Tuesday Aug 23, 2016
KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) headquarters Nine Zero has been sealed in Karachi after party workers turned to violence following directives by party chief Altaf Hussain to surround the offices of Geo News, Samaa and ARY.
Prior to resorting to violence, MQM workers also chanted anti-Pakistan slogans incited by Altaf Hussain who addressed them at the Karachi Press Club (KPC).
Apart from Nine Zero which includes Altaf’s residence and media cell, the party’s offices in other areas of the city including Gulshan-e-Maymar, Jamshed Quarters, Orangi Town, Landhi, Shah Faisal Colony were also sealed.
MQM sector offices in Lyari, Ranchor Line, Burns Road and PIB Colony, Society, Mehmoodabad, Defense, Gulbahar and Nazimabad were also locked down.
Party offices were also sealed in New Karachi, Gulshan Iqbal, Surjani Town, Gulistan e Jauhar, Azizabad, Liaquatabad and Malir.
It was further said that more than 50 activists and office-bearers were nabbed during the raids.
In Hyderabad , MQM’s zonal office located in Liberty Chowk was sealed. Meanhwile in Tando Allah Yar the office had been locked prior to the arrival of the police.
According to sources, 50 MQM workers have been arrested by law enforcement agencies.
SSP Central Muqaddas Haider and Sector Commander Rangers Khurrum Shahzad confirmed that Nine Zero has been sealed.
Khurrum Shahzad said that the operation on MQM headquarters had concluded, adding that weapons were also recovered.
He said that five SMGs and two pistols were recovered during the operation. Shahzad said that the recovered weapons would be sent for forensics. He added that MQM's information department was also sealed.
Earlier, Sindh Rangers’ personnel entered the MQM headquarters, after taking five senior MQM leaders into custody earlier in the day.
According to details, the detained leaders include Farooq Sattar, Khawaja Izharul Hassan, Arshad Vohra, Khawaja Sohail and Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain.
The party's official website has also been shut down.
Video clip from the moment outside Karachi Press Club shows the MQM senior leader Sattar asking the official for two minutes, but the Rangers official insists and takes him away.
Farooq Sattar went to press club for a press conference after MQM party’s workers turned to violence after being told by their party chief to surround the offices of Geo News, Samaa and ARY.
Sindh Rangers’ spokesman confirmed that MQM leaders Farooq Sattar and Khawaja Izharul Hassan have been taken into custody.
He said that both leaders had come to Karachi Press Club for media talk.
Earlier during the day, at least one person reportedly injured in the firing near Zainab market succumbed to his wounds at the hospital after the violence.
Two other people sustained injuries during the violent attacks in which around 2000 party workers participated.
The workers also caused damage to shops located in Zainab market in the Saddar area of the city forcing owners to close.
Traffic jams were witnessed in areas surrounding I.I.Chundrigar road, while the road leading to CM House was also shut.
Windows of several vehicles broke due to stone-pelting by MQM workers. More than one dozen people were arrested by the authorities.
CM Sindh, DG Rangers visit Geo News office
Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah and DG Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar visited the Geo News head office in Karachi.
They met the channel’s administration and directed law enforcement agencies to improve security measures.
“Cases will obviously be registered. A criminal activity has taken place and action will be taken according to the law,” CM Sindh said during his visit to Geo News office.
DG Rangers said that security of media institutions and journalists would be ensured.
COAS telephones DG Rangers
Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif telephoned DG Rangers Sindh and directed to maintain law and order situation in Karachi.
COAS said that those who caused the mayhem must be caught at all cost.
DG Rangers during the phone call assured General Raheel that stern action would be taken against the miscreants and their instigators.
He also said that peace in the city would be ensured.