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