The Awami National Party (ANP) has called on the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to clarify their position in the wake of the explosive allegations made by former senior Sindh government minister Zulfiqar Mirza.
On Monday, ANP’s Sindh chapter held a high-level meeting in which Mirza’s press conference on Sunday afternoon was discussed in great depth.
It was in the same meeting that the party decided to end its Provincial Minister for Labour Ameer Nawab’s boycott. Nawab boycotted the ministry after the Sindh government decided to drop the commissionerate system.
According to Sindh Information Secretary Qadir Khan, the party has taken strong notice of the statements Mirza made while under oath. The former minister alleged that MQM chief Altaf Hussain had clearly stated that he would not stop killing innocent Pashtuns.
After the meeting, the party issued a statement that said Karachi’s Pashtun population is extremely concerned by these revelations, especially since Mirza made them with his hand on the Holy Quran.
It urged MQM to respond to the allegations via the media as soon as possible and to clarify its position.
However, at the same time, the ANP decided to refrain from making any statements about target killings, especially since the Supreme Court has taken suo motu notice of the situation in Karachi. The party supports the petition filed at the apex court and said that making statements would divert attention from the case.
The statement also addressed the ongoing operation, and claimed that the party has decided to give the Sindh government until the end of their ‘targeted operation’ and would continue to see how it works out despite their many reservations about the surgical strikes. However, they want the authorities to refrain from arresting and harassing innocent people on the pretext of the operation.
Also, they made it clear that, once the authorities complete their operation in Pashtun and Baloch- dominated areas of the city, they must also move into areas where there are known torture cells and criminal dens.
As for Mirza’s remarks about Interior Minister Rehman Malik, the ANP feels that the proper forum for such remarks is the parliament. They urged the judiciary, parliament and security agencies to summon Dr Zulfiqar Mirza and to obtain the evidence that he claims to have, and that any conclusive findings should be made public.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2011.