ISLAMABAD: As fears loom that London Metropolitan Police might take action against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) top leadership in the United Kingdom, the government prepares itself to handle the law and order situation in Karachi, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Interior Ministry and National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) top officials have revealed that the government has put paramilitary forces on alert in nine cities of Sindh province.
“Special Police and Rangers’ contingents will be called in Karachi—even army might be called if the situation worsens,” said a senior Ministry of Interior official.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also talked to inspector general police and Rangers after the NACTA and National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) informed him that Karachi and some other cities of Sindh might witness worst law and order situation in the coming weeks, he added.
Teams of both the NACTA and the NCMC had submitted interior ministry a report which suggested that there could be severe repercussions of London Police investigations against MQM chief Altaf Hussain on charges of money laundering and provocation of violence.
The officials said the British government regularly updated Pakistan on developments in Imran Farooq’s murder case as well as the probe against Altaf Hussain in several cases.
Last week in an official message, the British authorities informed Islamabad that London Police had found significant evidences against MQM workers in Imran Farooq’s case as well as against some MQM leaders in money laundering cases. “If a money laundering case is established against any MQM worker, then it would be treated as a financial case,” said an official quoting the official letter sent to Pakistan.
Last week, the NCMC also presented interior minister a handout that said if MQM failed to join government in the centre as well as in Sindh, it might divide into various sub-groups, a senior official told The Express Tribune.
Responding to a query as to whether the government had prepared itself to cope with the situation following London Police action against MQM top leadership, Interior Ministry spokesperson Omar Hameed Khan said: “Yes, all possible security situations will be controlled.”
MQM Senator Col (retd) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, however, said all rumours and speculations about MQM were baseless. He said London Police findings would not affect MQM and Karachi as they were questioning more than 1,300 persons in MQM leader Imran Farooq’s murder case. “All allegations, reports, findings are false and have no grounds against the party and its top leadership,” he maintained.
He said more than 109 MQM workers had lost their lives during recent months as the government failed to control terrorism. “Karachi may witness its worst law and order situation in the coming days,” Mashhadi predicted.
When contacted, officials of the Sindh Home Department said this kind of information or contingency plan is shared by the federal government, but they have not yet been informed about any such plan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2013.
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