The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has rejected the WikiLeaks claims about the party’s role in the May 12 mayhem in Karachi.
Dr Farooq Sattar, MQM Rabita Committee’s deputy convenor, said that his party along with the innocent civilians was a victim of the May 12, 2007 massacre, and that the cables blaming the MQM was a conspiracy against the party.
He said that two days after the killings, he had addressed a press conference with MQM parliamentarians in Islamabad on May 14 and said that the manslaughter in Karachi was a shameful conspiracy against his party.
He rejected claims by the documents posted by WikiLeaks in a press conference at Nine-Zero.
The MQM leader said that the purpose of the press conference was to inform the nation about the real facts behind the alleged revelations of the leaked cables.
Earlier, the secret cable revealed a conversation between Sattar and charge d’affaires of the US Consulate Peter Bodde. Sattar reportedly said that some MQM workers, then president Pervez Musharraf, landlords, Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI) and other political parties were all guilty of causing or exacerbating the mayhem on May 12.
In a 40-minute phone call, Sattar told Bodde that certain members of his party did cause violence on the day, and that the party should consider disarming its militant wing.
In the press conference on Thursday, Sattar said that the MQM was a peace-loving democratic political party that firmly believed in the independence of the judiciary.
He rejected the revelations of the cable saying: “I repudiate the news published regarding the alleged revelations of the secret cables concerning the incident of May 12. I want to state in unequivocal terms that the MQM was not responsible for the tragic incident.
“In fact, workers of the MQM and common people were the target of that act of terrorism. The US cable revelations were misleading, which I strongly condemn.”
He termed the incident tragic and claimed that it was an “evil conspiracy” against the MQM.
Sattar said that 14 workers of his party were martyred along with other citizens of Karachi adding that it must be kept in mind that more than 50 workers of the MQM were injured on that day.
“The MQM was the real victim of the tragedy of the May 12 incident.”
He regretted that attempts were being made to malign his party and said that he had released a CD called the “The Bitter Truth” during the 2007 press conference in support of his stance. The same video was released once again in order to separate the chalk from the cheese, he added.
On May 12, 2007, 48 people were killed and several vehicles burnt on one of the bloodiest days in Karachi’s history.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2011.