MQM-ANP slugfest goes public over target killings

Published: July 25, 2010
MQM's Dr Farooq Sattar voiced the party's accusations against the ANP.

MQM's Dr Farooq Sattar voiced the party's accusations against the ANP.

After a spurt of violence across the city, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Awami National Party (ANP) have blamed each other for the drive-by shootings that have claimed at least 30 lives in five days.

On Saturday, there was a flurry of presentations, briefings and consultations, among the Sindh government’s coalition partners, the chief minister, police, rangers and the federal interior minister. But by night, more victims were sent to the morgue.

MQM blames ANP

The MQM’s Dr Farooq Sattar categorically blamed the ANP on Saturday for the killing of a party worker on Friday night. Addressing a press conference at the MQM headquarters, Nine Zero, Sattar said, “The ANP’s armed men opened indiscriminate fire on the MQM’s office. As a result, several MQM workers were injured and one of them succumbed to his injuries.”

“The attackers belong to the ANP,” he said. “This statement is being made with complete evidence.”

Sattar said that under Bacha Khan, the ANP was a political grouping, but now the party had turned into a drug, land and armed mafia. He said criminals belonging to the party were involved in extortion. “They are grabbing lands and properties at gunpoint and blackmailing people for money,” claimed Sattar.

All the security agencies support the MQM’s stance that the root cause of the target killings and the unrest in the city is the land mafia, maintained Sattar. The Sindh government established the anti-encroachment cell to operate against the land mafia and enforce the writ of the government. The cell managed to retrieve government land worth billions of rupees. Even when the government operated against them, they opened fire on the police, Sattar said, adding that whenever the government tries to operate against them, it faces heavy retaliation. He demanded that the government take strict action against the land mafia.

“If we want to establish peace in the city, then we have to act strongly against them. The MQM is making this statement with 80 per cent of the people’s mandate in Karachi.”

“If we go through last year’s newspapers, we can see that whenever such criminals are arrested, they have connections with the Taliban and other terrorist organisations, he said.

Despite such a big setback, the MQM chief has instructed the party to tolerate such incidents, said Sattar but added that their tolerance was limited if provoked.

Claiming that the MQM is being targeted by criminals, he demanded that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party take strict measures against target killings and the violence in the city.

ANP blames MQM

Calling the MQM a terrorist organisation, the ANP’s Shahi Syed said that it started the target killings after the Baldia anti-encroachment operation sponsored by the City District Government, Karachi (CDGK) on July 15.

Talking to the media at his house on Saturday, Syed said, “They started the killings to maintain their control over the lands they have encroached.”

A meeting of the coordination committee was to be held on July 16 in which the operation had to be finalised, he explained. “But without notice, the operation began a day earlier and MQM workers went to the goths with the anti-encroachment cell and opened fire at the residents.”

He said that during the July 16 meeting, the ANP condemned the way the operation was carried out and presented data on the land grabbed by the MQM: the dispensary plot in North Nazimabad, Baldia Town, a playground near Muhammad Ali Shah ground, Altaf Nagar, 280 acres of land of Gutter Baghicha and a water treatment plant in Mahmoodabad.

The coordination committee, according to Shahi Syed, was supposed to order an operation against the encroachers in these areas as well. But in order to disrupt the chances of any operation, the MQM resorted to target killings, the ANP leader claimed.

“Why should anti-encroachment operations be conducted only in goths? They should be conducted in the heart of the city where recreational areas have been encroached upon,” he said. “Is not the MQM accused of killing more than 500 political activists including members of the PML-N, PPP, Sunni Tehreek and the ANP?”

Ever since the MQM was made, there has been unrest and bloodshed in Karachi, he said, adding that the Urdu-speaking community have lost the most blood.

He condemned the firing outside the MQM’s Gulistan-e-Jauhar office, but said, “A Pathan never forgets to take revenge, even after 100 years.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 201.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Jul 25, 2010 - 1:53AM

    All parties are responsible.We have a Ridiculous govt here in Sindh.Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Jul 25, 2010 - 2:13AM

    For the sake of peace and tranquility, I would request all political parties to forego their personal difference and work together to built a strong Pakistan.

    We are from Pakistani nation and we all have one flag and that flag is of Pakistan.

    Please assembly under the flag of Pakistan as various flags of political parties cannot fly as high as Pakistani flag.

    For the sake of Pakistan, every one should unite and say: Pakistan Zindabad.Recommend

  • Jul 25, 2010 - 12:04PM

    Its painful and poignant because it is blended with racism and greed which pre-eminently leads to hatred and target killings.
    Pakistan was concieved and acquired for all muslims of the sub-continent. But while obfuscating this reason for peaceful co-existence, we have descended into the lower most strata of human presentation. Grotesque indeed.
    What can be done? The answer is simple. The Ministry of Religious Affairs, Federal Shariat Court and the local motley of pesh imams should form a combine and through our print / electronic media establish a format for re-educating our citizens on the proper conduct of Islamic life. Finally the government of the day will have to explosively establish anti terrorism courts that will award punishments in accordance with Islamic Law and practice.
    With best wishes.Recommend

  • Nina
    Jul 25, 2010 - 6:46PM

    @ Nazir Habib

    Our government is far from Islam, how can they try to educate and enlighten the population about proper Islamic guidance when they themselves are the most greedy, and corrupt hypocrites?

    The reason these killings are happening is that most of the people these days have forgotten Allah, and what they worship is materialism whether it is in the form of money, power, land etc..
    The sad, sad, sad reality is that whatever these people are fighting for, none of it will go with them to their graves. Recommend

  • Jul 25, 2010 - 8:12PM

    For how long could the racists pretend to be ‘buddies’?Recommend

  • Jul 26, 2010 - 10:42AM

    Parties who don’t possess a major vote bank in Karachi are doing this just for the sake of power,land and future Local Government elections and so far PPP and ANP has done well in damaging MQM image, Altaf Bhai there is nothing call unconditional support in politics, you should had negotiate Home ministry of Sindh when you were supporting Mr. Zardari for presidency Recommend

  • Zuhair
    Jul 26, 2010 - 12:03PM

    Wait for a few days – Rehman Malik will visit London and both the parties will make a joint statement that we will not let the situation of Karachi go out of control and we should all stop the unseen hand or the third party or the ‘saazishi anaasir’ as they say.

    Please don’t tell me that it is the Talibaan killing people in Karachi, opening fire on the unit office, or killing a poor ‘mochi’, or setting on fire the Pakhtoon’s furniture market. It is time that we should all realize that both the MQM and ANP have vested interest in power and land grabbing of Karachi and killing innocent people is nothing new for these parties especially the MQM.Recommend

  • Usman
    Jul 26, 2010 - 4:48PM

    Shahi Syed’s statement: “A Pathan never forgets to take revenge, even after 100 years.” is enough to clarify the situation.Recommend

  • Khadim Hussain Subhpoto
    Jul 27, 2010 - 2:44AM

    No one can deny that these two clashing parties have their own selfish ends. But it is distressing to see them fighting and sheding blood. I urge the leadership of the both parties to talk sense and show patience and tolerance. They must resolve their differences on the table. Violence is no solution every one is well aware of. Altaf Bhai has always shown his farsightedness in critical times before. He has advised his party members and workers not to get provoked and stay calm. I appreciate his gesture for the peace. I also request Mr.Shahi Syed to be patient and stop giving inflammatory and provoking statments. Such statements can further compound the problems. May sense prevail as soon as possible! We all love to see peace, brotherhood, unity and harmony in our country. Let this masscare and bloodshed be stopped and buried forever. It can only happen when all the political parties sit together and formulate a policy to promote peace, rising above their petty differences and work in the larger interest of their country and the people of Pakistan, who have number of problems yet to be resolved by the government and their respective representatives sitting in the parliament.Recommend

  • Syed Mehmood Qamar
    Aug 2, 2010 - 7:40PM

    It is seems that this is a battle of capturing land and we are focusing the only this topic but actually behind this un notifing matter is to involve some hidden power who wants to runrest karachi and control the karachi to involve them such type of issues Recommend

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