KARACHI: In the backdrop of recent targeted killing of many people in the city, local leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Tuesday held a meeting at the Governor’s House on Tuesday and agreed to coordinate with each other and support stern action against elements involved in such killings.
Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan, who presided over the meeting, told a press conference that political forces agreed to ensure coordination between them and support action against miscreants, who would not lose a chance to create a law and order situation in the metropolis.
He said that the incidents of targeted killings in which many PPP and MQM workers as well as other innocent people were gunned down in the city over the past few days was discussed at the meeting.
“PPP and MQM are two major coalition partners in Sindh and President Asif Ali Zardari and (MQM chief) Altaf Bhai have taken notice of the situation,” he said, adding that the parties could play their role in curbing such incidents by coordinating with each other and ensuring unity at the grassroots level. Other parties would also be taken on board to ensure their cooperation in restoring peace to the city, he said.
The governor noted that there was ‘exemplary harmony and unity’ among all sects and ethnic communities in the city as they were not at odds with one another. “They all are shocked over the targeted killings — of Ahl-i-Tashee, doctors, lawyers, political activists and other people — wherever they happened,” he said.
In reply to a question, the governor said peace in Karachi was in the interest of all political forces, particularly the MQM, which had more stakes than others in the city. Similarly, he pointed out, being the majority party at the centre and in Sindh, the PPP also had its stakes in Karachi. He argued that peace in the city would ultimately benefit the Awami National Party (ANP), and said that those who were blaming the (Sindh) coalition parties for the law and order situation were actually the elements who benefited only from instability in the city. “Whenever killings take place, the miscreants try to blame it on coalition parties to create tension between them,” he said.
Supporting the governor’s contentions, PPP Karachi president Syed Faisal Raza Abidi said there was no clash of interests between the PPP and the MQM in the city. Rather, he said, a third force was butchering innocent people.
He said the PPP, MQM, ANP and Ahl-i-Tashee, Ahl-i-Sunnat and all other forces wanted peace and harmony to be maintained in the city. For the purpose, he added, the meeting decided to constitute a committee with the task of ensuring harmony among followers of all schools of thought and the file and ranks of all political forces. He said the committee would also expose those who were in Karachi and involved in creating instability in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The meeting, he said, had also decided to support moves to give the police and other security forces “a freehand to deal with enemies of humanity”.
MQM coordination committee member Dr Sagheer Ahmad said that anti-people elements were bent upon disturbing the peace in Karachi and other parts of the province. He stressed the need for foiling their designs through the reconciliation process initiated by Asif Zardari and Altaf Hussain. He expressed his party’s resolve to help foil conspiracies aimed at sabotaging political activities in the city.