KARACHI - Most of the Karachi remained open for business yesterday despite a shutter down call by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement over the killing of their workers in an encounter with Rangers.

Public transport remained smooth on roads while petrol pumps and schools were also operating as per routine.

Rangers’ personnel were present in sensitive areas of Karachi as well as in spots of the metropolis that are routinely crowded.

Major parts of the city including commercial areas of Saddar and old city remained open. However, markets in some areas including Korangi, Landhi, Shah Faisal Colony, Federal B area, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Liaquatabad, North Nazimabad, North Karachi and New Karachi remained closed.

In a press release, Rangers also claimed the arresting eight MQM ‘miscreants’ for forcing market closure in various areas of city. The statement said that miscreants were arrested from Liaquatabad No 4, Karimabad, Orangi Sector 5 and Jubilee areas for threatening the traders and citizen over suspending their routine activities while the arrested suspects will be presented before the anti-terrorism courts (ATC) soon.

Rangers also paid tribute to the citizens on rejecting the strike call adding that Rangers and citizens of Karachi are together for peace of Karachi and their priority is to protect the citizens of Karachi. On the other hand, MQM coordination committee issued a statement accusing paramilitary force for forcibly opening the markets in the city in a bid to prove that strike was a failure.

The party’s strike call came when the already tense relations between MQM and the security establishment strained further on Friday with the MQM accusing Rangers of killing its workers in what it described as a fake encounter. The MQM’s accusation was followed by a strong reaction from the paramilitary force which claimed that all the four killed were terrorists hiding in ‘safe houses’ on the party’s directives.

In a statement, the Rangers came up with details of charges against the deceased MQM workers killed in the ‘encounter’. The force said: “All four terrorists were also involved in extortion in Korangi Industrial Area and part of Raees Mama’s hit-men team.”

Following its allegations last night, the MQM appealed to traders, transporters and industrialists to keep their businesses closed to express solidarity with the victims of what it called extrajudicial killings. The MQM would also hold a rally on Sunday in Karachi’s Liaquatabad area which would proceed to the Quaid’s mausoleum in protest against the killings.