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MQM boycotts assembly session over extra-judicial killings, torture

11 February, 2014

MQM Leader, Faisal Sabzwari addresses during session and protesting against detention of MQM worker Fahad Aziz and police torture upon Fahad, at Sindh
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KARACHI: The Muttahida Quami Movement on Monday boycotted the session of the Sindh Assembly to protest the alleged extra-judicial killings and illegal arrests of its workers.

As per details, the Sindh Assembly met 1 hour and 55 minutes late than its scheduled time, with speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in the chair. Leader of the opposition Faisal Ali Subzwari on a point of order expressed reservations of his party on the ongoing Karachi operation.

He strongly protested the arrest and torture on MQM worker Fahad Aziz who was arrested on his wedding day. He alleged that police and law enforcement agencies were involved in the excesses being meted out to MQM cadres.

Later, all MQM lawmakers staged a walkout, which continued until the end of the sitting.

The assembly passed two bills, Government Bill No: 05 of 2014-The NIBD Post Graduate Institute of Life Sciences Bill, 2014 and the Government Bill No: 02 of 2014-The Sindh Solid Waste Management Board Bill, 2013, both tabled by Sindh Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sikandar Mandhro.

PML-F member Nusrat Bano Seher Abbasi on a call-attention notice asked from the home minister about the measures being taken to equip Sindh Police with latest and modern automatic weapons. Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon responded to the call-attention notice and said the government was making all-out efforts to cater to the needs of the police.

A privilege motion by Khawaja Izharul Hassan and Abdul Haseeb was deferred because the movers were not present in the House, as they belong to the MQM, which staged a walkout from the assembly.

The speaker taking notice of the delay in the sitting asked the members to reach the assembly in time. Later, he adjourned the House for today (Tuesday) at 10am.

SHC seeks comments on extra-judicial killings: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday issued a notice to the interior secretary, home secretary, Rangers director general, Sindh Police chief and other police officials, directing them to submit their respective comments on a petition of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) against extra-judicial killings and torture of its members by law enforcement agencies.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar issued the notice to respondent officials and chief provincial law officer, and adjourned the hearing until February 11.

The party through its leader Dr Farooq Sattar, MQM member Fahad Aziz and his father filed a petition, impleading interior secretary, home secretary, Rangers director general, Sindh IG, SSP (East) and Sharah-e-Faisal SHO as respondents.

Dr Farooqh Naseem on behalf of the petitioners submitted in the court that law enforcement agencies had unleashed a campaign of terror against urban citizens, especially MQM and its workers.

He said that in the past, about eight persons from Karachi had been killed extra-judicially, while about 45 persons were still missing.

He cited the brutal murder of Muhammad Salman, a worker of the MQM who was allegedly picked up by law enforcement agencies, while calling it extra-judicial killing.

Dr Faroogh told the two-judge bench that police picked up petitioner Fahad Aziz when he was on his route to his wedding, adding that he was detained by police who subjected him to torture and demanded gratification for his release.

He said that later Fahad was admitted to a hospital in Gulistan-e-Jauhar by the Sharah-e-Faisal SHO, who said that Fahad had been hospitalised for having a stomachache.

He requested the court to order the provincial authorities to pay compensation to the victim and lodge an FIR against the police officials involved.

HRCP for probing complaints of excesses against MQM

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has demanded a transparent enquiry into the abduction and murder of a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker in Karachi.

The HRCP has called for a probe into complaints by the party about extra-judicial killing and illegal detention of its workers. In a press statement on Monday, HRCP said: "The MQM has repeatedly complained about illegal arrests, detention and extra-judicial killings of its workers and supporters in Karachi because of their political affiliation. The party has accused law enforcement personnel of such excesses, particularly after the commencement of a targeted operation in Karachi since August last year.

"These are extremely serious charges and HRCP always hopes and expects that such charges anywhere in Pakistan would be investigated to the fullest without the need for the authorities to be constantly implored to do so". The HRCP said it is particularly concerned about the killing of Salman Nooruddin, said to be an MQM worker, who was picked up allegedly by law enforcement personnel on February 3. His nephew was also detained along with him but was later freed. Salman's body was found dumped in Karachi's Shah Latif Town the following day. The body reportedly showed severe torture marks, which was also noted in the postmortem report.

"HRCP calls upon the government and particularly the Sindh chief minister to ensure an early judicial probe into Salman's killing and in all other cases where illegal detention, disappearance or extra-judicial killing of individuals has been alleged on account of political affiliation. "The authorities should also make sure that prompt information and cooperation is extended to courts when families of victims invoke the judicial process to seek the whereabouts of their loved ones. Unfortunately, that has not been the experience of the families in the past despite repeated court directions to the security agencies and the authorities

"The state should also remain mindful of its obligation to provide security of life to the citizens and where it has failed in that obligation it must give compensation and all possible assistance to the victims' families to get justice."

End.

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