ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Sunday termed Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain's statement tantamount to waging war against the country.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad the federal interior minister said, "The hate-inciting speech, made in a foreign country last night, crossed all limits. Heads of key institutions were insulted."
He added that, "Sarcastic poems were read against the armed forces of Pakistan and accusations were levelled against the army."
The interior minister was of the view that "these statements cannot exhibit the sentiments of a patriotic Pakistani".
"MQM leader Farooq Sattar on August 27, 2013 had demanded that Karachi be handed over to the army. The perception that the operation in Karachi is against the MQM or that the operation only targets one specific party is absolutely wrong, as the action has been taken across the board."
Chaudhry Nisar further said, "Only criminal elements within the MQM have been targeted during the ongoing operation. Activists belonging to the PPP, Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Sunni Tehreek, Shabab-i-Milli and ANP were also arrested but no party raised any objections apart from the MQM."
No other party took to the streets nor asked for the operation to be ended, he claimed.
Even, the MQM as a party has raised no issues against the operation, he said, adding "I don't consider the Urdu-speaking community or the MQM to be against Pakistan".
"The operation will continue with the same pace," the federal interior minister asserted. "The efforts carried out by government have resulted in a decrease in terrorism cases."
Chaudhry Nisar further said, "Altaf hasn't come to the country during the past 25 years and I doubt that he will ever return."
The noose around Altaf is being tightened over two cases filed in London and he is venting his anger on Pakistanis, the interior minister claimed.
"The Imran Farooq murder case and the money-laundering case against Altaf have not been initiated by the Pakistani armed forces, nor its government," the federal interior minister said adding that, "The cases are not being heard in Pakistani courts.They have been lodged by the country where the MQM chief has chosen to seek asylum in."
Responding to a question the federal interior minister said, "Though the media has ended live broadcast of Altaf Hussain's speeches, the government is further considering a blanket ban on the speeches of the MQM chief."
We are examining the speech as a disclosure of attempting to abet waging of war against Pakistan and its institutions, said Nisar.
"The speech made from MQM's London Office is a conspiracy against the sovereignty and integrity of the country, as it invited foreign forces and India to interfere in Pakistan's internal matters.
"We will approach the British authorities in the next few days and submit a legal document on the matter," said the interior minister. "Work is already under way in this regard."
Citing the stats for crime committed in Karachi, Nisar said that, "Target killing decreased by 50 per cent in July, while there was a 100 per cent drop in kidnapping for ransom cases as not a single such case was filed during the last month."
Meanwhile, only one bank robbery was reported in July, and the whole world has praised the law and order situation in Karachi on this Eid.
Also read: Altaf apologises for remarks about army
Tirade proves Altaf working for the enemies of Pakistan: Shahbaz
Earlier Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday said that Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain's tirade against the army proved that he is "working for the enemies of Pakistan".
Shahbaz added that 'so-called leaders' who call out to India await an "exemplary end".
The CM also said that Hussain's hue and cry over the issue proved the Rangers had taken the right steps in Karachi.
On Saturday, Altaf Hussain, while addressing the 19th worker's convention in Dallas, asked MQM activists to approach the United Nations and Nato headquarters in the United States and "inform them of human rights abuses against the muhajir community", according to a statement on the MQM website.
He also told MQM activists to, "ask for Nato and UN forces to be sent to Karachi to ascertain who is responsible for the bloodshed in Karachi."
Earlier on July 30 the MQM in a letter sent to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, had claimed excesses committed by the para-military Rangers in their ongoing security operation in Karachi.
The letter was submitted by the MQM's International Secretariat, and was undersigned by the party's Head of International Relations.
The party in its letter sent to the UN, alleges that their workers are being mistreated during the current security operation being conducted in Karachi, and law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are unlawfully detaining their activists.
The letter specifically mentions the raid conducted on MQM's headquarters on the night of July 17, and the subsequent arrest of Qamar Mansoor, a member of the party's Rabita Committee.
MQM has further elaborated in their letter that the court had allowed Mansoor to get treatment in a private hospital, after an application was submitted in this regard.
Although the court had allowed treatment in the case, Rangers later denied it citing security reasons. The para-military force had earlier claimed during a court hearing that treatment was being provided to Mansoor in his special cell.
Also read: Police declares Altaf Hussain absconder
Background: Karachi operation
The ‘operation’ against criminal elements in Pakistan’s commercial hub was initiated back in September 2013 after the federal cabinet empowered Rangers to lead a targeted advance with the support of police against criminals already identified by federal military and civilian agencies for their alleged involvement in targeted killings, kidnappings for ransom, extortion and terrorism in Karachi.
When Rangers raided MQM headquarters in March 2015, the party alleged the operation had taken on a political colour.
But Rangers claimed it had conducted the raid on a tip off that said wanted persons were present at Nine Zero— the party’s headquarters.
Since then, Rangers DG Maj Gen Bilal Akbar and army chief Gen Raheel have insisted that the operation is not targeted at a particular political party and will meet its logical end.
A high-level apex committee meeting chaired by the Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif on May 14, 2015 decided to implement effective policing and surveillance in the "vast suburbs of Karachi", to prevent what the military spokesperson said were "sneaking terrorist attacks".
At the meeting, Gen Sharif vowed to continue "across the board operations" at an increased pace and hunt down terrorists who commit heinous acts.
Military spokesman Asim Bajwa announced that the meeting had assessed ongoing operations against terrorists, and touched upon directing intelligence agencies to assist in the "exploitation of existing leads" in all operations.
The Rangers conducted a second raid on MQM headquarters on July 17, detaining two members of the party's Coordination Committee for "arranging and facilitating" what the DG Rangers called "hate speeches against the peace of Karachi”.