Karachi: Pakistan’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), in a powerful showdown on Thursday, demanded that authorities return its 45 missing activists and take judicial action against plain clothed officials who allegedly killed 25 workers of the party in extra judicial executions.
Thousands of MQM activists and supporters, male and female, thronged outside Karachi Press Club in the city centre to voice their demands for the missing activists, who were picked up by the unidentified security officials without official acknowledgement.
“Our workers are illegally kidnapped in violation of several constitutional clauses and we strongly demand their immediate recovery,” Dr Farooq Sattar, senior leader of MQM said.
He accused plain-clothes officers of raiding the homes of MQM members and taking them away in unregistered unidentified vehicles.
Sattar demanded an end to the alleged unlawful practice, threatening that the party would otherwise directly “take care” of those officials.
“We know very well how high-handed those people are … they are cowards of highest degree,” Sattar said.
The MQM leader warned that if the extra judicial killings and kidnapping of MQM workers did not stop, they would hold a people’s own court and give out their own verdicts against the culprits.
He asked the Supreme Court of Pakistan and Sindh High Court to take action and the government to constitute an independent judicial commission to probe rampant extra-judicial arrests of the party workers.
Sattar said about 300 MQM workers were assassinated in recent months, including 100 during the ongoing operation by law enforcement agencies.
He further said 25 party workers had been unlawfully gunned down by law enforcement officers.
During Thursday’s demonstration, MQM workers were carrying party and Pakistani flags, while party songs were being played on the giant speakers.
Some carried placards with various demands. “Why hasn’t my daddy come back home?,” one placard read, whereas another said: “Stop Mohajir professionals’ killings.”
The families of the missing persons and those who were killed were carrying their portrays at the rally.
“These are not tall tales, these are the real, harsh realities and the mothers do not close their doors in hope that their sons might return back,” Haider Abbas Rizvi, another senior MQM leader, told the rally.
Rizvi also criticised the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s move to pass Pakistan Protection Ordinance into a bill which, he said, was a harsh law.
“I beg of you Nawaz Sharif for not imposing the black law of PPO on us,” Rizvi said. He further said that it was the history of the country whenever such laws were made, the maker himself became the maiden victim of such tyrannical laws.
The party was scheduled to expand its protests countrywide on Friday.