- PTI chairman calls MQM chief ‘psychopath’, threatens to take him to court for running ‘extortion mafia’
- MQM terms Khan’s accusations ‘conspiracy’ against MQM, announces rally in Karachi today
The chiefs of two prominent political parties of Pakistan, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, fell from grace Monday and indulged in hurling mucky words at each other followed by threats to initiate legal proceedings against each other.
Sunday night saw MQM chief Altaf Hussain accusing PTI Information Secretary Shireen Mazari of “running a brothel” at the party’s Azadi March in the federal capital last year while PTI chief Imran Khan Monday referred to Hussain as a “coward” and “maniac”, urging MQM members to disassociate themselves from their party leader.
During a telephonic address to his workers, MQM chief had said, “The girls at PTI’s dharna brought cards (contact details) and shared them with stags while PTI’s short-haired fat naika (mistress) managed their business.”
Yesterday, newly-appointed PTI Karachi President Ali Zaidi at a press conference had given a 48-hour ultimatum to Hussain to apologise to its female activists, especially Mazari, failing which a defamation suit will be filed against him in London.
Later, speaking during a press conference in Islamabad, Imran Khan accused Hussain of perpetrating the murders of former PTI Sindh Women’s Wing president Zahra Shahid and journalist Wali Babar Khan.
The PTI chief said that the joint investigation team (JIT) on Baldia Town factory fire had called on the government to bring the MQM chief back to the country and try him for the death of factory workers, alleging they fell victim to the party’s “extortionist agenda”.
“The Baldia Town factory was set on fire for its refusal to pay extortion money. The government must take action on the JIT report and the people involved must be caught and punished,” he said.
Khan added that they will press the British government to initiate legal proceedings against Hussain. “The two witnesses in Imran Farooq’s murder case, who are in custody of the Pakistan government, should be handed over to England to testify against the MQM chief,” he said.
“The whole nation should unite against Altaf Hussain’s terrorism in Karachi. Taking action on the results of the report from the JIT is Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s responsibility. The prime minister can do anything about it but all he cares about is his business. He forgets that his actual responsibility is towards the people of the country.”
“Mian Sahib, we have given you all the backing we can despite the rigging that took place in the elections. Now is the time for action. It is time for you to take action against terrorism without discrimination,” Khan said, adding that he would not attend any All Parties Conference (APC) now.
He further added that PTI will not be a part of any forum involving MQM. However, he also clarified that not all members of the MQM are killers. ”We are talking specifically about the armed wing of the party,” he said.
Khan argued that there was a national consensus against terrorism in the country and urged PM Sharif to take action against terrorists, including the militant wing of the MQM.
MQM TAKES ANOTHER JIBE:
Later on, responding to PTI chief’s press conference, MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said that Khan’s press conference was “pre-planned conspiracy against MQM” and he wanted to create political anarchy in the country.
Holding a press conference in Karachi, Rizvi said that Khan used derogatory remarks for MQM chief Altaf Hussain because he wanted unrest in Karachi just before the arrival of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif on Friday.
Rizvi said that MQM believed the day to be the “darkest day in the history”. He said that MQM workers were angry over Khan’s statements but they remained peaceful, knowing Khan’s “intentions”.
Rizvi said Khan called Hussain a “psychopath” but his own character did not qualify for being a national leader.
“Imran Khan was called a ‘playboy’ by British newspaper Daily Mail while everyone knows who is hooked on drugs. A British newspaper had even raised eyebrows over Sita White’s sudden death. As for the dharnas, the media reported everything that was happening in the sit-ins. Khan himself had to intervene during his speech to direct the workers to respect the ladies,” Rizvi said, further alleging that PTI was the “political wing of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)”.
Rizvi said that PTI never raised its voice for Baldia Town incident but did not leave the chance to malign MQM.
“Imran Khan said he would go to London and file cases against Altaf Hussain. He has been saying that for several years but hasn’t been able to walk his talk. Khan ran a long campaign against Altaf Hussain but failed to get anything. Scotland Yard is not NA-122 election, Mr Khan,” he said.
The MQM leader said that Khan started praising MQM when he needed to stage public meetings in Karachi. “Shah Mahmood Qureshi starts saying that Pakistan needs leaders like Altaf Hussain when they need to hold public meetings in Karachi. But when they don’t need MQM, they start such campaigns against us,” he said.
Rizvi said that PTI had alleged MQM of murdering PTI leader Zahra Shahid as well but didn’t even file an FIR for her murder.
Later on, MQM leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui announced holding a rally in Karachi today (Tuesday) to show MQM workers’ “love and affection” for their leader Altaf Hussain. The rally will begin at 2pm from Ayesha Manzil and culminate at Quaid’s mausoleum, he announced.
The PTI chairman’s latest diatribe compounds pressure on the MQM which has recently been charged by law enforcers for being party to major criminal offences.
A Rangers’ report submitted in the Sindh High Court held the MQM responsible for the Baldia fire tragedy that claimed the lives of at least 258 factory workers. The report was based on information collected from an alleged MQM worker, Rizwan Qureshi, in 2013.
Earlier Monday, the Rangers also apprised an anti-terrorism court that MQM Mehmoodabad Sector In-Charge Abdul Rafiq would be held in preventive detention for a period of 90 days. The Rangers claimed that Rafiq, who was picked up in a targeted operation, not only ran a team of ‘hit men’ but was also involved in the May 12, 2007 carnage that left at least 45 people dead.