KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Saturday announced countrywide protest drive against the ban on party chief Altaf Hussain’s speeches. MQM leader Kanwar Naveed Jamil made this announcement while addressing a press conference at Khursheed Begum Secretariat. Other party leaders including Rehana Nasreen, Arif Khan advocate, M Hussain, Zahid Mansoori, Aslam Khan Afridi and Abdul Khanzada were also present on the occasion.

Sharing the details of MQM scheduled protest in various parts of the Sindh province and country, he told the media men that party will stage a demonstration at the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam on Sunday (today) evening. Similarly, a protest would be held on January 29 in Hyderabad and on January 30, countrywide protest would be registered against what the MQM termed ‘illegal’ media blackout of MQM chief Altaf Hussain.

Naveed further said the party had also decided to raise the issue in the parliament and at international level. He said it was regrettable that government had two-faced policy over the issue as banned outfits’ leaders were given free hand to deliver hate speeches across the country. Thousands of Pakistanis including the civilians and law enforcement agencies had become the victims of terrorists’ attacks in the country but government is paying no heed to the issue, he added.

MQM leader said Altaf was the first who indicated the presence and activities of Daesh in the country. Rulers and some media persons rejected the party chief revelation but arrest of Daesh activists from various parts of country is an eye-opener for the government. Rulers’ erroneous policies for the last 70 years are the main reasons that had not given recognition to Pakistan in the world, he added.

MQM demanded army operation in Karachi for elimination of criminals and terrorists but during the operation, alleged violation of human rights was reported.

It is a matter of concern that Laal Masjid Khateeb Maulana Abdul Aziz has openly invited the leaders of Daesh in the country but government, instead of taking any action against these leaders, is victimising Altaf by placing illegal ban on his speeches. Protest is our democratic right, said Naveed. Meanwhile, an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Saturday ordered arrest of the investigation officer for his failure in arresting a key accused in the case pertaining to attack on MQM leader Rashid Godil.

The court also ordered to block disbursement of salary to the investigation officer Hussain Mehdi as a Lyari gangster and key accused in Godil’s attack could not be arrested. The court directed the police to also arrest the accused and produce them before it on February 6. Alleged gangster Shahid Bikik failed to appear before the court after taking bail in three cases. According to police, the accused is on the run after he was nominated in the Rashid Godil attack case.