–Paramilitary force says MQM-L plans to target ex-party workers, opponents
–Arrested suspects confess to involvement in terror activities in the city
KARACHI: A joint raid conducted by the Pakistan Rangers Sindh and police on Wednesday led to the arrests of two persons who allegedly belong to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London’s (MQM-L) network in South Africa.
Muhammad Bilal Lodhi and Muhammad Irshad, the two operatives of MQM-L’s South Africa network were arrested from Orangi Town with the help of police.
A Rangers spokesperson said, “The suspects identified as Bilal and Arshad had planned on targeting candidates of opposing parties ahead of the July 25 polls.”
“Teams of target killers were formed in June by MQM-London’s South Africa network to sabotage peaceful elections by targeting political leaders,” the spokesperson also said.
“During initial investigations, the suspects confessed to receiving financial assistance from MQM-London,” the spokesperson explained.
The Rangers spokesperson claimed that the arrested MQM-L workers were tasked to sabotage the election process by targeting candidates and local politicians and disrupting the law and order situation in Karachi.
The arrested suspects confessed to their involvement in planning terrorist activities in the city ahead of the elections. They also admitted to planning attacks on PS-128 candidates Mohsin Javed (PML-N) and Arif Hussain Qureshi (PPP), as well as Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) office bearers Moin and Azhar, the press statement added.
Weapons were also recovered from the suspects. They have now been handed over to the police for legal proceedings, the Rangers said.
While the MQM-Pakistan (MQM-P) is registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and is contesting under the party’s traditional symbol ‘kite’, the parent political group MQM-L had announced a boycott of the general elections.
The MQM-P leaders had dissociated itself from the MQM-founder who ran into trouble during August 2016 after a controversial speech. The party had broken into several political fronts, including MQM-P, MQM-L, and PSP.