Disappointed: MQM expresses concerns over ongoing ‘media trial’

KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) said that a ‘media trial’ of the party was going on and the matter will be taken to court.

Speaking outside the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday, MQM MPA Faisal Subzwari asked why the media was terming party workers ‘criminals’. “Aren’t there courts in the country?” he questioned. “Why is the media calling our workers criminals then?”

The party leader also expressed disappointment that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not take out time for a meeting with the Rabita Committee during his visit to Karachi. He said that they did not receive an encouraging reply.

Censuring the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for their demand of a ban on MQM, Subzwari said that their dreams of eliminating the party will never come true. “It doesn’t seem appropriate when Imran Khan, who wishes to hold dialogue with the Taliban, and the JI, whose workers have joined banned outfits, talk of a ban on the MQM,” he said. “The MQM has never patronised criminals in the past and will never support them in the future.”

The party leader said the MQM is being pinned to the wall and fake allegations were being hurled on activists. He demanded that the party be told for what crimes their men are being arrested.

According to Subzwari, MQM is a ‘responsible, peace-loving and democratic party’ and that people should be told about what really is happening.

Talking about the barriers erected around Nine Zero, he said that they were placed in the wake of potential threats by terrorists. He added that putting up barriers in neighbourhoods doesn’t mean that they were patronising criminals.

Protesting against a particular news channel, Subzwari said that no media trial or false accusations can harm their vote bank.

Meanwhile, the Rangers visited Nine Zero and adjoining areas on Wednesday afternoon to check on the barriers. According to the MQM, the law enforcement agencies did not have to remove any barriers as the people had removed them on their own.

Protests in other parts of Sindh

MQM leaders and workers held demonstrations against the particular news channel across the Sindh province, complaining that it aired programmes aimed at maligning the party and its chief, Altaf Hussain.

“The Supreme Court should take suo motu action against those involved in defaming the MQM and Altaf Hussain,” said zonal in-charge Navaid Shamsi while addressing protesters outside Hyderabad Press Club.

MQM MPAs Rana Siddiqui, Rahid Khilji, Dilawar Qureshi and Sabir Qaimkhani and members of the Sindh Tanzeemi Committee led the protesters. “We know whose instructions these anchors are working on,” said Khilji, warning that if journalists who are carrying out the media trial of MQM did not desist then ‘our next stop will be their homes’.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2015.

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