LONDON, Mar 14 (INP) : Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Saturday urged lawyers, rights activists and journalists to raise their voice against what he called the ‘brutal torture’ of his party workers arrested by the Rangers force. Rangers forces raided the MQM head-office early Wednesday, seizing a “huge quantity” of weapons and arrested hardened criminals, including one accused of murdering journalist Wali Babar.
But Hussain claimed some of the arms, which a Rangers spokesman said was illegal and likely stolen from weapons containers supplying Nato forces in Afghanistan, were planted by the forces in an effort to malign the MQM. “Just like the Jinnahpur conspiracy, the party is being maligned once again by showing weapons brought from outside,” he said, referring to a paramilitary operation in Karachi in 1992 which resulted in the death and arrests of several MQM workers.
On Thursday, an anti-terrorism court remanded 28 of the men arrested from the MQM offices into Rangers custody after they were brought blindfolded and handcuffed to the court. Hussain said that the arrested workers were being treated like war criminals. “Those arrested from Azizabad are being treated as if they were prisoners of war. They include my nephew Abdul Aziz and my cousin’s son. They even tried to show Nooruddin Subhani, a mere cook at ‘Nine-Zero’, as a target-killer,”
he said. Hussain claimed that the guns of the Karachi operation were being turned against the MQM on the pretext of arresting hardened criminals. The MQM chief asked why raids were carried out on the residence of his 70-year-old widowed sister Saira Aslam. “Officials should explain what they themselves would go through if similar treatment is meted out to their sisters or daughters,” he asked. He said that the MQM desires an end to the status quo and the elimination of corruption from the country.