Who recorded Saulat Mirza’s video statement, asks MQM

Published: March 20, 2015
MQM leader Farooq Sattar. PHOTO: AFP

MQM leader Farooq Sattar. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Following Saulat Mirza’s confessional video statement, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) lawmakers in the National Assembly on Friday demanded that the government launch a probe to determine who had recorded the statement and released it to the media.

Amid shouting and slogans from his colleagues, senior MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar raised several questions on Mirza’s video-confession, asking if the ongoing operation in Karachi was targetting a particular group in an effort “to roll back, and crush a progressive political party”.

“It would not be appropriate to push a party belonging to the middle class against the wall,” he said.

Citing Mirza’s unprecedented statement, Sattar said a judicial commission should investigate who recorded the video of a ‘condemned prisoner’ after the latter had exhausted all available legal courses. The BBC had reported on Thursday that a secret government agency had reportedly recorded the statement. Mirza had alleged many senior leaders of the MQM to be involved in murders and target killings.

“…there is need to get ‘confessional statements’ through a truth and reconciliation commission from those responsible for the 1986 massacre; military operation against the party in 1992 and the target killing of over 1,200 party workers,” said the MQM leader. “Who forced hundreds of MQM workers to go underground…also needs to be investigated.”

Sattar remarked that Mirza’s present statement was contrary to his confession, which he recorded before the trial court.

“It is just mockery a of law and there needs to be a probe who actually shot and handed it to the national media.”

The MQM leader also criticised television anchors for what he claimed was an unfair analysis of the situation and negative propaganda against the party.

He said the House needs to answer all these questions, otherwise it will be construed as a move orchestrated by the federal government.

Confessional statements for all condemned prisoners

Balking at the unprecedented nature of the ‘confessional video’ of Mirza, the MQM demanded that similar ‘confessional statements’ should be recorded for all condemned prisoners, particularly those involved in the General Headquarters (GHQ) attack in Rawalpindi.

Citing Articles 4, 10A and 25 of the Constitution, MQM MNAs asked why the right to record a video statement was not given to condemned prisoner Dr Usman, one of the six convicts in the GHQ attack case.

MQM demands

During the session on Friday, the MQM presented a set of demands, calling for the formation of a judicial commission, a truth and reconciliation commission and a body to monitor transparency of the ongoing operation led by the Rangers in Karachi.

Sattar reiterated his party’s stance that they were not against the security operation in the city but asked why a middle class party was being targetted.

“This operation should identify criminals and apprehend the miscreants instead of a targetting a political party,” he said, appealing to authorities concerned to review and revise the policy for the operation.

The MQM members of parliament also suggested that the Rangers share a list of wanted persons with the National Assembly speaker.

“We will also reveal where the May 12 plan was hatched, and who was responsible for the bloodshed,” said Sattar.

‘All MQM offices closed’

Sattar said that except party headquarters at Nine-Zero, all offices of the the party in Karachi were closed, and that the party was not being allowed to establish contact with the people.

He warned that if MQM’s offices are not allowed to operate, then no other party would able to run its offices in the city either.

“Mr Speaker, I’m not threatening but telling you facts,” Sattar quickly clarified.

The senior leader warned that terrorists, extremists and banned outfits would fill the vacuum if MQM is eliminated.

MQM criticised

Chief of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Mahmood Khan Achakzai criticised the National Assembly speaker for allowing the MQM to violate parliamentary rules and norms in the name of urgent political matter.

Addressing Sattar, he said, “…I would only refer your telephonic conversation with an American diplomat after May 12 carnage,” he said. “Read that conversation and decide the truth in your claims of being loyal to Pakistan.”

At the outset of Friday’s proceedings, Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq warned Sattar that a political speech would not be allowed on a point of order, which led other MQM members in the Assembly to chant slogans.

The sloganeering continued for 10 minutes after which the speaker agreed to suspend the agenda and give Sattar a chance to voice his objections.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • singh
    Mar 20, 2015 - 9:45PM

    Tough time for mqm now. Recommend

  • Napier Mole
    Mar 20, 2015 - 10:41PM

    There would not have been a more clumsy way to discredit mqm than this 11th hour brain wave by someone in Islamabad. No wonder the skepticism about rangers recent actions in Karachi has only increased after the release of this heavily edited audio.Recommend

  • PakHistorian
    Mar 20, 2015 - 11:00PM

    Karachi has changed in last 4 decades. Karachi is no more stronghold of one community. Population and demographic dynamic have changed. New parties, pressure groups and community strongholds have emerged. It’s hard for MQM to control Karachi on the basis of politics alone. If fair delimitations are done first, and free elections are ensured, MQM will be hardly limited to one community voters in Karachi.
    This reality haunts MQM and their sympathizers. To sustain their control, they resort to exercise illegal and immoral means: militancy, blackmailing tactics, media control, and ethnic politics.

    Reality of Karachi has changed, can we expect from MQM to read what is written on the wall and change their political style and leave militancy? Only time will tell. Recommend

    Mar 20, 2015 - 11:22PM

    The exit interviews are considered important when someone quits the job. Recording a ststement of a condemned felon if it sheds light on root causes of crimes and criminal conspiracies is an essentisl tool of intelligemce gathering. It should be used liberally. Who conducted this interview and at what time of day or night and whether recoding person was man or a woman with what inclination to which party is an immature and insignificant talk. Which interview is released or not depends which relates to matter of national interest. The tone of Sattar is threatening and he used such words and tried to cover later realuzing its wrongfulness. MQM appears to be disloyal to Pakistsn and ought ne banned and punished. Recommend

  • Raisani
    Mar 20, 2015 - 11:37PM

    Farooq Bhai, It’s time for u guys to give answers but on contrary u r asking who recorded the video. That’s not the question which nation is asking, but nation is asking answers from ur party for the questions raised in the video. So u guys better concentrate finding those answers instead of who recorded what. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Mar 21, 2015 - 12:17AM

    What is happening here should not be perceived as a mockery of justice……and it is up to the SC to ensure that it is not so.Recommend

  • ahmer
    Mar 21, 2015 - 12:56AM

    Wht about live statement of Hamid mir against ISI. Why is there no action there. Recommend

  • KK Kool
    Mar 21, 2015 - 5:09AM

    It’s very easy to understand why Farooq Sattar was vocal in Parliament. I hope everyone remembers his thrashing outside 90 at the behest of Bhai. He is afraid of same thrashing again if didn’t speak out loudly.Recommend

  • Aik_Paki
    Mar 21, 2015 - 7:33AM

    MQM is trying to divert the attention from the target killers of Karachi. The main point is that now it is open that some political parties have target killer gangs that must be abandoned and the helpers of these target killers must face the music.Recommend

  • yousafhaque
    Mar 21, 2015 - 8:40AM

    If they are clean and innocent of all the accusations then instead of beating about the bush this is a golden opportunity for MQM to become a National Level Party by proving Saulat Mirza wrongRecommend

  • TightPathloon
    Mar 21, 2015 - 9:55AM

    Nowhere in the world would the word of one criminal be used as “proof”. Where is the corroborative evidence? It is a deal struck between the government and Saulat Mirza to save him from the noose and in return, he will give statements against MQM.Recommend

  • sardarzaheer
    Mar 21, 2015 - 1:51PM

    As students of Pakistani politics we hear two version for Saulat one is focusing on its denial as its not in the law to record a statement of such person and the other group which voice is little less louder take it as a testimony of someone who had bad life and now would like to a beacon to save other lives from such political dirt. It should be properly investigated and how can someone kill someone without having any motive behind…the operation against terrorist should continue if they are part of political parties and yes i agree to it that it should not just be MQM but PPP, ANP and PMLN who have playing through their militant wings in Karachi and rest of Pakistan to hold power. its time to take actions against all and MQM should be patient as educated people in Pakistan are well aware what is happening and will not be quite for long and any operation remained targeted to one political party.

    Pakistan Zindabad

  • Haider
    Mar 22, 2015 - 1:43PM

    Who, when, why, recording, focus Mr Sattar, this all is now irrelevant, the next question you may ask would be which camera and what model used for recording. The statement of saulat and faisal mota and alike will take the entire management to the jail. What they are doing is 100% natural, what would you do if you dedicated your entire life and at the end those who you litrally worshipped, disown you, wow, that would come as a shocker. You would do the same.Recommend

  • Syed Daniyal Shah
    Mar 22, 2015 - 10:42PM

    First of all the jail authorities are investigating how that video was made considering that Saulat Mirza was asleep throughout the night. Even if we assume the video to be authentic then why did he ask for more time. It is quite apparent that he was told that his death penalty could be waived if he were to give this statement.

    Also we should keep in mind that there was a confession statement given by Hamid Mir against our intelligence agency but nobody bothers talking about that. Recommend

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