Farooq Sattar rebuffs claims of confrontation with Rangers

Published March 12, 2015
DawnNews screengrab show Dr Farooq Sattar addressing a press conference.
DawnNews screengrab show Dr Farooq Sattar addressing a press conference.

KARACHI: There is no confrontation between Muttahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) and any security agency including the Rangers, said MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar while addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Nine Zero — which was raided by Rangers a day earlier.

While discussing Wednesday’s operation, he said “The raid — according to the Rangers — was conducted in order to apprehend notorious criminals. But among the 110 people arrested, there were those with no affiliation to the MQM.”

Also read: Karachi in daze after Rangers’ raid on MQM redoubt

“The MQM maintains that Waqas Ali Shah was killed by Rangers personnel and we have enough evidence to prove this,” said the MQM leader, commenting on the killing of MQM's activist during the Ranger's raid on Wednesday.

He also appealed to the media to refrain from manipulation and misreporting of the incident. Sattar asked the army chief, Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (DG ISI) and Director General Rangers to look into the incident and execute justice.

Dr. Sattar claimed that all weapons seized during the raid were licensed. “These weapons were kept to protect Nine Zero from any terrorist attack — as a response to warnings by security agencies.”

While dismissing allegations related to stolen Nato weapons in MQM's possession, Sattar referred to a tweet from the United States State Department that said no Nato weaponry had been transported via ports in Karachi.

He went on to rebuff the claims that Nine Zero is a no-go area and said “No counter-firing was exchanged by any person throughout the four-hour raid”.

Also read: Rangers raid MQM HQ in Karachi, detain member of Rabita Committee

He asserted that the MQM is the third-largest party in the country and should be respected accordingly, and that Nine Zero (the residence of party leader Altaf Hussain) should not be seen as a hub of criminal activity.

Commenting on the arrest of party member Amir Khan, Dr Sattar said while party members were initially detained for questioning, they were later treated as terrorists and taken into custody.

The arrested suspects were produced in front of an anti-terrorism court in Karachi today after which they were remanded to Rangers personnel under the PPO for 90 days.

“There should be a difference between the treatment given to a terrorist and a political worker,” he appealed.

Also speaking on the occasion, party leader Haider Abbas Rizvi lashed out at the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and its chairman Imran Khan for ‘celebrating’ the raid on the office of a political party. He lamented the fact that certain political parties are seeing this as an opportunity to suppress MQM “but their nefarious dreams will never come true”.

He affirmed MQM’s unconditional support for law enforcement agencies and said “MQM is the ultimate beneficiary of peace in Karachi”.

Following the press conference by MQM's senior leaders, barriers outside Nine Zero were removed.

DawnNews screengrab shows a lifter removing barriers outside Nine Zero.
DawnNews screengrab shows a lifter removing barriers outside Nine Zero.

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