Fight for rights: Three more workers faint as MQM’s hunger strike continues

Published: August 19, 2016
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MQM activists are sitting on hunger strike, outside Karachi press club. PHOTO: PPI

MQM activists are sitting on hunger strike, outside Karachi press club. PHOTO: PPI

KARACHI: Three more workers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) fell unconscious and had to be shifted to the hospital as the party’s hunger strike entered its third consecutive day.

The MQM has been staging a ‘hunger strike till death’ since Wednesday outside the Karachi Press Club against what it terms the injustices against the party, extrajudicial murders and arrests of its workers and political victimisation.

Those who fainted at the hunger strike and were shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for treatment were MPAs Yousuf Shahwani and Saifuddin Khalid and party’s rabita committee member Zakir Qureshi. After treatment, Qureshi returned to the camp and resumed his hunger strike while the other two party leaders were still at JPMC till the filing of this report.

Qureshi and Shahwani had been observing the hunger strike since it began on Wednesday while Khalid had joined on Thursday morning.

Seemin Jamali, the joint executive director of JPMC and its emergency ward in-charge, confirmed that a patient named Zakir Qureshi came to the emergency ward and was appropriately treated. He was later discharged after having been stabilised with intravenous fluids. She said that she was not aware about the other two leaders having been brought to the JPMC as claimed by the MQM.

HRCP, PAT delegations’ visit

A delegation of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), led by its Sindh vice-chairperson Asad Iqbal Butt visited the hunger strike camp to express solidarity with the participants.

Speaking on the occasion, Butt stated that human rights violations such as enforced disappearances and extrajudicial murders must stop and the due process of law must always be followed. He also advised the political workers not to seek revenge and fight and solve the matters through political platforms instead.

A delegation of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek, led by the party’s Sindh president, Syed Ausat Ali, also visited the camp. The delegation expressed solidarity with the party and the participants and encouraged them to remain steadfast in these troubling times.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2016.

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