The MQM and PPP appeared to be descending into yet another war of words on Monday after the MQM reacted angrily to a speech made by Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza at a businessmen’s function.
Mirza insinuated that Karachi’s businessmen were equally to blame for the city’s law and order problem because they contributed large sums of Zakat and extortion money to militant organisations involved in terror activities. Mirza told his stunned audience that by donating large sums of money to religious organisations without properly identifying their antecedents, they were a party to the growing terrorism in the country. “You give money to have your sins absolved. In the process, people die at the hands of terrorists,” said Mirza.
In swift reaction, the MQM’s Rabita Committee held an emergency joint session in Karachi and London to discuss the “provocative speech”.
The meeting decided that an MQM delegation will meet President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani after Ashura, provide them with the DVD of the speech and convey to them the party’s concerns.
The meeting noted that at a time when members of the MQM Rabita Committee, elected representatives and office-bearers were busy promoting harmony among Muslims and trying to maintain peace during Muharram, “Mirza’s confrontational speech – made without rhyme or reason – proved alarming and infuriating.”
The meeting demanded that President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani take a serious note of the “unwarranted speech” and ask the minister to explain his position. The Rabita Committee has asked the elected representatives and office-bearers of the party not to be provoked by the home minister’s statements and continue working for the maintenance of peace during Muharram.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th, 2010.
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