US 'closely' monitoring arrests of MQM leaders: State Dept

Published: September 17, 2016
US State dept spokesperson says it is for Pakistan and India to decide on the pace and scope of bilateral talks.  PHOTO: REUTERS

US State dept spokesperson says it is for Pakistan and India to decide on the pace and scope of bilateral talks. PHOTO: REUTERS

The United States on Saturday said it is aware of the recent arrests of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders and is monitoring the events ‘closely’.

“We’re monitoring those events very closely. We’re aware that Pakistani security forces have arrested some MQM members allegedly involved in violent protests and that these operations have included the closure and the demolition of offices deemed to have been illegally constructed,” US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said.

MQM leader Khawaja Izharul Hasan released hours after arrest in Karachi

Addressing a press briefing, Kirby referred the concerned reporter to the government of Pakistan for “latest information” about the events. The statement comes hours after Karachi police arrested MQM leader Khawaja Izharul Hasan on Friday evening.

On being asked whether members of the MQM offices in US approached the State Department with their concerns, Kirby replied in the negative. However, the spokesperson said that US authorities “routinely communicate with Pakistani counterparts about issues like this.”

Further, referring to Pakistan’s stance on the ongoing Kashmir issue at the United Nations, Kirby reiterated that it is for Pakistan and India to decide on the pace and scope of bilateral talks.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmaker Khawaja Izharul Hasan was arrested and released five hours later in a rare move by the Sindh police that triggered a political firestorm in Karachi on Friday.


High drama as MQM  leader arrested, then freed

Both the provincial chief minister and the prime minister intervened in the high-profile arrest by SSP Rao Anwar in a clear effort to ease the tension between the government and MQM.

The drama began with the news of a police raid at the residence of Izhar, who also leads the opposition in the Sindh Assembly. The MQM leader along with his party colleagues was in a meeting with Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah when he was informed about the raid.

When Izhar rushed back to his house in Buffer Zone, he was taken into custody by the Malir SSP over his alleged involvement in the May 12, 2007 carnage.

The police officer told the media that the raid was meant to arrest some of the suspects of the May 12 mayhem as well as Raees Mamma, the alleged head of the MQM’s target killing squad. The suspects were said to be hiding at Izhar’s residence.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • citizen26
    Sep 17, 2016 - 12:45PM

    India doesn’t want to discuss Kashmir issue at all, does he not get it. Also why do we have UN for?Recommend

  • Raju Indian
    Sep 17, 2016 - 1:29PM

    I think the new slogan in Pakistan will be “K” is for Karachi freedomRecommend

  • abreez
    Sep 17, 2016 - 2:07PM

    Pakistanis ‘closely’ monitoring US intentions in South Asia, Pakistan is a small country but can do big things. In previous cold war, Pakistan’s help made it easier for America to become sole super power and in next cold war; Pakistan’s neutrality will ‘hurt’ America.Recommend

  • Hello
    Sep 17, 2016 - 2:16PM

    Such things happen routinely in banana republics and police states. So why bother?Recommend

  • سے Shaam (Hanafi)
    Sep 17, 2016 - 3:42PM

    Good decision by the US, MQM is a national party of Pakistan and deserves protection. Muhajirs are in a way Indian bloodline, they should be supported unlike the Punjabis of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Kala_bacha
    Sep 17, 2016 - 3:56PM

    The cheap shot by sp encounter specialist continues.Recommend

  • Tanya Khan
    Sep 17, 2016 - 4:28PM

    Will the US please monitor the gulafshani of AH in London as well….. or is it too much to ask…:)Recommend

  • BrainBro
    Sep 17, 2016 - 4:39PM

    All these “closely monitoring” statements would diminish when Pakistan makes friends with India and Afghanistan.
    The US works for its own personal interests. Right now, it wants Pakistan to end its endless animosity with India and Afghanistan and focus on trade and economics. If and when it does that, it would no longer remain interested in playing these games.Recommend

  • Really fed up
    Sep 17, 2016 - 4:46PM

    Touche! When are they going to watch closely pellet gun injuries in IOK? The selective conscience of super power!Recommend

  • Pakistan Zindabad
    Sep 17, 2016 - 5:01PM

    USA be like: We are ready to interfere on your regional matters and local affairs. We are super Powers.Recommend

  • jimmy warsi
    Sep 17, 2016 - 6:08PM

    Well USA should monitor human right abuses in Karachi as enough is enough. Extra judicially killing, torture and kidnapping by LEA is nothing new. It is now proved beyond doubt that saying PAK ZB is not an issue at all rather it is other way around. Mohajirs not welcomed anymore.Recommend

  • George
    Sep 17, 2016 - 6:26PM

    @Raju Indian:
    The original “K” in Pakistan will become “kick India on the rear end.” Does that help or you need more.Recommend

  • vinsin
    Sep 17, 2016 - 7:36PM

    @Really fed up:
    Just like in 1971.

    Pakistan is not a small country. Pakistan never helped USA.

    To avoid world wars b/w P5 countries.Recommend

  • Vaidyanathan
    Sep 17, 2016 - 8:33PM

    George mind your language. Kick india only you can dream. You are in fools paradise.Recommend

  • Np
    Sep 17, 2016 - 9:07PM

    @سے Shaam (Hanafi):
    Why should India support these Mir Jafars who betrayed India? They wanted a separate country and they got it. In 1947 51% of Karachi population was Hindu. They were forcibly asked to leave in order to accommodate these Mohajirs. Now let them deal with the consequences of their actions.Recommend

  • Sleepless in Saeedabad
    Sep 17, 2016 - 9:22PM

    On behalf of the Muhajir community we appreciate the genuine concern of the USA .
    Please pressurize Pak Establishment to stop their oppression on all minorities . Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Sep 17, 2016 - 9:33PM

    And Pakistan is closing Monitoring Black Deaths and Discrimination against Mexicans.

    Please mind your own business. Recommend

  • echoboom
    Sep 17, 2016 - 10:17PM

    seeking asylum inside US embassy…getting trained in Rajhastan India….IS knows these thuggs MQM…and USA the Supreme ThuGG country is trying to act uppitty…A decling and dying nation… a joke and laughing stock for civilized people the world over.Recommend

  • ramdard
    Sep 17, 2016 - 11:24PM

    The decision to migrate to Pakistan was taken by previous generations of Mohajirs, who became too scared of RSS’ ideology towards minorities, were misled by false promises from Muslim league. They, like Hindus of Karachi, were victims of the communal politics of the subcontinent which is still reflected in your comment. Recommend

  • ramdard
    Sep 18, 2016 - 12:45AM

    @citizen26: ” why do we have UN for?” UN gave us an chance to resolve the issue, long back in year 1948, in a resolution involving 3 steps in sequence. That opportunity was lost. To understand the reason, you need to read at least the first step suggested in that resolution.
    Now UN is busy with more important issues, than Kashmir, Tibet or Balochistan. Recommend

  • mani
    Sep 18, 2016 - 1:03AM

    How it look like if Pak. foreign off. in press briefing told that it closely monitoring hate crimes against Muslims in USA Recommend

  • Karachi-walla
    Sep 18, 2016 - 2:53AM

    @سے Shaam (Hanafi):

    We “Mohajirs” hate India. We hated it so much that our forefathers left the impoverished country. We refused to continue living with you people. Your country is deplorable. We see how Muslims are treated there and rampant poverty present in northern India. Sorry, but we enjoy eating beef everyday.

    @Raju Indian:

    Maybe in your Vedic dreams. The people of Karachi are patriotic Pakistanis. Possibly the most so, because we left behind our homes behind for freedom in Pakistan. No, the “K” in Pakistan will eventually come to stand for Kashmir.Recommend

  • Karachite
    Sep 18, 2016 - 3:26AM

    @ Raju Indian
    What do u mean by Karachi freedom???Recommend

  • Karachite youth
    Sep 18, 2016 - 3:36AM

    @ *Raju Indian*
    What do u mean by karachi freedom???
    I am a Karachitie and ill give my life before I see it seperating from Pakistan.
    Dont you pathetic Indians get it? We dont want freedom from Pakistan because we are alredy free. Free in the sense that we got freedom from Hindus a long time ago when our Quaid fought with ur leaders for this land. Dont you dare say a word against my land. My elders have lost their lives for this land and if you want it to be free from Pakistan then you have to see India getting nuked first then you’l be able to see it gettig partitioned. Infact I highly dought that even then it would be possible. Know this we had paid dearly for this land and we know the price of it. Your people want to seperate it from Pakistan I dare you to even try.

  • SMA Chani
    Sep 18, 2016 - 5:57AM

    It is high time the US learns lesson by stopping to back the wrong side. The evil forces of India and Israel have got the US to commit blunders after blunders. Kashmir is a issue of Kashmiries. India cannot ignore them stop acting like an Ostrich pretending the K problem will go away. It won’t and cannot without Kasjmiries. India has committed genocide in Kashmir they should be tried for crimes committed against the Kasmiries. The Human Rights are witness to it. Recommend

  • Basit
    Sep 18, 2016 - 2:25PM

    @Karachiwala ,@ Karachi youth you cannot be a Mohajir so stop acting like one .We have enough of this high handedness of Punjabi establishment.The way they have been usurping our rights for decades conducting the so called operation and the way they are handling our elected reps are enough to think us otherwise .Recommend

  • annie
    Sep 18, 2016 - 2:40PM

    US should look after themselves first rather than traditionally as always interfering in Pakistan matters and other country’s matter. Recommend

  • Lahul
    Sep 18, 2016 - 5:07PM

    Classic example of interference into the internal matters of neighbouring country and then don the mask of being innocent – 1971@vinsin: Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Sep 19, 2016 - 1:40AM

    Comments are irrelevant and based on unfortunate wrongly understood patriotism.Most of these comments appears were of those who does not know the reasons of partition and agony of leaving there houses In India refugees/sharnarthi does not exist and the intelligent politicians buried this word for ever. The great Quaid foresaw the plight of Muslims in India and created Pakistan for all Muslims who were living in troubled areas. The entire administration was run by refugees now labelled as Indian agents. Those already living in Pakistan were land owners and waderas and could not tolerate this system. One after another the Commanders decided to cleanse the administration by EBDO and 303 so much so that Pakistan was divided. Mostly the industry was set up by the migrated intelligentsia and even small industrial units were nationalized.The majority of migrants settled in Karachi the then Capital of Pakistan and provided jobs even from remote north of Pakistan. Nawaz Shareef himself a refugee could not tolerate the intelligent people of Karachi like ZAB and started military operation which is continuing even now.I request all the commentators to read the history of Pakistan before giving absurd comments .Recommend

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