KARACHI  - MQM gave 24-hour ultimatum to the government to disclose the whereabouts of their 45 workers who went missing during the targeted operation.

MQM’s Coordination Committee in a press conference on Tuesday said, “The police department would have to take action against the policemen responsible for torturing Muhammad Aadil and Salman Fahad, death of a senior citizen Meraj Uddin, who suffered heart attack because of police torture.

The committee warned that if the department failed to arrest and prosecute the policemen involved then the MQM would take tough stance and also has plans to deal with this situation.

“Police have been collecting extortion of Rs20 crore a day from the citizens of Karachi.” It is a tragedy that police have been given the task to launch an operation against the extortionists. It appears that the City has been given to contractors to maintain order. Areas have been sold out to people who are not locals. Now these non-local policemen are recovering their money from the innocent people of Karachi by their illegal and biased actions.

The committee alleged that the policemen were threatening the MQM workers of wiping out their race. They are hurling abuses at them.

Haider Abbas Rizvi addressing the newsmen said the raids, arrests, inhuman torture and extrajudicial killings of MQM workers were became a routine matter. He said a senior MQM supporter accompanied by his son was intercepted and humiliated by police near Matric Board Office when he failed to pay Rs10,000 bribe and offered Rs2,000 instead for violating the ban on pillion riding. Police tortured him brutally which caused a heart attack and he died.

Rizvi also pointed out abduction of three members of MQM PIB Sector by unknown law enforcers. He demanded recovery of forcibly disappeared party workers. The mother of a victim Muhammad Ali, sector member PIB, passed away here on Tuesday as she failed to know the whereabouts of her missing son for the last five months.     

Rizvi alleged that there were total 45 MQM workers who were picked up by the law enforcers in last couple of months and some of them were missing for more than a year. The young son of MQM Tanzeemi Committee member Muhammad Ayaz died in a mysterious accident.

Farooq Sattar while talking to the newsmen at the funeral of Muhammad Adil said, “We believed Ayaz’s murder was not an accident and MQM is trying to get the footages of the accident.”

“People of Karachi are being brutally oppressed by the rulers. They don’t have the right to hire sweepers for them. Sweepers are hired by the recommendation of Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah. We are powerless. The Sindh government has taken all departments from us. We have approached every forum to seek justice for enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and torture on our workers. We have also approached the courts,” he added.

“We have received information that SHOs and SPS have formed teams comprising private people. They are not from the police department and are being used by the police stations,” Haider told the media men.

Rizvi said to the newsmen that they should report facts after thorough investigation and research. He urged them to visit the houses of MQM workers and see how they were subjected to torture.

Altaf phones Zardari, Qaim

MQM chief Altaf Hussain on Tuesday discussed prevailing law and order situation and police action against the MQM workers with former president Asif Ali Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah in separate telephonic conversations.  

Altaf informed Zardari about the extrajudicial killings of the MQM workers, illegal arrests and torture.

He told the former president that 45 MQM workers, including three sector members, went missing soon after they were arrested and no one knew about their whereabouts. He said the law enforcement agencies were carrying out illegal raids at the houses of the MQM workers. The arrested workers were being asked to disclose information about the workers of the Women’s Wing of the party which was very disturbing.

In a statement, MQM said Zardari extended his apologies on the actions of the police and said he would ask the Sindh chief minister to take action against the police personnel involved. He said everyone living in Sindh was a Sindhi and they must work together for the progress and prosperity of the province.

Separately, in a telephonic conversation between Altaf Hussain and Sindh CM Qaim Ali Shah, Altaf said the MQM was a representative political party and it could not be eliminated by state repression.

He informed the chief minister about the alleged extrajudicial killings of Salman, Adil and other workers of the MQM. He also apprised him about the illegal arrests of the workers and sympathisers of the MQM and disappearances of party men. He said the Mohajirs were the permanent residents of Sindh and they wanted to work with others for the progress of the province but they were being subjected to state repression under a conspiracy.

Altaf asked the CM to take notice in this regard. He said action should be taken against the officials who were allegedly involved in torture. He asked the CM to take immediate steps for the recovery of 45 missing MQM workers.

Qaim assured Altaf that he had taken notice of the illegal arrests of the MQM workers and torture. He told Altaf that an inquiry committee has been formed to inquire into these incidents. He said the people of Sindh would have to work together to fight the menace of the Taliban.