- Farooq Sattar says party to hold peaceful protests in and outside Pakistan
- All legal options being considered against PTI chief
- Protests held in Karachi, tension prevails in Hyderabad
The post-election war of words between the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is set to intensify as the former announced holding “peaceful” protest demonstrations in and outside Pakistan against “baseless” accusations hurled by Imran Khan over the murder of senior party leader.
Khan on Saturday night pointed a finger at the MQM chief and the British government who he said were “directly responsible” for the murder of his female party worker outside her house in DHA.
The MQM’s statement, announced by party’s Rabita Committee Deputy Convenor Dr Farooq Sattar, came in response to Saturday’s allegation of the PTI chief.
Reacting to Saturday’s tirade of PTI chief, Dr Sattar said his party would hold protest demonstrations in and outside Pakistan to record its “peaceful” protest against the baseless allegations the PTI chief that he had hurriedly levelled against his party chief following assassination of “Zahra Apa”.
“MQM Rabita Committee has decided to wage peaceful protest demonstrations in and outside Pakistan against the intolerance shown by Imran Khan that hurt the feelings of millions of supporters of Altaf Hussain,” he told reporters at Nine Zero.
Legal experts of MQM, he said, were also weighing various options to move against Khan.
“We condemn the brutal murder of Zahra Shahid Hussain, but Imran Khan’s jumping to the conclusions without waiting for initial findings lays bare his political immaturity. Khan’s statement would undermine the probe into the murder. Also his remarks are tantamount to provocation,” Sattar added.
Earlier, dozens of MQM supporters gathered at Ayesha Manzil to stage a sit-in in favour of Altaf Hussain, who they said was the only true leader of the nation.
The protesters, holding MQM’s party flags and placards, demanded Khan tender an apology for baselessly accusing their leader for Zohra’s murder.
“We protest against the statement of Khan,” read a placard.
Sattar also said the accusations levelled by PTI Chairman Imran Khan against the MQM and its chief Altaf Hussain came even before complete details of the murder incident had became known.
“We will protest against Khan’s hateful comments by peacefully demonstrating in Pakistan and abroad. We will explore our democratic options to protest and won’t respond hate-filled comments with hate,” Sattar added.
“Imran Khan has blamed us for spreading terror in Karachi. If we didn’t know any better, we’d also be getting blamed for Imran Khan’s accident.”
Sattar condemned Zahra Shahid’s murder and demanded an early arrest of culprits.
He urged all the political parties to avoid issuing such statements and to work jointly for the uplift of the country. Farooq warned that such statement could affect Karachi’s law and order situation.
Meanwhile, unidentified men resorted to aerial firing in Hyderabad early on Sunday, causing fear and tension in the city.
According to reports, unknown gunmen attacked the house of PTI leader Usman Kennedy and set his two vehicles on fire.
There were also reports of heavy firing in Latifabad, Hyderabad Chowk, Paka Qila, Station Road and other areas.
All business centres, petrol pumps and CNG stations were closed immediately after the firing.
Unknown assailants also attacked a Lahore-bound train and injured its driver.
The gunmen opened fire and pelted stones at the Pakistan Express train within the jurisdiction of Tando Yousuf police station, leaving the train driver injured.