Thursday Jan 27 2022
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Sindh govt had to take action against MQM due to PSL: Saeed Ghani

Web Desk
Sindh govt had to take action against MQM due to PSL: Saeed Ghani

Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani condemned the situation that arose in Karachi on Wednesday, saying it was an "undesirable act". 

The minister, however, said the provincial government had to take action against MQM-P workers mainly because of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which is scheduled to start today (Thursday).

"The leadership of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) had been informed that the situation could worsen in the event of them going to CM House. Despite knowing this, they went," said the provincial minister while speaking on Geo News programme 'Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath'.

"Jamaat-e-Islami was also sitting in the red zone. We neither tortured them nor did we try to move them from there."

He said the South deputy commissioner had informed Wasim Akhtar and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui that the PSL teams are staying at a hotel near CM House. The MQM leaders were told that if they go there, the cricket teams will be affected and Pakistan's image will be sullied worldwide, he said.

In case an act of terror had taken place, the return of cricket to Pakistan would have been badly damaged, he asserted.

Appearing on the same programme, former Karachi mayor and MQM leader Wasim Akhtar said that the party's political workers wanted to talk to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to resolve all the issues of the megacity.

"We were talking to Murtaza Wahab. In the meantime, the police started shelling," he said. "We demand the provincial government sack the IG of Sindh police."

"If our demands are not met, we will again march towards CM House," Akhtar warned.

"We were peaceful. I talked to the administration and said we will sit and protest. I said that if someone comes to us from CM House, we will tell them our issues and recommendations," he said.

"Murtaza Wahab was on phone with Izharul Hassan and Amir Khan who were in a side alley. In the meantime, baton-charging and shelling started on the main road," he said.

"It was the police who took the lead. People got wounded. There was chaos with people getting injured with tear-gas shells. We did not know what happened as we're busy in negotiations while standing at a side alley. We had told Murtaza Wahab that the police personnel are carrying tear-gas guns. But, he said nothing will happen."

Akhtar also said that the administration told him that the PSL teams were staying at another hotel [away from CM house].

Saeed Ghani said such events usually take place when 1,000 to 1,200 protesters are staging a sit-in.

Referring to a video of an MPA, Sadaqat, he said the video clearly shows that the MPA is wielding a baton in his hand along with other stick-toting activists and they are seen beating up the police.

"The MQM, by becoming the B-team of the PTI, seeks to divert people's attention from the taxes worth Rs350 billion and other issues of gas shortage and increased electricity bills in Karachi," he said.

Contradicting Akhtar's claim, Ghani said that when the MQM workers came to CM House, they were told to go to the Karachi Press Club, which they promised to do. But, they did not go back and said they would stage a sit-in at CM House, he said. "The administration told them if they do not vacate the place, action would have to be taken," he said.

Akhtar said a lot of workers, including women, were unaccounted for. He said all political parties of the province are opposing the Sindh government's local bodies act, which he termed a 'Black Law'. It was introduced in December last year.

Responding to the three demands of the MQM-P, Ghani said all the arrested people will be released, except those involved in serious action. However, he categorically said that the IG will not be removed from office.