KARACHI - Pak Sarzameen Party Leader Mustafa Kamal is planning to purge the party of criminal elements, especially the elements supported by the party leader Anees Qaimkhani, who is blamed for several high profile killings in the city.

According to sources within the party, the move is aimed at cleaning the image of the party that is now being considered in political and other circles as the dry cleaning machine of the criminal elements who were once part of target killing teams of their former party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

The Nation has further learnt that the Karachi Police has also raised serious concerns over presence of criminal elements in PSP and asked for a free hand to take action against them.

It is pertinent to mention here that PSP leader Kamal had earlier admitted that the youth in MQM were misguided and demanded amnesty for the criminal elements similar to the one the government had offered in Balochistan.

The party, after calling for amnesty, gained strength day by day as scores of MQM workers, Lyari gangsters and MQM Haqqiqi workers joined its ranks.

A large number of political workers had joined PSP to avoid arrests as PSP headquarters, ‘Pakistan House’ had come to be considered the safe house for the criminal elements.

Sources in police told The Nation that senior police officials had expressed their reservations over double standards of the authorities in taking action against such elements.

“The officers opposed this discriminatory treatment several times, and in one such case, an officer acted swiftly when one of the highly wanted MQM’s former party organiser and a key suspect in various high profile cases arrived in Pakistan to join the PSP, but the authorities swung into action and stopped him from addressing a press conference,” a senior police official wishing not to be named said.

They further disclosed that police high-ups, at a high-level meeting, had also posed a question to the authorities as to why PSP leader Anees Qaimkhani was not arrested despite the fact that he had been nominated in several high profile cases in the city, including Baldia Factory Fire.

“Why not arrest Anees Qaimkhani, whose name appears in dozens of JIT reports,” said a police source, and added this prompted Qaimkhani to approach courts to get bail in the cases in which he had been declared an absconder.

The police officials further told this scribe that security agencies had brought back various outlaws to the country from abroad such as Kashif aka David, Saeed aka Bharm, but various key figures like Hammad Siddiqui, former MQM KTC In-charge, Farooq Saleem, Raees Mama, notorious target killers of Korangi, Mehmood aka Commando, a declared absconder in various high profile cases such as Baldia Factory fire and others, continued to roam freely because of their association with PSP.

They said that it was due to that pressure which had resulted in the arrest of Anees in criminal facilitation case of PPP leader Dr Asim along with MQM leaders, including Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhter and Rauf Siddiqui.  Regarding the recovery of huge cache of weapons from a place near the MQM headquarters, 90, the sources revealed that Azizabad former unit in-charge, who had joined PSP, had pinpointed the house before the recovery on the directives of PSP high-command.     

Sources in PSP told The Nation that the fear of arrests and operation against the party workers had been welling up as Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and a federal minister had reportedly explained the situation at a high-level meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad and attended by top security officials.

PSP sources added that it was precisely due to this pressure that Mustafa Kamal had now started sidelining the workers over whose reputation there were question marks.

They also disclosed that majority of the workers, who had joined the PSP and were still in the party, were close to the party President Anees Qaimkhani. “Now, the PSP leadership has decided to get rid of all of them due to which the PSP workers are feeling annoyed and disillusioned,” they added. The Nation has also learnt that PSP workers believe that Kamal had sidelined Qaimkhani with the same objective of removing the ‘dry clean’ label.

However, when this scribe tried to contact Kamal and other PSP leaders they did not receive the calls, whereas PSP leader Raza Haroon told The Nation that Karachi and other chapters of the party were in a huddle, and it would be early to comment on any issue until the decisions and strategy were finalised.