday strongly criticised what it called “an unannounced state operation” in Mohajir localities of the city, and demanded the release of its activists detained by police and Rangers.
“The MQM has always supported actions for restoring peace and order in Karachi, but the manner in which areas where the MQM enjoys popular support are being besieged and houses raided clearly indicates that an unannounced state operation has started in Karachi,” said the Coordination Committee of the party. It deplored the alleged illegal detention and arrests of scores of innocent people during house-to-house search operations being conducted by police and Rangers in various areas.
The committee said the house of noted poet Gulnar Afreen was raided in the Saudabad area of District Malir by security forces. “Her two nephews were arrested and subjected to brutal physical torture. Her husband Nasir Hussain was also arrested by the security forces in 1992 and subjected to inhuman torture for several days, resulting in his death.”
The house of Gulnar Afreen was ransacked during the raid and abusive and threatening language used against women, it added.
“The Mohajir localities are being particularly targeted during the operation to recover illegal weapons. Innocent people are being detained during the house-to-house search and tortured in captivity. Licensed weapons are also being confiscated by security forces.”
The committee asked why the raids were being conducted in the Mohajir localities only. “Arrests and illegal detentions of innocent people clearly indicate that the action being taken by the security forces on the pretext of recovery of illegal weapons is actually aimed at harassing people and keeping them away from the electoral process.”
The MQM demanded of President Asif Zardari, caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, Interior Minister Malik Habib, Chief Minister Sindh Zahid Kurban Alvi and Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad to take serious notice of the arrests and illegal detentions of innocent people during the search operations. It also called for the immediate release of all innocent people arrested during the operation.
Malik phones Altaf
Former federal interior Minister Rehman Malik telephoned MQM chief Altaf Hussain on Friday and offered his condolences on the killing of the MQM candidate Fakhrul Islam in Hyderabad, Literature Committee member Syed Shiraz Azfar and three City Wardens in Karachi. He also expressed condolences on behalf of President Asif Ali Zardari.