Not sitting it out: MQM chief demands public referendum on Rangers operation

Altaf responds to federal minister

Our Correspondent July 08, 2015
Chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain. PHOTO: APP

KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which had demanded an operation against terrorists in Karachi in 2013, is now calling for a public referendum on the targeted ongoing operation being conducted by the Rangers.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, party chief Altaf Hussain said that a public referendum should be held to find out whether or not the people living in the city are in favour of the Rangers operation.

Hussain was referring to a statement made by the federal minister for state and frontier regions, Abdul Qadir Baloch, who said that majority of the people in Karachi are in favour of the Rangers operation and it is being conducted according to their desires. “This statement is a lie, baseless and far away from the reality,” the MQM chief responded.

If Baloch is of the view that the people in Karachi are happy with the operation, then he should form a five-member committee of Supreme Court and high court judges to monitor the Rangers operation and conduct a public referendum, Hussain suggested

In 2013, the MQM chief had demanded that Karachi be handed over to the armed forces and called for a military operation against terrorists in order to improve the law and order situation in the city. The party had then accepted the federal government’s decision to conduct an operation by the law enforcement agencies and spearheaded by the Rangers.

But for the past few months, the MQM has been irked by the operation with the Rangers arresting its workers, raiding party offices including headquarters of Nine Zero.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2015.