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PML-N rejects MQM criticism

August 25, 2009

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Naseer Akhtar and Brig Imtiaz to hear their versions on the 1992 operation.

He called upon the president, the prime minister and the federal cabinet to “take the nation into confidence” about those “testing times”.

A large number of relatives of MQM workers who were killed during the military operation were present at the Jinnah ground.

ISLAMABAD The Pakistan Muslim League-N has rejected the criticism by Muttahida Qaumi Movement's chief Altaf Hussain against Nawaz Sharif, saying it is an attempt to deflect people's attention from investigations into the happenings of May 12, 2007, in Karachi.

In a rejoinder issued on Monday, PML-N's Secretary Information Ahsan Iqbal said that the army had launched an unauthorised crackdown against the MQM in 1992, without taking the government into confidence. “General Asif Nawaz gave the go-ahead for the military operation without any political consultation.”

Mr Iqbal said the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif had no role in the military operation because he was out of the country.

He said Gen Asif Nawaz had not been given mandate to launch the operation.

He asked the MQM leadership to explain why it allied itself with the PML-N government in 1997 if it believed that Mr Sharif was responsible for the crackdown.

Refering to the re-launching of the operation in 1994, Mr Iqbal urged MQM to ask the then interior minister Naseerullah Babar of the Pakistan People's Party about it.

He said the MQM should tell the nation why it had allied itself with the PPP government if it considered the operation in 1994 was unjustified.

He said despite consistently criticising the army in the past, Mr Hussain and his party collaborated with Gen Pervez Musharraf for the sake of power.

Commenting on Altaf Hussains request to the Army for destroying the record against MQM, he said why had MQM not done so when his party (the MQM) was a partner in power during the Musharraf regime.

Mr Iqbal said the focus of PML-N's politics was the nation's demand for Gen (retd) Musharraf's trial and scrapping the 17th Amendment.

He criticised the PPP for deviating from the Charter of Democracy after Ms Bhutto's assassination and continuing the policies pursued by the Musharraf regime.