KARACHI: Pakistan Qaumi Movement (PQM) chairperson Iqbal Kazmi was taken into custody late Tuesday night.
According to party sources, law enforcers arrested him from Sharae Faisal, while they let his driver go at a little distance away from where Kazmi was arrested. PMQ general secretary Zahid Maqsood also confirmed Kazmi’s arrest.
Kazmi had announced to hold a rally, in collaboration with Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London (MQM) on Jan 21, in which MQM-London chief Altaf Hussain was expected to address the participants.
As MQM-London is currently being considered as a proscribe organisation, the party leaders and workers are not being allowed political activities. Law enforcement agencies have boosted their operations against the party ever since PQM and MQM-London announced to hold a rally together.
About three dozen leaders and workers of the MQM-London, including a key-leader, Sathi Ishaq, and University of Karachi assistant registrar Arif Haider, have so far been detained by the law enforcers. Both Ishaq and Haider were later on released, while pictures showing torture marks on Ishaq became viral on social media. Whereabouts of the remaining party workers and supporters are still unknown.
Besides Kazmi, about half a dozen more MQM-London workers were arrested. So far, the police and Rangers have not confirmed the arrests. The law enforcers are tight-lipped over the sudden unannounced crackdown against the MQM-London and PQM.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 19th, 2017.