KARACHI/ISLAMABAD - The Rabita Committee of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) strongly condemned the allegations leveled against the party by Dr Zulfiqar Mirza in his press conference on Sunday, while Interior Minister Rehman Malik – whom Mirza also repeatedly lambasted in his address – kept his cool and said he did not mind Mirza’s statements.
The Rabita Committee said in a press release issued after a meeting held simultaneously in Karachi and London that it was because of his patronage to killers, terrorists, extortionists and kidnappers that Mirza had kept silent when the Rangers carried out operation in other parts of Karachi, but when they moved against criminal elements in Lyari, Mirza started criticizing Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who was overseeing the operation, thereby amply demonstrating that he was directly involved in the bloodbath in Karachi. The MQM said that from the very first day, Mirza had been trying to drive a wedge between the permanent residents of Sindh. Following this malicious agenda, Mirza stoked the fire of hatred in Sindh several times, and “today he has once again made a vicious conspiracy to kindle the fire of hatred, violence and turmoil in Sindh”, said the MQM.
The MQM said making baseless allegations against the party were not new and it had happened in the past. It said the allegations had always proven to be baseless, and in the end, “those who level allegations against the MQM accepted that it was all a drama”, the statement said.
The MQM stated that Mirza should have told the nation why the incidents of kidnapping for ransom of the children of businessmen, industrialists, traders and shopkeepers, and extortion had started in Karachi soon after he become the home minister.
Mirza should have told the nation who soaked the shopkeepers of Kabari Market in Sher Shah in blood a few months ago, said the statement. The statement asked Mirza to tell the people against whom the shopkeepers had registered the case, in whose office they were handed over to the police and who had threatened the shopkeepers with murder if they identified the killers.
The MQM said it was Mirza who was aiding and abetting killers, terrorists, kidnappers, bandits and other criminals. “The MQM maintains that the operation against killers, terrorists, kidnappers and hardened criminals involved in heinous crimes must continue,” said the statement.
The Rabita Committee demanded President Asif Zardari and the top leadership of the Pakistan People’s Party take serious notice of the “absurd allegations” of Mirza and explain their position.
The committee appealed to the people to not get provoked by Mirza’s statements and restrain their emotions.
REHMAN MALIK: Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Sunday that Mirza was like his younger brother and he did not mind his statements, a private TV channel reported. In his reaction to Mirza’s tirade against him and the MQM, Malik said Mirza had made the statements against him in a state of anger and “I don’t mind these kinds of statements”.
He said the crackdown in Karachi was being carried out only against criminals who were the enemies of innocent people, and not a single innocent soul would be harmed.
Malik admitted that some people in the PPP were upset because of the operation in Pak Colony and Lyari. He said he was fighting a war against terrorists and had never talked to any assassins. He denied all the accusations that Mirza had made against him.
Malik said only the president and prime minister could judge his performance, and Mirza was an emotional person.