KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement saw red when it said it emerged on Sunday that former home minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza had met its nemesis Afaq Ahmed in jail the previous night and planned an attack on the party headquarters.
While Dr Mirza offered no confirmation, he told a news channel that he had previously met Mr Ahmed and would continue to do so as an individual.
However, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, not the most well-informed person in the provincial government, said at a reception that no government official was in contact with Mr Ahmed.
MQM leader Anis Ahmed Kaimkhani told a hurriedly called news conference in the small hours of Monday that the Pakistan People’s Party government was planning to attack the MQM headquarters, popularly known as Nine Zero, and all telephone lines had been disconnected.
He said that the previous day Dr Mirza met Afaq Ahmed in prison and “hatched a plan to cut off telephones lines of Nine Zero and then attack the MQM headquarters with terrorists and members of the People’s Amn Committee”.
He thanked the media for “leaking the news of the meeting” and criticised the PPP government for pretending to have no knowledge of the meeting, as the CM denied having any contact with Mr Ahmed while Dr Mirza confirmed it himself.
He warned President Asif Ali Zardari and the PPP not to conspire against the MQM otherwise “you cannot imagine what will happen then”. “You (PPP) want division of Sindh…we are sons of Sindh and want to live here…don’t push us against the wall,” he said.
He asked the PPP to accept the resignations of MQM ministers and of the Sindh governor and fight the MQM in a democratic manner.
He also urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice of what he said was a “secret meeting”.
Afaq Ahmed, the chief of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (Haqiqi), has been confined in the Karachi central prison for the past many years.
Shamshad Ghori, a central leader of MQM-H, told Dawn that the Sindh High Court is due to hear an appeal against Mr Ahmed’s conviction on Monday (today). “We are hopeful of a positive decision, which will lead to his (Afaq Ahmed) release from prison.”