The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) said on Thursday that “criminals backed by political forces ruling in Sindh” are behind the latest spate of target killings of its leaders and workers in Karachi.
At a news conference here, MQM parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Dr Farooq Sattar made some half-implicit references suggesting that gangs allegedly controlled by a top leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) were attacking the group. The MQM has sought action against them.
“According to information available to us, one of the notorious groups of the Lyari gang war is involved in the abduction and killing of MQM workers and it enjoys complete backing of some important functionaries in the government of Sindh,” said Sattar.
Though Sattar stopped short of naming any person, reports circulating among journalists alluded to a few incidents in which workers from the Awami National Party had allegedly targeted some MQM leaders.
The documents were based on the reports of fact-finding committees the party had formed to probe recent killings of workers in different parts of Karachi. Over the last 48 hours, five MQM workers have been killed in the city, according to Sattar. The MQM leader called upon the country’s leadership — the president and the prime minister — to take stern action against the killers.
He, however, appealed to party workers not to lose their patience and stay composed. “The killings are neither ethnic nor sectarian, but purely selective and one-sided – of MQM workers,” he said.
Sattar said the party had lost five workers after submitting a bill in the National Assembly seeking land reforms. The MQM bill proposed that each family should be allowed to own a maximum of 30 acres of irrigated or 54 acres of arid land.
Sattar said more than 200 workers of the MQM had fallen victim to incidents of target killings and terrorism since January 2009, including member of provincial assembly Syed Raza Haider. Sadly, not a single murderer has been arrested, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2010.