KARACHIl: Hitting back at a Rangers statement denouncing its call for a 'peaceful strike', the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Wednesday said that protesting peacefully was a legal and constitutional right of every political party.

TV reports on Wednesday quoted Director General (DG) Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar as asking citizens to not follow MQM's strike call and vowing to take action against businesses which chose to shut down.

The party had announced a ‘protest day’ on Wednesday against what they said was "misbehaviour of Rangers’ personnel" and the cordoning off the residence of party leader Farooq Sattar during a search operation in the PIB area of Karachi last night.

"To hold peaceful protests is the constitutional, legal and human right of every political party," said a statement issued by MQM Coordination Committee on Wednesday.

"MQM exercised its democratic right by appealing for a peaceful strike against Rangers' illegal and inhumane practices.

"The statement of DG Rangers against MQM's appeal for a peaceful strike is condemnable," it said.

DG Rangers had earlier clarified that the paramilitary force did not raid the house of MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar but it carried out a search operation near the MQM stalwart's residence.

Meanwhile, situation in most parts of Karachi remained normal on Wednesday and most businesses remained open as usual. Regular public transport could be seen on the roads of the metropolis.

Appeal for strike

In a late night statement, MQM’s coordination committee appealed to people to keep their businesses and transport shut across the Sindh province on Wednesday in protest against the alleged action by the paramilitary force.

MQM alleged in the statement that Rangers personnel charged the residence of Sattar and hit the gate of his house with their rifles and shoes. The statement also alleged that Rangers personnel prevented area residents from offering Taravih prayers.

"The Rangers operation in Karachi is only and only against MQM," said the statement.

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