KARACHI: The Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) on Sunday slammed a statement from a Rangers spokesperson which said that the paramilitary force will target the party's sector and unit incharges for arrests. The party claimed that the statement was an admission by the force that the ongoing operation in Karachi was targeting the party, not criminals.
In a statement the MQM's central coordination body, the Rabita Committee, said that the paramilitary force was admitting that the political party's workers were being picked up, not because there was any information of their involvement in criminal activities or evidence against them, rather because they were members of MQM. And that the Rangers was admitting that it was targeting MQM workers through a well thought out plan.
The Rangers spokesperson, in a statement released early on Sunday had stated that they will be targeting MQM's organising committee since it empowered the party's militant wing, and was singling out sector and unit incharges for arrests.
Read: MQM’s organising committee empowers its militant wing, allege Rangers
"Is being a sector or unit incharge of the MQM against the law?"
It added that the Rangers' statement was in fact a formal announcement that it will arrest office bearers of the MQM.
"The state of Rangers' intelligence is such that the 'organising committee' that they refer to (in their statement), does not even exist, nor does any other department work under that name. Such a section was dissolved a while ago."
The Rabita committee argued that, while the Supreme Court had remarked that all political and religious parties of Karachi have militant wings, why are only office bearers of the MQM detained.
The MQM claimed that the Rangers' attempt at clarifying the unwarranted arrests of party workers served only to further mislead the public.
Read: Rangers grill MQM workers for forcefully taking Fitra
It added that while the operation, which was supposed to be against criminals, was a pretext for the paramilitary force to target the MQM. The party further claimed that an unannounced ban had been imposed on its political and charity-oriented activities.
"Operation against criminal elements is being used as an excuse to misuse state power to crush the MQM."
MQM workers denied basic rights
The MQM also challenged the Rangers' claim that detained party workers were granted all their rights, stating that the party's workers were treated as prisoners of war when presented in courts. The party condemned the treatment meted out to their detained workers.
Further it said that the Rangers' claim of presenting all detainees in court was false since as many as 50 workers of the MQM, arrested by the paramilitary force, have been missing for months.
The Rabita Committee demanded that the Sindh High Court chief justice take notice of the Rangers' statement.