10 more MQM offices razed in Karachi

| Sattar says demolished Muttahida offices were legal | Party no more associated with Altaf Sahib

KARACHI - At least 10 more offices of Muttahida Qaumi Movement were razed in Karachi as the crackdown against its illegal offices continued on the third consecutive day, but senior MQM leader Farooq Sattar insisted that these offices were legal.

A total of 20 of MQM offices have been demolished and around 200 others sealed since the start of the crackdown against the party Thursday over anti-state remarks and hate speech of Altaf Hussain. The offices were razed yesterday by the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) in Al-Hilal Society, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Baloch Colony, Mehmoodabad, Lines Area and Landhi amid a tight security of Rangers and police.

According to officials, the offices are being demolished by KDA and KMC. “Earlier, on the first day of the crackdown, the offices were demolished by Rangers,” they said. On Thursday and Friday, 10 offices were demolished in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Kharadar, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Sacchal, Landhi and Shah Faisal areas.

Jamil Baloch, a KDA official, said the lists of MQM offices in all the districts of Karachi were being compiled and would be completed till Monday. The KDA officials, after completing their action in district East, would move to district Central to demolish the offices of the MQM.

All the 200 unit offices and 26 sector offices of the MQM stand sealed in Karachi since a crackdown began against the party Thursday night.

It is pertinent to mention that the MQM is facing a crackdown by the government and the law-enforcement agencies after Altaf Hussain’s anti-state speech at a party’s hunger-strike camp outside the Karachi Press Club on August 22. The MQM workers, provoked by his speech attacked the media houses.

About 39 MQM leaders and workers and three women have so far been arrested by the police for facilitating Altaf Hussain’s speech and attacking the media houses.

Later, addressing a press conference at MQM’s makeshift office at Ghanchi Hall, Farooq Sattar while declaring loyalty to the state and demanding end to the political isolation of the party, announced Muttahida was no more associated with its founder Altaf Hussain.

Sattar called the MQM founder, Altaf Hussain, as Altaf Sahib for the first time and said MQM Pakistan had nothing to do with his party and its London chapter. “Dissociation means disconnection and total disconnection; I categorically announce that MQM Pakistan has ended its link with MQM London,” said Sattar, adding from now they would not take any dictation from the party’s London chapter.

“We felt our responsibility without any consultation and came to conclusion that time has come to draw a line,” he said. He added MQM Pakistan’s decision-making body had got the power to endorse its decisions and would not take any dictation from abroad.

“Earlier, the MQM leaders and workers announced their disassociation from the party, but today we have disassociated the party from MQM London,” he added.

The MQM Pakistan leader said: On August 23, I announced the MQM disowned and condemned the MQM founder’s speech, but the opponents created confusion while it was clear that if we don’t have any association with MQM London, it means we also don’t have any link with Altaf Hussain,” affirmed Sattar.

He said the MQM was not demanding political ownership as compensation, but it was its right to do so. The party’s seriousness should not be doubted anymore and victimisation should be halted, he added.

Sattar said attempts were being made to introduce some new versions of MQM. He stated the party headquarters, Nine Zero, was sealed illegally a few days back. He said the party’s offices that were razed were legal as documents regarding their legality were available.

Over 20 offices of the party had so far been demolished, said Sattar with a demand to reopen MQM Headquarters, Nine Zero, at once. He stated Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar himself would demolish MQM’s offices once he took oath of his slot.

Sattar said terrorists would no longer be associated with MQM, but if anyone wanted to adopt a wrong way, he was allowed to part ways with MQM Pakistan.

Sattar told the federal and provincial rulers that MQM Pakistan members and workers had nothing to do with Altaf Hussain’s statement, so the efforts being made to push us towards a negative approach should be halted. “We have shown a positive attitude and expect the same from the rulers,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, MQM Pakistan leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan said MQM`s mandate would remain intact and it should be respected. He demanded the authorities to release MQM women wing workers apprehended by Sindh police, adding such an incident never took place in Pakistan`s history.

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