Altaf condemns Rangers raid on Nine Zero

Every party has armed wings, why target MQM: Altaf

LONDON: Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain condemned the raid conducted by Rangers on party headquarters Nine Zero and its surrounding areas in Karachi. In a statement the MQM chief was also critical of the arrest of innocent people during the raid.
Altaf appealed to people and workers to not let their emotions get the better of them. He added that details pertaining to Rangers accusations against the MQM would be revealed soon. He added that if God forbid anything happened to Saira Aslam the responsibility would rest on the Rangers.
Altaf further said he had been deeply saddened by the murder of MQM worker Waqas Ali Shah.

In a targeted operation early Wednesday morning, Rangers forces carried out a raid at Nine-Zero, the headquarters of the MQM in Karachi, with the party claiming that several leaders had been arrested.

A Rangers spokesman said a large cache of illegal weapons had been recovered in the “information-based operation” and that several “criminals” had also been arrested.

Speaking to media MQM leader Faisal Sabzwari said the weapons seized during the raid were licensed and were being kept by the party for security reasons. According to Sabzwari the MQM had been receiving threats from the Taliban and other militants.

In a statement issued hours after the start of the operation, the MQM’s Rabita Committee said Rangers personnel had forcefully raided and ransacked the MQM’s head office. The party said that several members had been arrested, including central leaders Amir Khan, Abdul Haseeb, Dr Saleem Danish, Arshad Hussain, Dr Ayub Sheikh, and Sindh Assembly lawmaker Rehan Zafar.

Rangers spokesman Colonel Tahir claimed no MQM lawmaker had been arrested, and that MQM senior leader Amir Khan was only kept in custody to explain “the presence of criminal elements” with him.

The MQM announced that it would observe a “day of peaceful protest” on Wednesday, and urged transporters and traders to keep their businesses and commercial activities suspended.