KARACHI – The MQM Wednesday withdrew its call for an indefinite shutter-down strike in Sindh against Abbas Town bombing, only three hours after announcing it, but it said the party will continue a ‘peaceful’ protest movement.
After withdrawal of the strike call, businesses began to reopen across Karachi. Public transport also started to come back on the roads. MQM had made the call for an indefinite shutter-down strike, following the expiry of the three-day deadline given by MQM chief.
Earlier in the day, MQM held a press conference and appealed to the business community, traders and transporters of Sindh, particularly Karachi, Hyederabad and Nawabshah, to voluntarily keep their businesses closed for an indefinite period, in reaction to government’s ‘inaction’ towards nabbing the culprits of Abbas Town carnage.
During the party’s second news conference, MQM leader Raza Haroon said the decision of strike has been taken back after lengthy consultation between MQM leaders in London and its Co-ordination Committee in Pakistan. Raza said that compensation to the victims of Abbas Town blast and their rehabilitation was the duty of the government but so far the government has done nothing except making unfulfilled promises.
He said the deadly bombing was a proof that the government has failed to ensure safety to the people. The incident has put a question mark on the performance of the security and law enforcement agencies. The government, he said, recently staged a ‘drama’ of the arrest of some ‘culprits’ but that was not enough to satisfy the people.
The MQM leader said that the insensitivity of the rulers can be judged from the fact that none of them bothered to visit the site of the blast. He said MQM chief Altaf Hussain had strongly condemned the bombing and warned the government to arrest the terrorists within three days or MQM would start a democratic protest campaign.
Raza said that rumours were spread in the metropolis, causing panic and violence in the city during the shutdown, but “we strongly condemn all such things that are aimed at harming our peaceful movement”. He said that their peaceful protest movement will continue until the government arrest the culprits responsible for the Abbas Town bombing.
Earlier, in their first press conference the MQM leaders appealed the citizens to keep their businesses closed and support the peaceful protest until the culprits are arrested.