KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) senior deputy convener Dr Farooq Sattar yesterday blamed Rangers for torturing party workers imprisoned in various jails and said conspiracies were being hatched to dismember MQM.

Addressing a press conference here at Khursheed Begum Secretariat, Dr Farooq Sattar appealed to the government to take immediate notice of the matter. MQM coordination committee members Saleem Afridi, Zahid Mansoori, Rehana Nasreen and Mehfozyar Khan were also present on the occasion.

Sattar said two days ago Rangers officials along with Karachi Central Jail superintendent and deputy superintendent took away MQM workers from barrack number 18, 19 and 24. During this action about 40 under-trial MQM workers were beaten up and forced to give favourable statements. Later, the workers were locked in isolated wards all the day.

The MQM leader said that these 40 party workers were political prisoners and had not violated jail discipline and locking them up in isolated wards was a violation of human rights as they were not allowed to meet visitors.

“Party has the confirmed information that workers in jails are being forced to change their loyalties,” he said.

Sattar, without naming former MQM leader Mustafa Kamal, claimed that party activists and leaders were getting suspicious phone calls from unknown numbers, wherein they were being asked to switch over their allegiance to new group. Similarly, families of the missing workers were also contacted and asked to visit the ‘New Bungalow’- Mustaf Kamal’s new residence - if they wanted to know about the whereabouts of their loved ones, added Sattar.

Besides this, conspiracies were also being hatched to change loyalties of MQM lawmakers, he said and demanded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, interior minister, CM Sindh and COAS General Raheel Sharif to take notice of the matter and save the credibility of state institutions.

“Cat is out of the bag,” said Satttar and added that party activists were being given forced to join the new group by using torture and intimidations.

“The situation is similar to what happened in 1992 and we consider PML-N and PPP leadership’s silence over unconstitutional treatment with a political force as criminal negligence on their part. Furthermore, this silence also confirms that both parties are only the slogans of their so-called democracy,” he added.

CHANDIO REJECTS ALLEGATIONS

INP adds: Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Information Moula Bakhsh Chandio Sunday termed unfortunate the MQM allegations about torture on its workers in Sindh prisons. “Did we switch the loyalties of Afaq Ahmed and Mustafa Kamal,” asked Chandio while reacting to Dr Farooq Sattar’s press conference.

Addressing the media men in Hyderabad, he said MQM is hurling accusations of torturing of its activists in jails to cover up its defeats. The adviser also expressed his surprise as to why the rulers of Punjab are apprehensive about National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) powers. “Why only Sindh is being subjected to accountability,” he questioned.