KARACHI: If the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is innocent of the allegations levelled in a BBC report, then the party should sue the BBC, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Thursday.
Quoting an ‘authoritative’ Pakistani source, the BBC claimed in a report on Wednesday that senior MQM officials have admitted before British authorities during formal recorded interviews that the party has been receiving funds and logistical support from the Indian government.
The PTI chief’s suggestion to the MQM came during a news conference at party leader Imran Ismail’s house. Earlier, Imran visited heatstroke patients at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre as part of his daylong visit to Karachi. He also met with the relatives of the deceased.
“You have already sued me and Imran Ismail. Will you go to court against the BBC?” Imran asked the MQM. He also called for an inquiry into the matter to ascertain if the law and order situation in the port city was disturbed on the orders from RAW.
“If it were proven that an Indian political party had ties to the ISI, then the party would be out of the Indian political arena for good.”
Referring to his 2003 visit to India, the PTI chief said he was informed by Indian journalists off the record that MQM chief Altaf Hussain was taken on call during a conference on RAW’s orders. “In the conference that was held in New Delhi, Altaf had admitted that the division of the Indian subcontinent was a blunder.”
Raising questions against the Sindh government’s performance, the PTI chief said if the weather conditions in Karachi were getting worse, then why the condition of hospitals was not improved.
According to official estimates, over 1,000 people have died across the province in the past six days because of the intense heatwave. The PTI chief urged the provincial administration to compensate the heirs of the victims.
During his earlier visit to the JPMC, Imran was accompanied by PTI Karachi President Ali Zaidi, Dr Arif Alvi, Khurram Sher Zaman, Imran Ismail and other party leaders. They spent around an hour at the hospital to inquire after the health of the patients.
Imran also visited the residence of Ismaili community leader Sultan Ali Allana to condole with him over the May 13 Safoora bus attack.
‘Friends in corruption’
The PTI chief reiterated that the ruling PML-N and the PPP were ‘friends in corruption’. “Look at their performance! This is not the first time they’re running a government. They have been ruling over the provinces for years.” He said leaders of both the parties must be held accountable for ‘corruption’. He suggested that to solve Karachi’s problems, the city needs to have a proper local government system.
Asif’s remark slammed
Referring to Federal Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif, the PTI chief asked how a federal minister could say that Karachi was not his responsibility. “Karachi is a part of Pakistan and it is under the responsibility of the federal government.” He demanded Asif resign ‘if you have any grace’.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2015.
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