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Govt, MQM agree to chalk out Sindh political strategy

29 December, 2013

KARACHI: The PML-N-led federal government and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Saturday agreed to further improve their relations and chalk out a joint political strategy in Sindh to defend their political stakes.

This unanimity of views was reached during a meeting between Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and a representative delegation of the MQM which called on him at the Governor's House here.

The MQM delegation comprised Dr Farooq Sattar, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Dr Sagheer Ahmed and Babar Khan Ghauri.

The MQM and PML-N have joined hands as the two main opposition political parties in the Sindh Assembly to raise their mutually shared concerns and objections to the repeated amendments to Sindh Local Government Act-2013, which according to the opposition, would favour the ruling Pakistan People's Party.

Nisar assured the MQM leaders that no particular political party in the port city, including the MQM, was being victimised or targeted in the ongoing targeted operation against criminals and terrorists. He said all political parties in the city would get a level playing field to conduct their local government election campaign.

The minister told the delegation that he would personally ensure that no injustice or excess was done to any citizen during the ongoing targeted operation.

He said the federal government respected the public mandate of all political parties. He said the reservations of the MQM leadership about the ongoing targeted operation would be addressed while working in collaboration with the Sindh government.

The MQM delegation raised the issue of arbitrary detention and alleged extrajudicial killings of its activists and workers. It also complained about what it called undue raids on the party offices by the law-enforcement agencies prior to the holding of LB elections.

Sources privy to the meeting said the delegation informed the minister that the MQM had always supported any action of the law enforcement agencies which was taken without any political bias and discrimination to restore law and order in the city.

The delegation said certain instances related to the targeted operation had proven beyond doubt that the law enforcement agencies had started victimising the MQM by implicating its innocent activists in false cases.

They demanded that the federal government should immediately stop undue and arbitrary arrests and detentions of Muttahida activists. They also demanded that the MQM should be allowed to continue with its political and other public activities with full independence.

A communiqué issued by the MQM said a representative delegation of the MQM led by the party's Deputy Convener of Coordination Committee Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui met Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan at the Governor House on Saturday.

The meeting lasted for 45 minutes and it discussed the overall law and order situation in the country, efforts being made to restore peace and law and order in the country, the peace situation of Karachi and related affairs.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Saturday hinted that the next phase of the Karachi targeted operation would be tough and the federal government would address the reservations of all political parties before going ahead with the operation.

The interior minister said this during his meeting with Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan at the Governor's House here.

The law and order situation in the province, especially in Karachi, and the performance of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) came under discussion during the meeting, said a Governor's House statement.

The two leaders expressed the resolve that the ongoing operation against terrorists and criminals would be made more effective.

Nisar assured the Sindh governor of the federal government's full cooperation and said it desired that the ongoing operation should be a success in accordance with the aspirations of the people.

The LEAs were directed to arrest criminals involved in heinous crimes. The interior minister and the governor agreed that the success of the operation also depended on the active participation of the people and that they will have to play their role to help identify terrorists and criminals.

End.

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