KARACHI: A statement issued by Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain on Wednesday in which he asked people to store food and medicines for 15 days caused panic in the city and invited an immediate reaction from Sindh Rangers.

Mr Hussain said in the statement that the next 15 days were very critical because of an uncertain political situation and chances of natural calamities due to climate change. Hence people should be very careful and store food and medicines to meet any untoward situation, he added.

Later, the MQM coordination committee held a meeting only to endorse its party chief’s ‘appeal’.

Panic gripped the city as soon as private news channels flashed the MQM coordination committee’s statement.

In an attempt to calm down people, the paramilitary force issued a statement that Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, had taken a serious note of an attempt by “some elements” to spread fear and panic in the city.

“Law enforcement agencies are fully active across the city and stand alert for security of the people. The peaceful people of Karachi are requested to have faith in law enforcement agencies and immediately inform Rangers on its helpline, 1101, or contact their nearest Rangers centre in case of any suspicious activity.”

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2016