PPP & PAC: MQM to protest if banned group reconciled

Party leaders say they will take up the issue with ruling party if reports confirmed.

Our Correspondent August 05, 2012

KARACHI: The Pakistan Peoples Party’s coalition partner, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, has said it will protest with the PPP if it emerges that the ruling party is bringing back the Peoples Amn Committee into its fold. The committee was banned in October 2011.

The Express Tribune reported on Sunday that MNA Faryal Talpur, President Asif Ali Zardari’s sister, had spoken with the representatives of the banned committee and the Kutchi Rabta Committee in a possible move to win back their support before the elections.

Though the committee has been banned for several months, it continues to enjoy support from some of the PPP leaders. Its supporters in Lyari are largely PPP supporters, but a police operation in April had fuelled anger against the ruling party. The MQM’s Wasay Jalil told The Express Tribune that if the reports were true, the party would “wholeheartedly protest” with the PPP.

MNA Haider Abbas Rizvi echoed Jalil’s concern, saying his party would bring up the issue with the PPP. “This news would be quite a surprise to us. If this were just a matter of a political conflict between two groups of the PPP, then why have so many people, particularly MQM workers, been killed,” he asked.

He added that the courts had issued several summons to PAC leaders and declared them absconders while the government had announced head money for their arrest.

MQM Coordination Committee member Raza Haroon said he would comment once the party had been ‘officially’ notified of the development, since they had only seen newspaper reports.

The MQM has for long criticised links between the PPP and the PAC, and has alleged that the group is responsible for soaring crime in the city, particularly extortion.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2012.