KARACHI: Unknown miscreants vandalised a monument belonging to the once unified Muttahida Qaumi Movement in Azizabad’s Jinnah Ground on Saturday.
The incident sparked strong reaction from all factions of the MQM as well as the Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party as they condemned the vandalism and demanded the immediate arrest of the elements involved.
However, it is not yet clear when exactly the incident happened and who hammered the monument, known as Yadgar-i-Shuhada, or Martyrs’ Monument, in a locality where police and Rangers are always vigilant in restricting any gathering of any faction of the MQM.
The Nine Zero headquarters of the MQM, its public secretariat, known as Khurshid Begum complex, and the ‘Martyrs’ Monument’ in Azizabad were off limits to all MQM workers and sympathisers, no matter which faction they belong to, since Aug 22, 2016 when party founder Altaf Hussain made an incendiary speech from London.
Mustafa Kamal, Farooq Sattar also demand impartial probe into the incident, arrest of miscreants
Videos circulating on social media and also broadcast by TV channels show the damaged platform inside the monument where people used to lay wreaths. Also, the miscreants destroyed marble walls of the monument and smashed the marbled floor.
The MQM-Pakistan condemned the incident and called it “defiling of the Yadgar-i-Shuhada by unknown vandals”.
Senior leaders Amir Khan and Faisal Subzwari reached the monument and expressed their anger against those who “defiled a monument built in memory of thousands of martyrs”.
They also announced that the destroyed parts of the monument would be reconstructed.
The coordination committee of the MQM-P later went into an emergency session to chalk out their future course of action.
In a statement issued on Saturday evening, PSP chairman Mustafa Kamal said that the children of founders of Pakistan were emotionally attached to the Martyrs’ Monument.
He demanded an impartial and transparent investigation into the incident and the immediate arrest of those involved.
MQM-London convener Dr Nadeem Ehsan and disgruntled MQM-P leader Dr Farooq Sattar also condemned the incident and demanded action against miscreants.
Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2019