ISLAMABAD/KARACHI - The federal government has decided to address the reservations of MQM on the Rangers-led targeted operation in Karachi but decided to continue it.
The sources in the ministry informed that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Saturday contacted Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad in Dubai on phone and talked to him on the targeted operation in Karachi.
Ebad, who is in Dubai on a private visit, apprised Nisar about MQM’s reservations about the targeted operation while the minister assured the governor that his party’s reservations in this regard would be addressed at the earliest. Ebad told the minister that he had not resigned yet but the option of his resignation was on the table.
The interior minister later talked to Senator Babar Ghauri of MQM and took him into confidence on the matter of operation. Official sources informed that Ghauri complained that the federal government had not constituted a committee as announced by it to monitor and oversee the affairs of the targeted operation.
Ch Nisar also talked Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and both agreed to continue the targeted operation in Karachi. The CM apprised him of the situation after the killing of a jail officer in Malir. Both also showed confidence in the cooperation between Karachi police and Rangers.
The MQM had shown serious reservation over the operation in Karachi after police arrested former lawmaker of the party on terror and murder charges over the killing of two policemen. The party questioned the transparency of the operation after arrest of ex-MPA Nadeem Hashmi and other party activists that led to shutter-down strike in Karachi and other cities of the province.
Ebad left for Dubai with his family late on Friday sparking media speculations that the longest serving governor of Sindh has resigned from his office. Sources even claimed that he did not make any official statement before his departure but faxed his resignation to the Presidency. But Governor House spokesmen said that the governor had gone on a private visit for a week and he will resume his office on his return.
However, sources insisted that the MQM leadership had directed Ebad to resign from the post in protest against Sindh government’s ‘discriminatory’ operation and raids on the party offices and arrest of its workers. After staying in Dubai for few days, Ebad would leave for London to meet the MQM chief Altaf Hussain, they added.
PML-N sources said that the party’s central leadership wanted Dr Ebad to continue his service at least until the targeted operation in Karachi concludes. It has tasked some party leaders to contact MQM. In this connection, Federal Minister Ishaq Dar also contacted the MQM leadership and Dr Ebad urging them to review their decision. But some PML-N leaders denied the news reports and said they had not contacted MQM or Ebad over the matter.
Though MQM still has not made a final decision about resignation of Ebad, some senior party members on the special instruction from Altaf Hussain have started deliberating on the name of party’s Senator Mustafa Kamal as a second option for the coveted slot, MQM sources shared with TheNation.
As Mustafa Kamal as a ‘hardliner’ and more suited to meet the challenges currently faced by the party, the senior party members believe he would be a better option if PNL-N insisted at keeping an MQM man at Sindh Governor House.
When contacted, MQM spokesman Wasay Jalil neither confirmed nor denied the resignation of Ebad. “It is still not in my knowledge whether he has resigned or not. We have no information and things are same as it were,” he said adding that Governor Ebad was visiting Dubai for the treatment of his wife.
It is not the first time, Ebad has tendered his resignation. On many occasions during PPP-led government, he resigned from the position and but later withdrew decision. He announced to leave his post in Feb 2013 and before that on June 27, 2011 over differences with PPP.
Dr Ishratul Ebad assumed office on December 2, 2002 as the youngest governor of Sindh since Pakistan’s inception and now he has the honour of being the longest serving governor. He completed his graduation from the Dow Medical College and remained prominent figure during his political career in All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organisation (APMSO), student wing of MQM. He also severed as Sindh Housing and Town planning minister and was latter given the additional charge of the environment and public health engineering departments.
In 1993, after the launching of the army operation in Karachi and Hyderabad, he left Pakistan and applied for political asylum in United Kingdom. On his return to Pakistan in year 2002 he was appointed as governor.
Mustafa Kamal is a serving Senator and he has previously served as the nazim (mayor) of Karachi - from 2005 to 2010. He is widely acclaimed for his services as Nazim and was shortlisted for the World Mayor Prize in 2010.