PM ‘disappoints’ by not answering questions, says MQM

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Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Farooq Sattar on Thursday said his party was disappointed by the prime minister’s visit to Karachi, saying Nawaz Sharif had left without “answering our questions”.

Talking to reporters at the party’s headquarters Nine Zero, Sattar said that Nawaz Sharif was “gifted the arrest of workers” on his arrival at Karachi. He went on to say that under Article 10 of the Constitution, it was mandatory to state reasons for arresting anyone, reiterating his party’s earlier claim that workers are being detained illegally under the garb of the Karachi operation.

Sattar said it was clear that MQM was being cornered and voiced disappointment that the premier did not contact his party on the occasion. The MQM leader also alleged that Altaf Hussain’s live speeches had been banned on TV, which he claimed was a tactic to enforce the “minus Altaf formula”. He also said the MQM will hold a protest demonstration outside Press Club on Friday against the ban on Altaf’s speeches. “Today they are not airing his [Altaf Hussain’s] speeches. Tomorrow it will be someone else.”

“The unannounced ban on Altaf Hussain’s speeches is illegal. We will take this matter to court.” Sattar went on to say that the MQM was Karachi’s representative party, bagging over 80 per cent of the city’s votes.

Last week, MQM legislators resigned from the National Assembly, Senate and the Sindh Assembly to protest what the party said were excesses being made in the Rangers-led security operation in Karachi.

The government has since been trying to push for MQM to take back its resignation, for which JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman has been sanctioned to conduct talks with the grieved party.