Sindh CM institutes inquiry into police action against MQM-P protesters

Published January 28, 2022
In this file photo, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah addresses a press conference. — DawnNewsTV/File
In this file photo, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah addresses a press conference. — DawnNewsTV/File

• Murad, Aminul Haq agree not to give incident a linguistic colour
• PSP, JUI-F, ANP, MQM Bahali Committee leaders attend funeral of MQM-P activist

KARACHI: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday constituted a committee under the home secretary to look into the episode that took place during a sit-in by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) at the main gate of CM House a day earlier.

He took the decision after meeting Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Mahar and Karachi Commissioner Iqbal Memon following his talk over the phone to MQM-P leader and Federal IT Minister Aminul Haq.

He directed the home secretary to constitute a committee to hold an inquiry into the incident and fix responsibility so that necessary action could be taken. The committee has been asked to submit his report within the next three days.

Expressing his displeasure and sorrow over the incident, Mr Shah told Aminul Haq that such incidents were detrimental to peace in the city and the prevailing political harmony.

The CM and MQM-P leader agreed that the incident should not be given a linguistic colour. They condemned the statements given by leaders of both sides to portray it a linguistic issue, and agreed that such statements should not be given in future.

The CM suggested that a post-mortem examination of MQM-P activist, Aslam Khan, be allowed to ascertain the actual cause of his death. MQM-P believed that he died after suffering injuries in police action against participants in the sit-in.

Mr Haq said he would discuss the suggestion with his party leadership and family members of the deceased.

Mr Shah also offered negotiations on the Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Act 2021. “Let us sit together and discuss the new law and if you have some suggestions please share – we will consider to incorporate them in the law,” he told the MQM-P leader.

Mr Haq appreciated the offer and said he would discuss it with his party leadership. He also appreciated the provincial government for taking appropriate action in the recent Tando Allahyar incident.

The CM also spoke to injured Muttahida MPA Sadaqat Hussain over phone and inquired about his health. He wished him an early recovery.

Funeral of Aslam Khan held

Leaders of Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Awami National Party (ANP) and several other parties, besides Dr Farooq Sattar of the MQM Bahali Committee, attended the funeral of MQM-P activist Aslam Khan held on Shahrah-i-Pakistan. A large number of people attended the funeral.

Both tracks of Shahrah-i-Pakistan between Water Pump and Ayesha Manzil were closed to vehicular traffic to facilitate the congregation. The coffin was wrapped in the MQM-P flag.

Later, speaking to reporters, MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said it was actually patriotism that stopped his party from reacting to the “brutality of the police and administration”.

“What wrong we have done for which we are being treated like animals,” he asked. “It’s sheer biased attitude of the PPP government and its feudal mindset. Ethnicity has turned the PPP government blind. But let me make it loud and clear that we are not going to stop our struggle. Our struggle will get more vigorous after the sacrifice offered by Aslam Bhai,” he said.

Earlier, Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani contested MQM-P’s claim that Aslam Khan died from the injuries he had suffered during police action. The actual cause of his death seemed to be a cardiac arrest, he claimed while addressing a press conference at Sindh Assembly’s committee room.

MQM-P reacted strongly to the claim and called it “insensitivity of the PPP administration”.

“It’s so shameful that the PPP government was still in a state of denial and it’s rubbing salt on the wounds of Aslam Khan’s family, his fellow workers, friends and our party,” said Senator Faisal Subzwari.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2022

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