The Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief has lamented that on the pretext of the apex court’s order that the barriers set up in the no-go areas of Karachi be done away with, Rangers were removing them in the peaceful areas of the city.
“These barriers [in the peaceful areas] were set up with the permission of the residents to curb street crimes and robberies,” Altaf Hussain told members of the party’s Rabita Committee on Wednesday. He was talking to them at the Khursheed Begum Secretariat in Azizabad via phone from London.
“Now that Rangers have removed them [the barriers], cell phone snatchings and other street crimes have sharply increased.”
Hussain urged the caretaker government to form a committee - comprising representatives of police, Rangers, and other law enforcement agencies - that would issue permits to the residents for setting up security barriers in their areas.
He demanded that Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad and Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retd) Zahid Kurban Alavi should allow citizens set up barriers in their areas.
In recent days, the MQM has been criticising what it calls “an unannounced state operation” in Mohajir localities of the city and demanding the release of its activists detained by police and Rangers.
It alleges that the “operation” has been launched prior to the general elections to snatch its seats. The party claims that it is being unnecessarily hounded by police and Rangers while criminals have been given a free hand to operate.
Condemning the terrorist attack on the vehicle of Awami National Party leader Farooq Khan in Charsadda, the MQM chief said terrorists were bent on sabotaging the peaceful electoral environment.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Hussain said terrorists were continuously targeting leaders and candidates of the MQM, the ANP and other political parties.
“The way the leaders of political parties are being attacked is a clear indication that the terrorists do not want elections to be held in the country.”
Expressing his sympathies with ANP’s Farooq Khan and others who sustained injuries in the Charsadda attack, he prayed for their early recovery.
The MQM chief demanded that President Asif Ali Zardari, the caretaker prime minister, the interior minister and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister should take notice of the terrorist attack and ensure action against the terrorists who were trying the sabotage the electoral process.