KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Farooq Sattar claimed that MQM is a victim of state terrorism for the past two years, adding that the party cannot continue its political activities if law enforcement agencies continue to raid its offices in Karachi.
Sattar was speaking to party workers and supporters during a protest rally, which turned into a sit-in at Numaish Chowrangi after police barred the protesters from moving towards the Red Zone.
The MQM lawmaker announced that he along with other MQM leaders and party workers will voluntarily present themselves before security agencies for arrest but after local body polls — which are scheduled for December 5.
“4,000 MQM workers were arrested while 5,000 raids were conducted on our offices,” claimed Farooq Sattar.
The senior MQM leader claimed that some forces are trying to portray that MQM follows the politics of violence and crime, adding that “MQM is a political party and will talk about politics wherever and whenever it gets a chance.
“Today, you witnessed a million march, on December 5 (election day) there will be a billion march,” said Sattar.
Later the sit-in ended after MQM leader Amir Khan ordered the party supporters and workers to disperse peacefully.
Earlier in the day, police stopped the MQM rally at Numaish Chowrangi, barring it from entering the Red Zone. The MQM had taken out the rally to protest against alleged illegal arrest of its workers.
The protest rally started from Liaquatabad and was scheduled to culminate at the Rangers Headquarters located near Sindh Assembly, but police stopped the participants – led by MQM’s senior leadership – near Numaish Chowrangi.
The police forces deployed were under orders to stop the rally at Quaid-i-Azam’s mausoleum. MQM leaders also stopped the party workers and supporters from moving forward.
Security forces had earlier sealed the sensitive area around the Rangers Headquarters, which is in close proximity to the Governor House, CM House and other important state buildings.
The police stated that it will not allow the rally to enter the Red Zone in Karachi’s Saddar area.
High-ranking police officials, including DIG-South and Sindh IG Ghulam Haider Jamali told media personnel that they will not allow protesters to enter the sensitive area and would employ water canons to disperse the crowd if need be.
Authorities had also placed barriers along the routes leading to the Red Zone, in order to stop the rally from proceeding. Roads around the area witnessed heavy traffic congestion due to the blockades.
MQM’s leadership, on the other hand, said it will end the protest rally where stopped and will respect the law.
The party claims 22 of its workers were busy with the election campaign for the upcoming LG polls when they were arrested by the law enforcement agencies. The party alleged it was an attempt to curtail the activities of the most favoured contender in Karachi days before polling day.
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