Activists of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday held a protest demonstration at Aabpara Chowk against the killing of their party leader in Karachi. They urged the British government to take action against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain for his “provocative statements”, which they claimed resulted in the murder of Zahra Shahid Hussain, the PTI’s vice-president for Sindh.
A few dozen people took part in the protest, burning tyres on the road interrupting vehicular traffic for an hour. The PTI’s local leaders made brief speeches demanding immediate arrest of the perpetrators.
The party workers and supporters were holding banners inscribed with slogans against the MQM and its chief.
PTI spokesperson Shireen Mazari expressed her dismay over the “British government’s intransigence for not taking action against the MQM chief, who is a British national”. She had earlier claimed that MQM chief Altaf Hussain had incited violence through his ‘provocative speeches”.
Former PTI vice-president Naeem Khan said Karachi is the port city and the economic hub of Pakistan. “Its citizens just want to live in peace and tranquility. The perpetrators of Zahra Hussain’s murder should be brought to justice and no more laxity will be acceptable,” Khan said.
When asked about her party chief’s earlier move of taking Altaf Hussain to court in England, Mazari said they had handed over the documents to London’s Metropolitan Police Service, but their witnesses were threatened and refrained from testifying. “This time we will strongly protest against this barbarity and not rest until the issue is addressed,” she said. Later, the participants scattered peacefully and traffic flow — which was being diverted from all sides — resumed.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2013.