KARACHI, Sept 10: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has decided to send hundreds of its workers and supporters – the purported witnesses to the violence of May 12 – in all future proceedings of a case about the May 12 mayhem being heard by a seven-member bench of the Sindh High Court.
Well-placed sources told Dawn on Monday that the MQM leadership believed that some quarters, including lawyers belonging to some political parties, were trying to present only one side of the May 12 mayhem story before the SHC bench in an attempt to blame the MQM alone for what had happened on May 12.
They said the party had developed a strategy to present its viewpoint before the court and for this it had asked workers and sympathisers, who had seen and experienced the deadly incidents on May 12, to appear before the court and furnish personal affidavits.
On Saturday, MQM chief Altaf Hussain asked a general workers’ meeting that if they were ready to narrate their eyewitness account of the May 12 mayhem at any forum. The participants, including women, replied in the positive. The same night a meeting was held at the party’s headquarters, Nine Zero, and it was decided that the party workers and supporters, to be led by MQM legislators, would go and appear before the court on Monday, the sources added.
According to a party statement, thousands of citizens including women reached the Sindh High Court on Monday to tell the court that they were witnesses to the May 12 tragedy and had seen armed terrorists firing indiscriminately on peaceful MQM rallies and killing innocent citizens. “The citizens wanted to file personal affidavits before the court to become party to the proceedings. However, the court heard the matter in chamber instead of hearing it in the courtroom and put off the case till next Monday,” the statement added.MQM leader Faisal Subzwari categorically rejected the notion that his party had tried to influence the court by sending in hundreds of its workers. “The MQM has no intention to influence the judicial inquiry. Everyone knows that our rallies on May 12 came under attack and 14 of our workers lost their lives and dozens suffered bullet injuries. It is the legal and constitutional right of every witness to help the court in its inquiry,” he said.
“We hope the court will allow all witnesses to file affidavits and hear their accounts during its next date of hearing,” he said.
MNA Kunwar Khalid Yunus said every citizen had a right to attend court proceedings. The proceedings on May 12 events had aroused MQM workers’ interest because their party was directly under attack. Its officials had been dubbed as barbarians and it was being held responsible for crimes ranging from murder to treason.
On Saturday, Mr Hussain, with reference to the May 12 proceedings, stated in his speech that the masses would not accept ‘any decision’ which might be given without taking into consideration the ground realities and facts and would hold accountable anyone committing injustice.