LAHORE - The ongoing operation against criminals in Karachi would remain unaffected even if the MQM becomes part of the provincial government.

Sources in the PPP informed The Nation that top party leadership had made it clear to the MQM leaders that provincial government would not interfere in the work of law-enforcement agencies whether it joins the government or not.

“The PPP looks at the MQM in two different ways. It has a militant wing and a political wing. The PPP would continue to support and cooperate with the political side while leaving the militant side for the law-enforcement agencies and the courts to deal with”, a PPP source confided to The Nation.  

PPP spokesperson, Senator Farhatullah Babar said that his party would stay neutral in respect of the current operation against criminals.

“Criminal is a criminal irrespective of which party or organisation he belongs to. He remains a criminal no matter he is found from any of the places like Nine-Zero, Kingri House, Bilawal House, Zardari House or Mardan House”, he remarked, adding, that operation must continue without any political interference.

He said that the law-enforcement agencies had a clear mandate to hunt down the criminals irrespective of their political affiliation.

He stated in unequivocal terms that anticipated inclusion of the MQM in the provincial government would not have any bearing on the ongoing operation in Karachi.

Asked if the PPP’s offer to the MQM to join the Sindh government was still intact despite some shocking details surfacing as a result of Rangers raid at the Nine-Zero and the revelations made by MQM activist Soulat Mirza, the PPP spokesperson replied that according to his information the offer had not been withdrawn as yet.

He also clarified that no fresh offer to join the government has been made to the MQM after these developments.

“PPP chief Asif Ali Zardari and Altaf Hussain in their telephonic conversation on Tuesday discussed political situation in the light of recent developments and no fresh offer was made”, he stated.

Farhatullah Babar said that an impression was created in the media that PPP had made a renewed offer to the MQM after the Rangers raid at the Nine-Zero which was factually incorrect.

“Asif Ali Zardari had infact returned a call from Altaf Hussain on Tuesday evening which the latter had made in the afternoon but PPP chief was not available to talk to him at that time. The impression that Asif Ali Zardari called Altaf Hussain after the raid is not correct”, he further explained.

He also belied media reports that Tuesday’s party meeting at Karachi chaired by Asif Ali Zardari was convened to discuss and decide the issue of MQM’s inclusion into the Sindh government.

“The meeting was infact called to congratulate the party men over victory of PPP candidates in the recent Senate elections and the subsequent election of its Chairman”, he concluded.