At Long Last!

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After more than seven years behind bars, Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi Chairman Afaq Ahmed was finally released on Saturday.
On Friday, the Sindh High Court (SHC) had ordered the government to immediately release the imprisoned political leader, declaring the order of his detention under a public order ordinance against the law. Ahmed had been granted bail in the last of the cases registered against him by the SHC.
The MQM-Haqiqi is a breakaway faction of the then Altaf Hussain-led Mohajir Qaumi Movement (now Muttahida Qaumi Movement).
The Haqiqi activists were still not sure about their leader’s release, but when the Sindh Home Department issued a notification of releasing Ahmed on Saturday afternoon, a large number of activists arrived outside the Karachi central prison to greet their leader on his release.
The Sindh Home Department had issued the notification for Ahmed’s release at around 2 pm.
After completing the necessary formalities for his release, Ahmed came out from the prison’s building under strict security, as the crowd shouted slogans.
More than 200 security personnel in 22 police vans, six Rangers vehicles and five private cars were reportedly part of the security convoy.
Former Sindh home minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza had sent a bullet proof vehicle to carry the Haqiqi chief safely to his intended destination. Once Ahmed boarded the black land cruiser, it was surrounded by the vehicles of security forces.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) East Zone Akram Naeem Abro headed the convoy accompanying Ahmed, as the entire district east police force was deployed for security, police said.
According to the DIG jails, the MQM-H chairman’s security was handed over to Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) while the regional police would also provide him security.
The Haqiqi chief first went to the Sherpao Colony in Landhi, where he offered prayers for his party’s slain activists buried at the Shuhada Qabirstan before going to his residence in Landhi No 6.
Talking with Pakistan Today from Dubai, Mirza said that he had sent his own bullet proof Toyota Land Cruiser for Ahmed’s safety as his rivals want to kill him. “I have also provided him [Ahmed] with my own personal security guards.”
Expressing his pleasure on the release of Haqiqi chief, the former minister said that he was happy as the real leader of the Urdu-speaking community has been released after eight years.
“Afaq will start his political activities very soon and I would stand with him on his each and every step, because we both want peace in Karachi,” Mirza said.
According to sources, the outspoken former minister will return to Karachi very soon and will meet with Ahmed.
Last week, the court had given three days to the authorities concerned to decide the fate of the Haqiqi chief, who has been behind bars since April 3, 2004.
The Haqiqi chairman was arrested in 2004, when Muttahida Qaumi Movement became a part of the Pervez Musharraf-led government.
The Sindh government had first detained the Haqiqi chief under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) on September 28 and after a week, the court was informed that Ahmed was an absconder in a kidnapping case registered 10 years ago. The MPO was then withdrawn but on October 29, when the trial court granted him bail in the last case registered against Ahmed and ordered his release, the provincial government again detained him under MPO again; whereas, the Sindh advocate general on the same day had assured the high court that the Haqiqi chairman would not be detained again.
The MQM-Haqiqi has always claimed their leader remained behind bars due to the pressure exerted by their rival party and ally of PPP at federal and provincial level, the MQM.

5 COMMENTS

    • Establishment is trying to make Afaq important but Karachiites ever rejected Afaq
      So Mr Huzaifa just pray for your family and acquaintances not for Afaq. He is an agent of Establishment and whenever he died , then it will mean that his role would be finished and a new character would be ready to take his place.

  1. Afaq's release is a welcome development. It is bit premature to write him off. His opening statement that MQM Altaf group is not a political party reflects feeling of the majority in Sindh. Altaf is master blackmailer and manipulator par excellence and has yet to be cleared from the alleged crime of murder of Dr Imran Farooq.

    Hopefully, Afaq will not follow the policy of ethnicity and terrorism.

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