KARACHI: Adopting joint resolutions, political, religious and nationalist parties demanded the referral of the Baldia fire, Shikarpur imambargah and Army Public School attack cases to military courts. They also asked all political parties to dismantle their militant wings. The demand was made at an all parties conference (APC) organised by the Qaumi Awami Tehreek (QAT) and Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP) at the residence of JUP leader Owais Noorani on Saturday.
The leaders of around 20 political parties also demanded that the government publically disclose the findings of the joint investigation teams (JITs) formed to probe the May 12 incident, Nishtar Park bomb blast, Boulton Market incident, Karsaz attack, Abbas Town blast and Malir bus firing.
They said that militant outfits involved in terrorism were running charity organisations under different names in the province. The APC, meant to discuss the issues being faced by the country, turned into a criticism of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and its policies. Noorani demanded a ban on the party, calling it a terrorist organisation.
Dr Merajul Huda Siddiqui of Jamaat-e-Islami referred to the killings of 259 people in the Baldia factory fire in 2012. "The JIT report submitted to the Sindh High Court is based on reality but the matter will unfortunately come to an end after MQM's decision to join the Sindh government," he said. "During Musharraf's tenure, the Charter of Democracy had been signed in London rejecting alliances with the MQM but that agreement is not being honoured."
Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party leader Taj Haider remarked that the state was run by the establishment rather than political parties. "How can change take place if the democratic government is not allowed to function?"
"MQM has caused great losses for Karachi's Urdu-speaking residents," said Awami National Party leader Shahi Syed. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's Naz Baloch said the MQM had a fake mandate in Karachi. The APC was also attended by QAT's Ayaz Latif Palijo, former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Ghous Ali Shah, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional’s Nusrat Seher Abbasi, PML-N's Shafi Jamot, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid's Haleem Adil Shaikh and MQM-Haqiqi's Aftab Ahmed.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2015.
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