ISLAMABAD: In a strongly-worded attack on the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Monday requested members of the MQM to disassociate themselves from their party leader, while repeatedly referring to him as a ‘psychopath’ and a ‘coward’.
Addressing the media, Imran accused Altaf Hussain for being behind the murders of former PTI Sindh women’s wing president of Zahra Shahid and journalist Wali Babar Khan.
The PTI chief said that after the findings of a joint investigation team (JIT) had called on the government to bring the MQM chief back to the country and try him for the death of the Baldia Town factory workers, alleging that they fell victim to the party’s ‘extortionist agenda’.
“The whole nation should unite against Altaf Hussain’s terrorism in Karachi,” the PTI chief said.
He said taking action on the results of the report from the JIT is Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s responsibility.
“The prime minister can do anything about it, But when they are in rule, and business in the country flourishes, but they forget that their actual responsibility is towards the people of the country.”
Imran further added that they will press the British government to initiate legal proceedings against Altaf.
“The two witnesses, who are in custody of the Pakistan government, in regard to the murder of Imran Farooq, should be sent to England to give evidence against the MQM chief,” he said.
Imran said he would not attend any APC now.
“Mian sahib, we have given you all the backing we can despite the rigging that took place in the elections. Now is the time for action. It is time for you to take action against terrorism — without discrimination.”
He further added that PTI will not be part of any forum that the MQM is part of. However, Imran also clarified that not all members of the MQM are killers. “We are talking specifically about the armed wing of the party,” he said.
Imran argued that there was a national consensus against terrorism in the country, and urged PM Nawaz to take action against terrorists regardless, including the militant wing of the MQM.
Earlier, PTI had given a 48-hour ultimatum to Altaf to apologise to its female activists, else the former will file a defamation suit against him in London.
“Altaf Hussain sb, we are giving you 48 hours to take back your words and seek an apology from our women workers — especially Shireen Mazari. Otherwise we will file a defamation suit against you,” said the party’s Karachi President Ali Zaidi at a press conference on Monday.
The newly-appointed Karachi president of the PTI said that if terrorism and criminal cases are proven against the MQM, then it should be banned in the country.
“If charges of terrorism and violence are proven against the MQM, then what different remains between the TTP and the MQM?”
Reacting to PTI’s allegations and criticism, MQM leader Farooq Sattar said Imran wants to destabilise the country, weaken democracy and defend terrorism by making such statements.
“Imran Khan crossed all lines of civility by character assassination of Altaf Hussain.”
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Sattar said that such statements create a political vacuum, and the ones benefiting are the terrorists and the Taliban whom Imran Khan is protecting.