LAHORE - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Mehmoodur Rasheed has asked Muttahida Qaumi Movement to apologise from the nation for “giving shelter to hard criminals in the party head-office 90 at Karachi”.

He was addressing a forum conducted jointly by TheNation and Nawa-i-Waqt here on Saturday. Pakistan People’s Party leader Dewan Ghulam Mohiyodin, Jamaat-e-Islami spokesperson Ameerul Azeem and MQM leader Amir Baloch were the other guest speakers. Safiullah Sipra conducted the proceedings on the current situation in Karachi.

Mehmood termed the Karachi operation as golden opportunity to clean the port city from criminals and terrorists. He said it was the first time that the operation by the Rangers continued with full support of political parties.

“Karachi which was the city of lights about two decades back had turned into darkness and millions of the people of the city became hostage by the criminal elements,” he held.

Appreciating the role of army and rangers for bringing peace in the Sindh capital, the PTI leader hoped the people would soon get rid of the crimes in the city. He also asked Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad to resign from the post and if he did not the federal government should remove him.

Dewan Ghulam also backed the operation with a hope that peace would be restored in the commercial capital of the country. However, he discouraged any victimization against a particular party.

He said the PPP as a ruling party in Sindh is always ready to hear any party’s complaint and reservation. He said there must be no armed wing of political parties.

JI leader Ameerul Azeem appreciated Karachi operation and termed it a ray of hope to bring peace in the city. He said the prime minister and MQM meeting had created ambiguity regarding the operation which must be cleared. “A new crisis will create in Karachi if the establishment diverted its attention from the operation,” he viewed.

He said the Saulat Mirza statement was an eye opener for every Pakistani and now the accused he named must bring into bar, he demanded. Ameer also demanded the resignation of Ishratul Ibad. He said the unrest was being created in the country under the international conspiracies.

On the other hand, MQM leader Amir Baloch said his party had always supported every effort to bring peace in the city of lights. He held that MQM’s leadership was honest and belonged to middle and poor class which the feudal lords and elites never liked and so they made various attempts in the past to curb the party of poor.

“MQM is in favour of operation but it seems the operation has now turned into victimization,” he maintained. He said the powerful elite were pushing MQM to the wall. “But their dream will never complete,” he said categorically.

He said his party would continue its struggle for the right of the poor and middle class people.