Rejecting SSP Rao Anawar’s allegations, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders on Thursday said that contrary to claims made, Tahir and Junaid had been picked up weeks ago.
Addressing a press conference at Khursheed Memorial Hall at party headquarters Nine-Zero on Thursday evening, MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said that Tahir had been arrested on February 25, while the Junaid had been arrested on March 24, not on April 29.
To substantiate his claim, Rizvi showed copies of a petition which had been filed by Tahir’s relatives in the Sindh High Court on February 27 pleading against his illegal attention.
Terming the allegations made by SSP Anwar a campaign to defame the MQM, Rizvi asked who would ultimately benefit from this smear campaign.
Rizvi said the political scenario in the city had changed drastically after the MQM took charge as the opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly and the party had launched a campaign for new provinces along administrative lines in the country.
“The (SSP Rao Anwar’s) press conference reminded me of the ‘90s,” Rizvi said, adding that allegations made then were being repeated. “There was nothing but lies in it (Anwar’s press conference).”
Further criticizing Anwar’s press statement, the MQM leader said he had blatantly violated the law since neither the Police Rules, nor the Political Party Order allowed an SP-level officer to make such claims.
Rizvi suggested that Anwar’s presser was related to a meeting between former President Asif Ali Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and an unknown ‘third person’ held at the CM House in Karachi on Wednesday evening.
“Many things will be cleared if journalists can determine who the third person was,” Rizvi said.
“We thought a new narrative would emerge, but all that came of it were accusations.”
The MQM leader strongly rejected accusations levelled by Anwar regarding his party’s alleged affiliations with Indian spy agency Raw.
“We are proud of being Pakistanis,” Rizvi said as he rejected the accusation.
He said he did not want a certificate of patriotism from any one, adding that it was for the first time that a ‘corrupt’, SSP-level police officer was labelling citizens as traitors or patriotic.
Earlier in the day, SSP Malir Rao Anwar alleged that the MQM maintains connections with India’s spy agency RAW.
Presenting two men allegedly with ties to the MQM, SSP Anwar claimed that the MQM was actively working against Pakistan.
“Key MQM leaders have connections with RAW,” he said, adding that the arrested MQM workers had received training from India’s spy agency RAW.
Suspension not enough for SSP Rao Anwar
Lashing out at the accusations made by SSP Rao during his press briefing, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain said that the suspension of the officer was not enough and that he must be prosecuted.
Addressing his supporters via a telephonic address at Nine-Zero early on Friday morning, Altaf refuted Rao’s allegations and refused to directly respond to them. But he alleged that the SSP was a land grabber and a thief. He added that the party was investigating those behind Rao’s press briefing.
Lamenting how Muhajirs had been treated as second class citizens, Altaf said that every one enjoyed the fruit of sacrifices rendered by their ancestors to create Pakistan. Despite these sacrifices, the MQM chief said, Muhajirs were still being abused, mocked, called traitors and labelled as Raw agents.
Pointing to the 1992 operation, Altaf said that they were called traitors and labelled as agents of Raw then as well. The operation, he said, had caused MQM’s members and followers to be forced into exile. Despite this, Altaf said they were still raising slogans of “Pakistan Zindabad.”
He warned that if the campaign against MQM did not stop, it would plunge the country into chaos.