| Imran Khan takes notice of ‘violence used by Sindh Police against MQM’s peaceful protest’ | Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah forms probe committee | Asks MQM-P to allow autopsy of body to determine cause of death

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI   -  Prime Minister Imran Khan said Thursday that he took notice of the ‘violence by Sindh police against the peaceful sit-in’ of Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P). PM Imran Khan also directed the authorities to send back a report of the incident that led to the alleged killing of a protestor.

“I have taken note of the violence used by Sindh police against MQM’s peaceful protest against Sindh’s LG law, & have called for a report from Interior Ministry, Sindh Chief Minister & Sindh Inspector General,” he said in a tweet. The prime minister said action would be taken against the responsible persons in light of the findings of the report. “Will take necessary action against those responsible after receiving these reports,” he said.

Some media reports claimed that a worker of MQM-P was killed when police fired tear gas shells and wielded to batons to disperse the protesters outside Chief Minister House on Wednesday. However, Sindh Information Minister straightforwardly rejected the claims. 

Provincial Information Minister Saeed Ghani said the MQM-P worker later identified as Muhammad Aslam had died due of ‘cardiac arrest.’ He clarified that the deceased worker was first taken by his family to Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases as later on he was taken to NICVD where doctors pronounced him dead. “The deceased worker should have been taken to the nearby Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre or Civil Hospital, had he sustained injuries in the protest outside CM House,” he said. 

Saeed Ghani also asked the bereaved family to allow a post-mortem examination of the body to determine the exact cause of death. However, MQM-P leader Senator Faisal Sabzwari said that Aslam peacefully participated in the rally. He claimed the ‘footage and photos’ of Shaheed Muhammad Aslam’s participation in the rally are enough to prove his case. He said that the provincial ministers could evade facts by giving different interpretations.

‘Such incidents are uncalled for’

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah Thursday constituted a committee under Secretary Home to inquire into the incident that took place during a sit-in by MQM Pakistan at the main gate of the CM House on Wednesday evening.

He took this decision just after meeting with IG Police Mushtaq Maher and Commissioner Karachi Iqbal Memon and talking to MQM-P leader Aminul Haq on telephone, said a statement issued by the CM House. 

The IGP Sindh and Commissioner briefed the chief minister about the incident in detail. The chief minister expressing his displeasure and sorrow said such incidents were uncalled for. 

Syed Murad Ali Shah directed the Home Secretary to constitute a committee to inquire into the incident and fixed the responsibility so that necessary action could be taken. Earlier, the chief minister talked to MQM-P leader Aminul Haq on telephone and expressed his displeasure and sorrow on the incident. 

He added that such incidents were against the peace of the city and the on-going political harmony. Syed Murad Ali Shah and Aminul Haq agreed that the incident should not be given a linguistic colour. The statements given from both sides to portray it a linguistic issue was condemned, and they mutually agreed that such statements would not be issued onward. 

The chief minister offered the MQM-P leader to let the government conduct a postmortem of late Aslam Khan, allegedly died in police baton charge so that actual cause of death could be ascertained. 

At this Amin ul Haq said he would discuss the matter with the party leaders and family members of the deceased.

Syed Murad Ali Shah also offered the MQM-P leadership “let us sit together and discuss the new law and if you have some suggestions please share – we will consider them to incorporate in the law,” he said.  

Aminul Haq appreciated the CM’s offer and said he would discuss it with his party leaders. 

He also appreciated the Sindh government for taking appropriate action against the Tando Allahyar incident. 

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also talked to MQM-P MPA Sadaqat Hussain, injured in police action, on telephone expressed his sorrow and displeasure on the incident and inquired about his health and wished him early recovery. 

“I had directed the police on Wednesday evening to release you but you were under treatment in the hospital,” he said and told him that he was free to go to his home. The CM Sindh told the MPA that he has ordered an inquiry into the incident and the responsible would be brought to book.

Meanwhile, deceased Muhammad Aslam was laid to rest amid sobs and tears on Thursday as the party vowed to continue the protest against the ‘black’ local government law.

The MQM-P claimed that its Joint Organizer of UC-5 North Karachi Muhammad Aslam was injured during the police action against the party workers who were protesting against the new local government law outside CM house and breathe his last later. While the Sindh government refuted the claim and maintained that the worker died of natural cause.

‘FIR against CM’

Convener MQM-Pakistan Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Senior Deputy Convener Amir Khan, Deputy Conveners and members Rabita Committee, Senators, MNAs, MPAs and delegations of PML-N, ANP and other political parties, relatives of the martyr and people in large numbers attended.

MQM-P Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui while talking to media said that they would lodge murder FIR against the Chief Minister. He said that there were numerous videos in which Muhammad Aslam can be seen facing the police torture, adding that he could not survive while being taken to the hospital.