Coalition cracks: MQM blames ANP for firing

Published: March 27, 2012

MQM Coordination Committee member Kanwar Naveed Jameel briefed journalists on Sunday’s events. PHOTO: AGENCIES

MQM Coordination Committee member Kanwar Naveed Jameel briefed journalists on Sunday’s events. PHOTO: AGENCIES Guests lay down on the ground as MQM staff ran around making frantic calls on their cell phones. It was the worst possible way to sabotage a cultural event as international guests had come. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: All is not well in the coalition running the Sindh government, as the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has once again accused the Awami National Party (ANP) of perpetrating crime in Karachi, specifically blaming it for the firing outside a poetry recital organised by the MQM’s Defence Clifton Residents Committee at Two Swords on Sunday night.

The MQM has asked the president, prime minister and provincial leaders to look into the incident and hold people responsible on the basis of evidence. The party has also alleged that the attackers, including Kamran Khan, the man killed in an exchange of fire with police officers, were members of the ANP.

MQM Coordination Committee member Kanwar Naveed Jameel briefed journalists on Sunday’s events at a press conference held at the Khursheed Begum Secretariat on Monday evening.

“On one hand, the ANP talks about Bacha Khan’s philosophy of non-violence and cleansing Karachi of weapons, but on the other hand, its members are involved in extortion and murders,” he said. He also accused the ANP of being behind the recent threats made to cable operators.

Jameel said the ANP could not “bear for there to be peace in the city” and was trying to ruin the conditions of Karachi. When questioned on the fact that the MQM raises an issue and then backs down “when a [telephone] call is made to London”, Jameel said the president, as the head of the state, had assured MQM chief Altaf Hussain that the government would act against extortionists, and that the MQM believes in solving issues through negotiations and dialogue.

However, he also accused the ANP’s government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of being “one of the most corrupt” and ineffective in solving law and order issues in the province.

The poetry recital was organised by the MQM as part of its efforts to promote culture in the city, Jameel said. “The recital had just started when attackers fired on the event to sabotage it.

The terrorists’ firing was so intense that there was panic and the attendees and MQM leaders had to look for cover,” Jameel said. He praised the police for stepping up and taking action on Sunday night.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2012.

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