MQM law­mak­ers re­sign from Par­lia­ment, SA

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Mut­tahida Qaumi Move­ment (MQM) law­mak­ers si­mul­ta­ne­ously sub­mit­ted their res­ig­na­tions in the Na­tional Assem­bly, Se­nate and the Sindh Assem­bly on Wed­nes­day, cit­ing reser­va­tions over the Rangers-led op­er­a­tion in Karachi.

Speak­ing on the floor of the House, MQM Par­lia­men­tary leader Fa­rooq Sat­tar said his party's de­ci­sion to re­sign from all leg­isla­tive bod­ies was taken af­ter long de­lib­er­a­tions.

He said the MQM chief was be­ing sin­gled out as in the past, Pak­istan Tehreek-e-In­saf (PTI) chair­man Im­ran Khan, PPP co-chair­man Asif Ali Zar­dari, JI leader Mu­nawar Has­san and De­fence Min­is­ter Khawaja Asif have all crit­i­cised the mil­i­tary and have ex­pressed in­sult­ing re­marks against them. The MQM leader claimed that the army chief and Karachi corps com­man­der re­fused to meet him af­ter he ap­proached them to con­vey MQM's con­cerns.

Ac­cus­ing the state in­sti­tu­tions of not un­der­stand­ing the true spirit of the Karachi op­er­a­tion, Fa­rooq said, "If you can­not feel the heat of the fire en­gulf­ing our homes, just re­mem­ber this fire could also en­gulf your home." Terming a list of wanted MQM work­ers pro­duced by Rangers fake, Sat­tar said the Karachi op­er­a­tion is be­ing politi­cised as real crim­i­nals are be­ing given a safe exit.

Ayaz Sadiq ver­i­fied the res­ig­na­tions, but the de­ci­sion to ac­cept the res­ig­na­tions will take place af­ter the ar­rival of PM Nawaz Sharif, said sources in the PML-N. The PML-N lead­er­ship is also in con­tact with PPP lead­er­ship, they added. MQM Sen­a­tors then sub­mit­ted their res­ig­na­tions to Chair­man Se­nate.

Sen­a­tor Raza Rab­bani ini­tially re­fused to ac­cept the res­ig­na­tions and asked the MQM law­mak­ers to sub­mit the res­ig­na­tions in Se­nate Sec­re­tar­iat - which they later did. Mean­while, the party's MPAs also sub­mit­ted their res­ig­na­tions to Sindh Assem­bly Speaker Agha Si­raj Dur­rani.

The party which have the strength of 51 in the pro­vin­cial assem­bly, sub­mit­ted res­ig­na­tions. How­ever, out of the 51 MPAs, only 38 law­mak­ers were present.

Fa­rooq Sat­tar, while ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence out­side NA, said "it has been proved that the im­ple­men­ta­tion of law is dif­fer­ent for MQM than that for other par­ties".

"Even if the state­ments and speeches of Altaf Hus­sain are al­legedly against the Con­sti­tu­tion, it does not give any state in­sti­tu­tion the lever­age to carry out illegal and un­law­ful acts against MQM and its lead­er­ships," he as­serted.

While ad­dress­ing the Na­tional Assem­bly ear­lier to­day, MQM leader Fa­rooq Sat­tar said that many party work­ers over the past six months had been ar­rested by Rangers and other law en­force­ment agen­cies but had not been sent on ju­di­cial re­mand, a prac­tice, he said, was against Ar­ti­cle 10. The MQM leader said that there were hun­dreds of fake cases reg­is­tered against the party chief and work­ers. "Take a 90-day re­mand as per the law if re­quired. We have never protested against or ob­jected to it," he said. He de­manded an "un­bi­ased op­er­a­tion" in Karachi, say­ing that the gov­ern­ment had failed to set up a mon­i­tor­ing com­mit­tee to check the Rangers. "We have failed to get jus­tice," he said.

Fa­rooq Sat­tar said the gov­ern­ment was in­volved in a media trial of the MQM and is try­ing to "cre­ate space for some­one" in the up­com­ing Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment elec­tions. "A media trial against MQM is be­ing fa­cil­i­tated by re­leas­ing sto­ries and con­fes­sional state­ments to media. Who is giv­ing all this sto­ries to media? Un­der what law and on whose or­ders?" ques­tioned the MQM law­maker.

"If some­one uses state ag­gres­sion and tries to build a new po­lit­i­cal em­pire by sup­press­ing the ac­tual man­date of the public, it will cre­ate a vi­o­lent back­lash," Sat­tar said. He al­leged that the gov­ern­ment pro­vides a safe exit to ter­ror­ists while the Rangers treat MQM work­ers like pris­on­ers of war. He asked the speaker how the PPP, PML-N or Pak­istan Tehreek-i-In­saf would re­act if the same hap­pened to their party mem­bers. "We are the fourth largest party and we are be­ing pre­vented from play­ing our role, we have been pushed against the wall," he said. Sat­tar that a ju­di­cial com­mis­sion should be formed to in­ves­ti­gate cases of miss­ing citi- zens. "When we ask for jus­tice, why is there a hin­drance in pro­vid­ing us jus­tice if this is a democ­racy with a rep­re­sen­ta­tive gov­ern­ment?"

"Karachi only re­ceives 66 per cent rev­enue," Sat­tar said. "We de­mand jus­tice, and for the es­tab­lish­ment of a ju­di­cial com­mis­sion," he said. "We have raised our con­cerns be­fore the Sindh chief min­is­ter, the Sindh home min­is­ter, the prime min­is­ter and Fed­eral In­te­rior Min­is­ter Chaudhry Nisar, but were never given a clear re­sponse," the MQM leader told the NA. "We were told that all of this is a re­sult of Altaf Hus­sain's speeches from Lon­don," he added, say­ing that the gov­ern­ment's ban on Altaf's speeches was in vi­o­la­tion of Ar­ti­cle 19 of the con­sti­tu­tion. He said that Khawaja Asif, Mu­nawar Has­san, Mah­mood Khan Achakzai and Maulana Ab­dul Aziz had also spo­ken about the armed forces in public. Mean­while, Altaf Hus­sain in an in­ter­view with Geo tele­vi­sion's Hamid Mir, said that he will not is­sue any state­ment which would hurt the in­tegrity of the coun­try's in­sti­tu­tions.

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