ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan proposed on Thursday the formation of a parliamentary committee to review the deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi whereas Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Farooq Sattar accused the Sindh government of engaging in ‘politics of revenge’ by arresting several party workers in overnight raids in the provincial capital.
Pakistan's federal interior minister said that Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif would visit Karachi on Sept 3 and hold meetings with Governor Sindh Ishratul Ibad Khan and provincial Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah.
Nisar said any decision taken over Karachi would be implemented under the chief minister’s leadership, and that establishment of law and order was a provincial issue.
The interior minister said that the civil society, judiciary and political parties would need to unite in order to rid Karachi of extortionists and terrorists. The interior minister also submitted a proposal to form a parliamentary committee over the issue.
He said that all the arrested suspects would be dealt with according to the law and that none of the detainees would be allowed to go 'missing.'
Moreover, MQM lawmakers staged a walk-out from the National Assembly session against what they called “the prejudice of the Pakistan People’s Party-led provincial government and the arrest and harassment of its party members” during overnight raids conducted in different parts of the provincial capital.
Addressing a press conference after the NA session, MQM leader Farooq Sattar said the PPP-led Sindh government was engaging in the “politics of the 90s” and political revenge against MQM workers.
Sattar claimed that no ‘wanted suspects’ were taken into custody during the raids and that more that one hundred innocent civilians, including “cancer and tuberculosis patients, and the elderly” were harassed and picked up by law enforcers.
He demanded the production of all arrested party workers in courts within 24 hours.The MQM leader also warned authorities against forcing the detainees into giving statements under duress.
He termed the actions of the Sindh government as “extra-judicial and extra-constitutional.” Sattar said MQM chief Altaf Hussain had asked for the Army to be deployed in Karachi as the provincial police and government had completely failed in restoring peace to the city.
In related news, the Supreme Court's hearing over the law and order situation in Karachi was underway at the apex court's Karachi registry. A five member-bench led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chuadhry is hearing the case over sua motu notice taken on the deteriorating law and order situation of the city.
Earlier on Thursday, law enforcement authorities took several suspects into custody, including members of political parties, in search and arrest operations in different parts of Karachi.
During a crackdown in Kharadar and Meethadar areas of Karachi, police detained several suspects and also seized arms and weapons from their possession.
Separately, police carried out a search operation in the city's Garden area and detained four suspected individuals whereas a political party’s unit in-charge was taken into custody in Shah Latif Town.
In a separate operation conducted in an office of a political party in Lyari, police detained seven suspects.
The detentions invoked strong criticism from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the largest political party in Karachi, and the Awami National Party (ANP).
Following the raids MQM chief Altaf Hussain said in a statement that the police raids were targeting his party workers and officials on a directive issued by the Pakistan Peoples Party-led provincial government in Sindh.
The MQM’s Rabita Committee also criticised the police operations and said the provincial government was employing “high-handed tactics”. The MQM also staged a walk-out from the Sindh Assembly in protest.
ANP leader Bashir Khan also criticised the raids and said their party workers were arrested in Quaidabad and other areas of Sindh’s metropolis.