MQM takes back strike call after Rangers' assurance of probe
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Monday withdrew its call for a shutter down strike to be observed across Sindh on Monday over what the party referred to as the 'extra-judicial killing' of a young party worker, Muhammad Hashim.
The strike call was withdrawn after assurances by the Sindh Rangers to probe the murder of the activist, according to a statement.
The Coordination Committee reviewed the party's decision calling for a strike during an emergency meeting held after the DirectorGeneral Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar had said Hashim's killing would be investigated.
"The murder of Hashim will be investigated and his murderers will be apprehended wherever they [are] hiding. His murder is a conspiracy against the peace of the city," said the DG Rangers, according to a Rangers spokesman. The Rangers spokesman said, "There will be no strike tomorrow." He added that while the murder was "regrettable", "resorting to [a] strike was equal to affecting the city life."
"No one will be allowed to paralyse city life," vowed the paramilitary force, urging citizens to contact the Rangers' helpline if they witnessed shops and businesses being forcibly shut.
The Rangers' statement followed a press conference by MQM leader Abdul Haseeb who said that Hashim - a member of the MQM media cell and Unit 164 Liaquatabad - had been arrested and taken to an unknown location while he on his way home from Nine Zero on May 6.
Haseeb had said Hashim's family had filed a petition in the Sindh High Court (SHC) for his recovery, upon which a First Information Report was registered on July 28 on the orders of the court.
Hashim's body was found in Jamshoro late Sunday night, three months after his disappearance. Haseeb said his body had already been buried by Edhi.
The MQM leader also claimed that since Dec 31, 2014, 20 workers of the party had disappeared, while 35 have been killed extra-judicially. MQM Coordination Committee member Wasay Jalil announced a peaceful strike in Karachi, and urged businessmen and transport company owners to "show solidarity" with the party's call for a strike.