ISLAMABAD: A day after Altaf Hussain’s vitriolic telephone address outside the Karachi Press Club that triggered widespread condemnation, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan called on British officials to take action against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief for “inciting people to violence in Pakistan”.
In his speech to his supporters staging a hunger strike, Altaf castigated the media for not giving due coverage of his workers and went on to raise slogans against Pakistan.
Altaf, who is a British national, incited his followers in Pakistan to attack media houses which resulted in the death of one person and injuries to several others, Nisar told British authorities according to a press statement issued on Tuesday. Nisar asked Britain to cooperate with Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies to hold Altaf accountable.
He said that Altaf, in his Monday’s speech, chanted anti-Pakistan slogans which hurt the sentiments of millions of Pakistanis.
Separately, the interior minister appreciated the performance of police and paramilitary Rangers who successfully restored order in Sindh, especially in Karachi after Monday’s rioting.
Nisar called up Maj Gen Bilal Akbar, the director general of Sindh Rangers, and directed him to ensure security of all media houses. He said that while police were taking security measures, the Rangers help should also be sought.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the interior minister expressed satisfaction over the security situation in Sindh, especially in Karachi. He directed the DG Rangers to ensure no law breaker was spared and no one harassed peaceful citizens.
Meanwhile in the ongoing action, law enforcement agencies sealed zonal, sector and unit offices of the MQM in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Tando Allahyar and other districts of Sindh. The action began around 2.30 am in Hyderabad.
A police contingent put padlocks on MQM’s Hyderabad zone office and an adjacent building, Nazeer Hussain Secretariat. Subsequently, several sector offices in the city and Latifabad Talukas were also shut down, while police were deployed at around 10 offices.
“We have received instructions from the government to seal the offices until further orders,” a police official told The Express Tribune requesting anonymity. Similar action was seen in Mirpurkhas and other districts. Although the offices were closed, no political worker was reportedly arrested.
In Sukkur, two unit offices of the MQM situated on Miani Road and Racecourse Road were demolished by Municipal Corporation officials. Land grant officials, along with heavy contingent of police and city Mukthiarkar, demolished two unit offices of the MQM with the help of heavy machinery on Tuesday night.
According to SMC officials, the two constructions were demolished because they were illegal. MQM’s minority MPA Dewan Chand Chawla expressed his anxiety over the demolition of the unit offices, calling it political victimisation.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2016.