KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has said that Sindh is burning as the Rangers have turned the entire province into an occupied territory.

The party workers are being treated like the prisoners of war, he claimed. Altaf stated this after a telephonic conversation with Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Saturday.

He said the CM Sindh was unable to understand my point due to his age factor. Later, I telephoned Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari many times on his two telephone numbers but the former president did not attend the calls, he added.

MQM chief regretted the attitude of both the CM and Asif Ali Zardari at this crucial point. “It appears that both the leaders have no care and love for the province and its people. They do not care for the future of the province and its people.”

Altaf said he himself dialed the CM’s number from his direct numbers to apprise him about the Rangers atrocities on the MQM workers. He said the voice was not clear but when he dialed twice but, instead of Qaim Ali Shah, his driver picked up the phone who asked to hold on for a minute by saying he is transferring the line to the CM.

“As usual I had to listen the recorded speeches of late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and late Benazir Bhutto over telephone for quite some time. Later, the CM again came on the line and said he will be dialing back in a couple of minutes. But after a passage of over half an hour no response was given by the Chief Minister Sindh, on which Altaf said he decided to inform the permanent residents of Sindh and Urdu-speaking about the attitude of these leaders.”

Earlier, MQM chief talking to the MQM office-bearers at the party headquarter Nine-Zero said it was illegal to hinder the welfare activities of Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation (KKF). Terming the arrest of aid collection volunteers under the forged cases as an act of cowardice, he said the Rangers on July 1 arrested about 16 party workers from MQM sector office after the Iftar party. He claimed that the Rangers had lied that MQM workers were collecting Fitra forcibly. The treatment of Rangers with MQM is condemnable as even the war prisoners were not treated like this.

He further directed the workers to stay united in the current testing times on the party and soon the movement will achieve its destination.

Moreover, MQM coordination committee member Dr Farooq Sattar has said the Pakistan Protection Act that was made against the enemies of the country is being used against MQM. Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation (KKF) volunteers or MQM workers were not collecting Zakat and Fitra by force but Rangers action against the party confirms that an unannounced ban has been placed on MQM, he claimed.

He was addressing a press conference at Khursheed Begum Secretariat here on Saturday. MQM coordination committee members Waseem Akhter, Kanwar Naveed Jamil, Arif Khan advocate and Azeem Farooqui were also present on the occasion.

Sattar said Karachi targeted operation was launched to eliminate the criminals and terrorists from the city but under the disguise of operation, attempts were underway to paralyse the political activities of MQM. Hundreds of welfare organisations were collecting the aid but an unannounced ban has been placed on KKF for collection of Zakat, Fitra and funds, he said.

MQM leader said the silence of provincial government over the incident was regrettable. Hindering the welfare activities of the party has developed an uncertain situation among the citizens, he claimed.

To a question, Sattar said the political forces and rulers assured the MQM over the transparency of Pakistan Protection Act and Karachi targeted operation but more than 90 MQM workers are under detention of Rangers under PPA. “If we are not the equal Pakistani then our status should be declared immediately.”

He further appealed to Prime Minster, CM Sindh and DG Rangers to take notice of arrest of party workers.