MQM's letters to In­dian HC sought help over miss­ing work­ers

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Letters pur­port­edly writ­ten by the Mut­tahida Qaumi Move­ment (MQM) to the In­dian High Com­mis­sion emerged on Thurs­day, in which the party asked the mis­sion to raise its voice to safe­guard hu­man rights "par­tic­u­larly in Karachi".

One let­ter - ap­par­ently penned by Nas­reen Jalil of the party's cen­tral co-or­di­na­tion com­mit­tee - the party stresses the "law­less­ness of law en­force­ment agen­cies" and re­quests the high com­mis­sion to use its good of­fices "to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion of ur­ban Sindh".

The let­ter un­der­signed by the MQM sen­a­tor is ad­dressed to In­dian High Com­mis­sioner in Pak­istan Dr. T.C.A Ragha­van. It reads, "The tar­geted op­er­a­tion in Karachi was ini­ti­ated to bring law and or­der in the city but since then, 40 MQM work­ers have been killed in cus­tody, 90 party work­ers are miss­ing while hun­dreds are killed in tar­get killings. It also added that that no com­pen­sa­tion has been paid to the fam­i­lies of vic­tims be­long­ing to MQM who were killed "ex­tra-ju­di­cially" or to those who are miss­ing.

The doc­u­ment dated June 18, 2015 tells the HC that the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment did not form a mon­i­tor­ing com­mit­tee to over­see the op­er­a­tion and to check whether the ac­tiv­i­ties of law en­force­ment agen­cies are ju­di­cious.

The let­ter also laments the unchecked 'high hand­ed­ness' of law en­force­ment agen­cies dur­ing the op­er­a­tion along with other is­sues in ur­ban Sindh which, ac­cord­ing to the let­ter, is giv­ing rise to a feel­ing of alien­ation among the peo­ple of Karachi.

Another let­ter dated July 30 on a let­ter­head of the party's in­ter­na­tional sec­re­tar­iat bears the sub­ject 'Unatho­rised ar­rest of MQM in­no­cent work­ers'. It reads: "We have the hon­our to bring to your kind no­tice that inn work­ers and sym­pa­this­ers of MQM have been ar­rested while they were go­ing from Karachi to Hy­der­abad to at­tend a mar­riage cer­e­mony on 29th July 2015" "We re­quest your hon­our to kindly look into this mat­ter and raise your voice for the safe­guard and pro­tec­tion of hu­man val­ues/rights par­tic­u­larly in Karachi."

The let­ter is ad­dressed to In­dian HC Ragha­van and un­der­signed by Arif Khan Ad­vo­cate, ex MNA and mem­ber of cen­tral co-or­di­na­tion com­mit­tee-MQM; Ad­bul Qadir Khan­zada ex-MNA and mem­ber of cen­tral co-or­di­na­tion com­mit­tee-MQM and Shab­bir Qaim Khani ex-MPA and Sindh and Mem­ber of cen­tral co-or­di­na­tion com­mit­teeMQM.

MQM law­maker Fa­rooq Sat­tar in a press con­fer­ence said that "no let­ter has been writ­ten to the In­dian High Com­mis­sioner re­gard­ing the ar­rest of party ac­tivists". "If any our lead­ers' letters writ­ten to diplo­mats in­cluded the email ad­dress of In­dian High Com­mis­sioner then it can be a tech­ni­cal er­ror but it wan not an in­ten­tional ef­fort," he clar­i­fied, not stat­ing the ex­act con­tents of the let­ter or whom it was sent by. He re­quested that the media re­frain from dis­cussing the letters in their talkshows.

MQM leader Waseem Akhtar, how­ever, said "it is nor­mal prac­tise" to rou­tinely send letters to all con­sulate gen­er­als, the prime min­is­ter of Pak­istan and chief jus­tice of Pak­istan when­ever party ac­tivists are ar­rested.

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