Pakistan News

Kamal asks authorities to produce ‘missing’ persons

Kamal asks authorities to produce ‘missing’ persons

KARACHI: A year after his return to Pakistan and announcement about parting ways with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal said on Friday that he left MQM supremo Altaf Hussain not because of the establishment, but due to ‘the fear of God’.

“[It is] being alleged that the establishment had brought us back. Yes, the establishment has brought us back, but my establishment is Almighty God and we returned to the country because we have faith in Allah,” he said while addressing a party gathering held at Pakistan House, the PSP head office, to celebrate the first anniversary of his return.

A number of PSP workers, including women and children, gathered in front of the party headquarters in PECHS to attend the celebrations and listen to the speech of the former Karachi mayor who, along with the then senior MQM leader Anis Qaimkhani, returned from Dubai on March 3, 2016 after a three-year absence.

The duo, holding a press conference at a Defence Housing Authority bungalow, then announced establishment of their own party after levelling serious allegations against Mr Hussain, including working for Indian intelligence agency RAW. They had also invited their former colleagues in the Muttahida to quit Mr Hussain’s party and join them.

However, the response he got from his former colleagues was not very encouraging, as less than 10 lawmakers and some sidelined and disgruntled leaders of the MQM joined his caravan.

In an apparent reference to this, Mr Kamal said at the event that those whom he considered close to his heart left him but those whom he had no contact with for years extended their full support. He said that Dr Sagheer Ahmed and Iftikhar Alam were the first who joined him by resigning from their provincial assembly seats.

He said that his former colleagues in the MQM — Raza Haroon, advocate Anis Ahmed, Attaullah Kurd, Bilquees Mukhtar, Ashfaq Mangi — joined him without fearing for their lives and on the call of their conscience after listening to the press conference.

He said that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Hafeezuddin and some others came along when Mr Qaimkhani was arrested and put behind bars in a “false” case.

In a speech filled with religiosity, Mr Kamal said: “A man [Altaf Hussain] was murdering humanity and we were supporting him because of our ignorance. Almighty God has given us the courage and we chose the right path only for fear of God.

“We came here by trusting the establishment of God and nothing else,” he reiterated in reference to the allegations that he enjoys the support of the military establishment.

Mr Kamal claimed that the families of some 1,400 MQM workers whose loved ones were either in hiding or abroad and the families of 216 “missing” workers were also present at the PSP programme.

He demanded that the authorities produce the “missing” persons and give all of them a chance so that no one could exploit them again.

He paid rich tribute to his party workers and said that they turned his one-year-old party into a mainstream organisation because of their untiring efforts.

Since Mr Kamal’s return, the PSP has held three major public meetings — two in Karachi and one in Hyderabad.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2017

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