KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) warned on Monday to lockdown the port city if the National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) and passport were not issued to party Chief Altaf Hussain, DawnNews reported.
MQM’s Rabita (coordination) Committee, in an official statement issued here, condemned the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) for using delay tactics in the issuance of NICOP to Altaf Hussain.
The statement said the party and its workers would stage a countrywide protest if the NICOP was not issued to the MQM chief, who is living in a self-imposed exile in London for over 20 years.
The committee termed the denial of card to Hussain by the authorities as “unconstitutional and unjustified in light of the fundamental rights guaranteed.”
Senator Tahir Mashhadi of MQM also warned of closing down Karachi for a year if the government failed to issue passport and identity card to Altaf Hussain.
The party has demanded that the president, prime minister and federal interior minister should take notice of the matter and take action against those creating hurdles in issuance of relevant documents to the MQM leader.
Altaf expresses concerns over officials’ statements
In a statement issued from London, the MQM chief said that statements of the additional interior secretary and the DG passports in the Senate have caused him shock and distress.
The officials asserted that the ministry of interior had not received any application for passport or identity card in a meeting of Senate’s committee on interior held earlier today.
“I would like to tell high officials of Interior ministry and federal government that I had applied for a Pakistani passport on April 4 in the presence of members of Rabita Committee, MQM’s office bearers and workers,” said Hussain.
“I was told by the passport officials at the embassy that I would have to get a NICOP for this purpose. I went to Nadra office with Pakistan’s Ambassador Wajid Shamsul Hasan, MQM’s office bearers and other supporters.”
The MQM chief said that Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan can confirm this Ambassador Hasan. He also said that he has receipt and tracking id.
Hussain said that despite fulfilling all the requirements of Nadra, he had not received his NICOP card yet.
“How can I apply for a passport when I don’t have the NICOP card,” he said.
The MQM chief urged the government and the concerned department to stop their discriminatory attitude towards him.
“Otherwise, my millions of supporters across the globe can stage protest over this injustice and biased attitude,” he warned in the statement.
“Interior Ministry and its officials should not try to make the matter worse. They must show sagacity and investigate into the matter and try to find out the people who have displayed strong bias against a popular leader of the million people. What are their motives and why are they putting loyal Pakistanis in distress?”
“If I am not Pakistani then no one can claim that he is a Pakistani,” said the MQM chief.