Altaf Hussain army’s Karachi deployment sparks controversy

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 2:26:30 by

The opposition Pakistan Peoples Party on Tuesday angrily reacted to suggestion by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain for deployment of the army in the violence-hit Karachi.

Hussain, the self-exile MQM leader, who is famous for controversial remarks, on Tuesday proposed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to hand over Karachi to the Army to restore peace in the commercial hub of the country.

“The Sindh government has completely failed to protect the residents of Karachi from criminal elements,” Altaf said in a statement.

PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi also criticized Hussain’s demand and called for resignation of Governor’s Sindh Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad.

The statement came amid violence in Lyari where hand grenade attacks late Monday caused casualties.

A day earlier 12 people were killed in the city including the Ahle Sunnat Waljamaat spokesperson.

Hussain added that the people of Karachi, particularly the traders, are hoping to be rescued by the armed forces as the police and Rangers have failed to do their job.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) claimed that the paramilitary forces in the city are creating fear among the residents rather than promoting peace.

In its report, the human rights organisation took up 11 recent cases of abduction, extra-judicial killings and torture allegedly by the Rangers and observed that the Rangers had abused their power and not disclosed charges against abducted persons.

Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah criticized Altaf Hussain’s demand and said the MQM usually makes big demands and abruptly deny to their own statements.

Shah said a military administration in Karachi can consequently be a big mistake and MQM chief’s demand could be a part of a conspiracy. He further stated that army supervision in the city can undermine democracy.

MQM deputy convener Farooq Sattar defended Hussain’s demand after the PPP criticism. He himself had made similar demand in a recent speech in the National Assembly.

Sattar stated that military administration apparently seems unimportant but only armed forces can control the violence in the city.

The MQM says Hussain has demanded military deployment in view of the failure of the civil administration to check violence and target killing in the city.

He has expressed his concerns on Sindh government failed protection to the residents of Karachi, especially the business community. He stated that police and rangers have failed to do their job and only armed forces can rescue the city from criminal elements.

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