Islamabad: Senate debates on MQM’s Nine Zero raid

ISLAMABAD: Leader of the House in the Senate Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq on Wednesday refuted allegation of Muttahida Qaumi Movement that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was behind the early morning raid at its head office in Karachi.

“This allegation is totally wrong and baseless. I strongly and categorically reject it,” he said speaking in the Senate in response
to an MQM Senator who had accused the ruling party of taking action at the party headoffice.

He said the assertion that the action was carried out because the MQM did not support the ruling party for the election of top Senate slots, was totally baseless. Haq said if Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif could visit the residence of former President Asif Ali Zardari to support Raza Rabbani as a consensus candidate for the Senate chairmanship, then how could he think of such action.

He said under the laid down procedure the chief ministers concerned were acting as captains in in the fight against terrorism and extremism. Any information received by the departments regarding terrorists or extremists was passed on to security agencies for an action, he added.

He assured that he would contact the Sindh Chief Minister and present the details in the House. Meanwhile, the MQM Senators staged a walkout from the House to protest the early morning raid at the party headoffice.

Col (retd) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi alleged that over 100 MQM workers had been arrested. The Karachi operation should not be politicized. “The law enforcers should concentrate on apprehending target killers, extortionists and members of proscribed organizations,”he added.

Dr Qayyum Soomro of Pakistan People’s Party said the criminal elements should be apprehended in collaboration with political parties. Farhatullah Babar of PPP said a human rights committee or special sub-committee should be constituted to probe allegations
against law enforcement agencies.

Ms Nasreen Jalil of MQM said transparency should be ensured in the ongoing operation in Karachi. Shahi Sayed of Awami National Party said a political party should not dump weapons in its offices. “Terrorists irrespective of their political affiliations must be nabbed and punished. Political parties should purge themselves of criminal elements,” he added.

Maulana Tanveer-ul-Haq Thanvi said congenial atmosphere must be kept intact. Baber Ghouri of MQM said terrorists belonging to any political party must be nabbed. He urged the government to probe alleged excesses being committed against the MQM. Sherala Malik criticized the raid at MQM’s headquarter.

Senator Abdul Rauf said Karachi had virtually been made a “no go area” for other parties. “Karachi belongs to every community and the mindset that Karachi is ‘ours’ should be changed,” he added.