12th March, 1998.
MQM demands arrest of Benazir, Babar.
ISLAMABAD: Leaders of the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) have demanded of thegovernment to register criminal cases against the Leader of the OppositionBenazir Bhutto and former interior minister Naseerullah Khan Babar on the charge of killing scores of MQM workers.
Senator Aftab Sheikh during a news conference here on Thursday at the Parliamentcafeteria toldjournalists that the MQM was reiterating its demand on the basis of a recentstatement of Interior Minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain in which he had alleged that around30 MQM workers were brutally murdered in the mountainous region of Islamabad on the orders offormer interior minister Naseerullah Babar.
"This is not an assertion of a common man. Interior Minister Shujaat Hussain hasstated these facts before Senate Standing Committee on Law and Order," the MQM senator saidand added: "The real facts are placed before the government and it is now upto them to arrestthe murderers of MQM workers."
Flanked by Dr Farooq Sattar, Kanwar Khalid Younas and others MQM leaders,Senator AftabSheikh said that since 1987 over 15,000 MQM workers were either missing orkilled under thepatronage of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
"We are demanding from the government to arrest Benazir Bhutto, Naseerullah KhanBabar and theother accused involved in extra-judicial killing of innocent MQM workers," thesenator said and added: "Cases should be registered against them and they all should be tried ina court of law for killing innocent citizens."
"The worst kind of state-sponsored terrorism was witnessed during the previoustenure of PPP," Aftab Sheikh said, adding: "One of the major charges emphasised by formerpresident Farooq Leghari while dismissing the Bhutto government was the extra-judicial killing ofMQM workers and the ouster of that regime was even endorsed by the apex court of the country."
As far as the last meeting with the prime minister is concerned, Aftab Sheikhsaid, we demandedabolition of "no-go areas", besides the arrest of those nominated in differentFIRs for killing 108 MQM workers during the past one year.
When asked whether they approached the interior minister for registration ofcases and recovery of bodies of MQM workers, Aftab Sheikh said their repeated attempts to contactShujaat Hussain bore no fruit as he was not available on telephone.