KARACHI: The members of the Sindh Assembly were in mourning for the four Muttahida Qaumi Movement workers found dead on Wednesday night. They decided to adopt a unanimous resolution to condemn the killings and adjourned the proceedings for the day.
The resolution was moved by MQM's parliamentary leader Sardar Ahmed. He claimed that the recovery of the bullet-riddled bodies of the four party workers who went missing on April 13 from a link road in Gadap was an act so barbaric that it was worse than anything Hulague could have done. Hulague was one of Genghis Khan's grandson who conquered much of Southwest Asia.
Ahmed's resolution read that this was not the first extrajudicial killing, rather something evildoers repeatedly did. "MQM workers, activists and sympathisers have been picked up, killed and then dumped in secluded areas. We strongly condemn and protest against such an act and demand not only should immediate action be taken by arresting culprits but, we also demand that such action against MQM workers should be stopped."
Message from the CM
After the resolution was adopted, parliamentary minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro read out a message from the chief minister, which stated that a committee should be formed to pursue the case. The committee will comprise lawmakers from the provincial assembly and deal with the grievances expressed by the MQM.
The minister added that this was the first time a House committee was being formed to resolve the matter. It was decided that Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Sardar Ahmed, Sikandar Mandhro and Pakistan Peoples Party's Sardar Shah will be a part of the committee.
Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon asked MQM leaders to lodge an FIR in the case. "Please register the case," he said. "The government will help in exposing and arresting the culprits." He added that he would also facilitate the party leaders by arranging a meeting with the Rangers DG and IG Police on the issue.
The minister claimed that after getting hold of a list of MQM missing persons, the chief minister had held a series of meetings with the Rangers DG, the police and other civil agencies working under the command of the provincial government. "The law enforcers and civil agencies have denied picking up the MQM workers," he said. "The MQM should present evidence that will help the government figure out who are these men in plain clothes picking up party members in cars with no number plates."
The MQM protest
The session started with Agha Siraj Durrani in chair and MQM workers wearing black arms bands expressing their concern over the extrajudicial murders of party workers. "These workers have been missing since April 13," said MQM's Faisal Subzwari. "We have protested inside the assembly and handed the government a list of names. Everyday our people are being arrested and kidnapped, but no one takes any notice of it." He added that they wanted to know who was abducting their men in double cabin vehicles and if such incidents continued, it would not reflect well on the government.
MQM's Shazia Javeed said that her son was also arrested by the Rangers on Thursday night along with 10 other workers of the party. She added that she spent the entire night outside the Rangers headquarters. "After my protest, the law enforcers released my son but the 10 others are still in their custody," she said.
PPP's newly elected MPA Sohail Anwar Sial who has won the by-polls from Larkana took oath in the assembly. The speaker of the assembly adjourned the session till Monday on the request of MQM's parliamentary leader Sardar Ahmed to mourn the death of their workers.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2014.