KARACHI: He’s back. Within hours of landing in Karachi after a trip from overseas, former Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza launched into a diatribe against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, just three days after the MQM formally rejoined the ruling coalition led by the Pakistan Peoples Party.
With an outburst resembling that of an angry comedian, Mirza addressed a press conference at the Peoples Stadium in Lyari, a PPP stronghold in Karachi, lashing out against MQM chief Altaf Hussain and calling the PPP-MQM coalition a conspiracy to break up the country.
Referring to himself in the third person, he said “Dr Zulfiqar Mirza will also go to Nine Zero,” challenging the MQM chief to come out of exile in London and meet him there.
Mirza blamed the MQM for several crimes in Karachi including murder, extortion, robbery and even rape. He claimed that he would ‘expose’ the MQM and even take the ‘evidence’ he has against the party and its chief to courts in the United Kingdom, much like Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan had done.
“My inbox is filled with emails and soon I will expose the MQM with loads of evidence I have gathered,” he said.
Mirza was also unusually critical of his own party during the press conference. He admitted that some PPP members had been involved in criminal activities and even implied that some of those were members of Parliament or even the cabinet, vowing once again to ‘expose’ them all.
“Without a doubt, there are robbers even in the PPP who have sold out their consciences for money,” he said. “I have no shame in calling a robber a robber and a murderer a murderer.”
He also took the unusual step of directly criticising the Supreme Court’s verdict on the summer of violence in Karachi, even attacking (albeit without naming them) members of the judiciary. He said that he would also expose the ‘rampant corruption among the people who are supposed to deliver justice to the public.’
Mirza had volunteered to testify in the suo motu case, but was never called by the Supreme Court.
He also played to the gallery in Lyari, mocking Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik for trying to ban the Peoples Aman Committee, a controversial group with its origins in Lyari. “Even the father of Satan cannot ban the Aman Committee,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2011.
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