CHI - Sindh Senior Minister Zulfiqar Mirza on Sunday announced his resignations from his administrative and party posts in a hurriedly-called sensational press conference.
Emotions brimmed out of Mirza as he spoke to media persons at the Karachi Press Club, announcing his resignation from his post of Sindh senior minister, the Sindh Assembly seat and the position of PPP senior vice-president. Soon after the press conference, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, who is also PPPs provincial president, accepted resignation of Zulfiqar Mirza as Senior Vice President of PPP Sindh. However, his resignation as senior minister was yet to be accepted.
The prime targets of things Mirza got off his chest were Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). He alleged Rehman Malik of being hand-in-glove with terrorists and asserted that he has evidence that will implicate Malik in Karachi target killings. He said that he will forward this evidence to the government, army and intelligence agencies, if the need arises. Zulifqar Mirza said that he wishes that Chief Justice of Pakistan summon him before the bench hearing a suo moto case on Karachi unrest so he could provide more information with documentary evidence regarding target killings in city.
I have repeatedly told the PPP leadership that Rehman Malik is a pathological liar, said Mirza. While acknowledging that Malik is a good politician and good human being, he maintained that he is also a compulsive liar. He added that if Pakistan was harmed in the future, it would be Rehman Maliks fault. He added that he was changed as Sindh home minister to senior minister due to political blackmail.
However, Mirza, who came in a caravan of his supporters from Lyari area to address the press conference, was careful enough to affirm on oath to remain a die-hard supporter of the PPP and President Asif Ali Zardari, and thanked late Benazir Bhutto and Zardari for the favours they bestowed upon him. He also praised the role of Army and ISI whose extra-efforts, according to him, had ensured survival of the country.
The second target of Mirzas emotional eruption was understandably, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). Mirza declared the MQM a terrorist organisation and its chief Altaf Hussain a 'killer. He said a proof can be found in the fact that target killings stop whenever the MQM calls for an end to violence. He also accused the MQM of collecting extortion money, kidnapping innocent people and using ambulances for their transportation.
Mirza narrated a meeting with Altaf Hussain where the MQM chief allegedly declared that the US had decided to break Pakistan, and the MQM had decided to work with them towards this goal. Mirza also alleged that Altaf Hussain vowed not stop killing Pashtoons in this context. He also claimed that once Altaf Hussain wrote a letter to Tony Blair while he was UK prime minister, urging him to play a role to disband the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). He claimed Altaf had written in the letter that the ISI would create hundreds of Osama bin Ladens if it were not disbanded.
Turning his guns at Rehman Malik again, Mirza said Pakistan has the biggest threat from no one else but the interior minister. He alleged that Malik connived with MQMs governor and freed murderers and killers to oblige them so that they carry on killing spree for vested interests. To elaborate his point, Mirza said: Let s suppose, if I free a murderer who had killed 36 people, wouldnt the obliged killer kill 360 for me.
He said Malik had been befooling the party leadership by distorting facts and creating imaginary fear scenarios by invoking non-existing threats to the government. He said Rehman Malik is a flat-faced, 100 percent liar. I have asked him many a time to cut lying intensity by at least 50 percent, Mirza said in a lighter tone far between his otherwise tense talk. He said Malik had no stake in this country as his family also lives in England.
Deploring conditions in Karachi, Mirza claimed that he would have brought peace to Karachi within 15 days, if he had been given a free hand. Mirza added that in his tenure, out of 10,000 police officials appointed in Sindh, he ensured that not one appointment was MQM-based, as there should be no room for killers in the police.
Mirza recalled one of the MQM leaders had said about him that a pimp would be acting as flamboyant as Mirza in the company of so many policemen. He said now I have resigned as minister. I came here in official vehicle. Now I will go back in my private car. I will only keep the PPP flag. Now all such people see I, Mirza, is still as flamboyant.
He also claimed the MQM does not have hundred percent mandate in Karachi and Hyderabad, rather the partys mandate in these cities was 'manipulated. The MQM only has partial mandate given by peoples free will. The rest is taken from voters through coercion. The poor people who sit in front of a telephone set and listen to speech from London, do that under pressure, to save trouble to the families who are usually threatened of consequences. The former home minister expressed regret for his once passing derogatory remarks to the Mohajir community. He said he passed those remarks under rush of blood, being angry.
During his press conference, Mirza kept a copy of Holy Quran with him and frequently swore to tell the truth and presented some documents against the MQM workers involvement in target killing incidents. The former home minister said the MQM was running gangs of killers and extortionists (Bhatta Khors). MQM Kidmat-e-Khalq Foundations ambulances were used in transporting arms and ammunitions and for throwing dead bodies in gunny bags in various localities to spread terror. He said some elements wrongly project me as extortionists, whereas I come from a wealthy, respectable family. He dared the media to expose if they know of his involvement in any corruption.
Ahmed Chanai was appointed Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) chief on calls and pressures from London. I was pressed to appoint him as CPLC chief, but I only gave him a limited tenure of one year. He later got involved in acting as a middleman and virtually selling police stations. Mirza said Suteesh Anand, who was once kidnapped, was freed after I had chipped in 5 million rupees to make 15 million rupees demanded in ransom. I did that because I feared God and I always thought that we got this government due to the grand sacrifice of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.
Mirza also claimed that the MQM was behind the murder of Wali Khan Babar, a reporter of a private TV channel who was shot dead in Liaquatabad No 1 near the Apwa School as he was going home from office. He presented some documents pertaining to Babars killers as evidence during the press conference.
Mirza claimed that the MQM had developed differences with him when he opposed in the Sindh cabinet meeting to give an official plot on centre of city at MA Jinnah Road to MQM worth Rs5 billion. He maintained that when he recruited 10,000 police personnel in Sindh police and not a single recruited cop was sympathiser of the MQM, which also caused unhappiness for MQM.
To a question, former home minister said that he did not consider Rehman Malik as killer of Benazir Bhutto but he is not a Jiyala as he ran away from his duty of protecting Benazir. Malik abandoned Benazir and fled the murder scene in run for his own life.
Regarding Rangers operation in Lyari and recovery of two torture cells there, former home minister said torture cells were also discovered in past in Khiji ground, Malir and other areas. If those torture cells were real, then Lyaris torture cells were also a reality, and if they were fabricated then these were also fictitious. He said that he will continue opposing the operation in Lyari, adding that city had a history of violence and killings.
He said: I risked life, property, family, and children, everything by calling spade a spade because I love Pakistan, because I see my own children s faces in every dead body of the innocent killed in the city. He said that after his resignation he would work on his own to deliver justice to the people of Karachi and Sindh.