KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Deputy Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said Tuesday that withdrawal of the invitation to MQM for attending a special session of the federal cabinet had dashed the hopes of Karachiites.
Addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC) here, Siddqui said PML-N federal government had passed a non-serious message to the citizen of Karachi by not inviting the MQM’s parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly Dr Farooq Sattar and MQM was not hoping that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would ignore any stakeholder while making decision on maintaining law and order in Karachi. Talking about the All Parties Conference (APC), MQM`s deputy convener said PML-N provincial leadership had called the APC in hurry and invited the political parties which had no mandate in the city while MQM represented about 85 per cent of the city population.
He said despite reservations, MQM’s senior party members Haider Abbas Rizvi and Baber Ghauri would attend APC.
He said peaceful period in Pakistan’s history was the tenure of Nawaz Sharif in 1992 when crime rate was zero. However, an operation was launched in Karachi in the name of criminal dacoits and land grabbers but that operation was deliberately targeted MQM. Had Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif not succumbed to the pressure and taken positive decision, Karachi and Pakistan would have been the paradise of peace today, he added.
Siddiqui said MQM had Karachi mandate and it was its duty to keep citizens well-informed. He said during the last five years Sindh government bitterly failed to maintain law and order in the city while the performance of police and Rangers was also questionable. Keeping in view the prevailing scenario, MQM demanded deployment of the army in Karachi and his party stood by its decision. He said federal government should play a positive role in this regard and solve the Karachi issue.
To a query Siddiqi replied that any operation or campaign against MQM should be avoided because peace could not be restored without removing the people’s reservations. “Stability in Karachi is stability of the country, that’s why we have demanded to hand over Karachi to the army,” he said.
To another question, Siddiqi said the process of delimitation and verification of voter’s lists was conducted on the demand of parties which had no mandate in Karachi, but MQM achieved tremendous success in recent by elections held under the army unveiling once again the actual reality.
MQM coordination committee member Nasreen Jalil, Haider Abbas Rizvi, Wasay Jalil and Senator Baber Ghauri were also present on the occasion.
In a statement here on Tuesday, MQM deputy convener also declined PM’s one-on-one meeting offer with MQM’s Farooq Sattar. Siddiqui added that this offer was given to MQM after their strong reaction over the cancellation of invitation for Dr Farooq Sattar. He said the action was like putting old wine in a new bottle. Siddiqui said Dr Farooq Sattar was invited to attend the cabinet meeting to represent the people of Karachi. Now he was being offered to have a one-on-one meeting with the PM. Siddiqui said MQM was not interested in doing a photo session with PM so his party declined his offer.
Meanwhile, MQM coordination committee in a statement said Sindh Governor being a representative of the federation could not represent a political party as per constitution. MQM also condemned the statement of federal government that Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad would represent MQM in the cabinet meeting, adding, that president, prime minister and governors had affiliation with political parties and needed to resign from the basic membership of their parties before taking oaths and could not represent parties. Governor Ebad attending the meeting as the representative of MQM was violating his oath.
Member coordination committee Aminul Haq, when contacted, said Governor Sindh remained a representative of federation and had taken the oath of governor Sindh after resigning from the party membership.