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Differences deepen as Pakistan Rangers, MQM trade charges

| Updated: Jul 06, 2016 17:55 IST

Karachi, July 6 (ANI): The tussle between the Pakistan Rangers and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has escalated with the former accusing the 'political party' of inciting violence through its speeches and the latter blaming the paramilitary force for playing a political role in the name of a Karachi Operation. Both groups have been trading allegations against each other since March 11, 2015, when the Pakistan Rangers raided the MQM's Nine Zero headquarters. The force has also claimed to have recovered illegal weapons and arrested some wanted criminals, including a convict who had been sentenced to death in connection with journalist Wali Babar's murder case. The Rangers, since then, has been accusing the MQM leadership of running a 'militant wing' and collecting extortion in the name of Zakat and Fitra. The MQM blamed the paramilitary force for patronising the Afaq Ahmed-led Mohajir Qaumi Movement and former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal's Pak Sar Zameen Party and illegally imposing an unannounced ban on its political and welfare activities. The latest controversy surfaced after a spokesman for the Pakistan Rangers yesterday, without naming anyone, blamed a political party for creating hindrances in establishing peace in the metropolis. "The foreign-based leadership in its speeches and statements is inciting a specific group and students to attack state institutions, media organisations, traders and artists and create lawlessness," Dawn quoted Pakistan Rangers spokesman's statement, as saying. The paramilitary Rangers vowed to continue indiscriminate action against miscreants in Karachi. "Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, is carrying out action against all those elements who want to create lawlessness in Kara­chi. All those who received threats are being given full security and all shopping centres and media houses are also being provided special security," the statement added. Few days ago, the Rangers in a statement asked the government and semi-government organisations in the city to shut down the offices of "political or militant wings". MQM condemned the move and said that the "illegal and unconstitutional" directives of the Rangers were against the offices of trade unions and labour associations being backed by the party. The move by the paramilitary force is being seen against the backdrop of a speech of London-based MQM chief Altaf Hussain recently, where he lashed out at the Rangers for not allowing the party to collect zakat and fitra for its charity wing, the Khidmat-i-Khalq Foundation. Hussain also condemned the traders and industrialists for donating funds to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan's Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital and not to the MQM. Angered by Rangers statement, senior MQM leader Dr. Farooq Sattar rejected the formers statement that the MQM had any militant wing. "As far as I know no political party [in Karachi] has a militant wing," he said. "The Rangers are trying to hide their incompetence by blaming the MQM and Altaf Hussain. The Rangers are issuing political statements against the MQM," he added. He said that his party was ready to appear before a military tribunal where it would present evidence of the alleged high-handed manner of the Rangers. (ANI)