KARACHI, May 5: While the caretaker interior minister claimed that terrorists wanted to sabotage the elections, a senior leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has feared that voters may not come to polling stations on May 11 under the present law and order situation.
Interior Minister Malik Habib’s claim and MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar’s fear came in the light at a joint press conference of the two held at the MQM’s headquarters Nine Zero on Sunday.
The interior minister arrived in the metropolis from Islamabad on the instruction of the caretaker prime minister to review the overall security arrangements in the wake of twin bomb blasts outside an election office of the MQM in Azizabad.
He went to the MQM headquarters and met its leadership and apprised them of the government’s measures to ensure security for election-related activities and on the day of polling.
Later, Dr Sattar told reporters that the interior minister was informed of the MQM’s apprehensions about the recent spate of terrorism in Karachi and the party hoped that he would play his role in that regard.
He said concrete action against terrorists must be taken, otherwise people would think that the caretaker set-up was helpless against those who wanted to sabotage the elections.
He said acts of terrorism were a question mark over holding free and transparent elections.
He said that everyone was aware of the law and order situation. “It is feared that voters may not come on May 11 in the worsening situation. If that happens, how could a government be formed after these polls be called a democratic government.”
He appealed to the people to come to the polling stations in a large number to exercise their right to vote on May 11 to defeat terrorist and extremist elements.
The interior minister told the media that terrorists wanted to sabotage the elections.
He said the government knew about the situation in Karachi and it was taking every possible step to ensure transparent elections here, in Balochistan and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.He said the army was extending full cooperation to the government, adding that those who wanted to sabotage the elections could be defeated if the vote used rightly. He said the situation would improve after the elections.
An unpleasant situation was witnessed when the interior minister advised the MQM leadership not to use the word “Mohajir” as “we all are Pakistanis”. But MQM leader Dr Sagheer Ahmed quickly intervened and tried to pacify the situation.
The interior minister also visited the MQM office where two bomb blasts took place on Saturday evening.