Karachi: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) staged demonstrations at 100 locations across the city on Wednesday in protest against what it called the “custodial killing” of Aftab Ahmed, coordinator of Dr Farooq Sattar.
Activists of the party and affected families of workers who have been either killed or gone missing during the ongoing targeted operation in Karachi participated.
Ahmed was picked up on May 1 and paramilitary soldiers obtained his 90-day remand from an anti-terrorism court a day later for questioning him for his alleged involvement in “several crimes”. He died on Tuesday morning.
Holding placards and banners and shouting slogans for justice, the demonstrators demanded of the army chief “to stop terrorism and aggression against detained MQM supporters” in Rangers’ custody. They also asked for taking stern action against Rangers personnel allegedly involved in the brutal killing of Ahmed.
The protesters wore black wristbands at the demonstrations, where were staged peacefully and caused no traffic jams, said Amin-ul-Haq, incharge information department of the party.
Speaking to the demonstrators at one location, he said 56 MQM supporters were either in the Rangers’ custody or taken to undisclosed destinations.
Haq said the MQM was a peaceful political party and welcomed the army chief’s order for an inquiry into Ahmed’s death.
The state operation, he added, was continuing to crush and eliminate the MQM, but despite all sorts of brutalities, supporters and activists of the party were determined and had faith in the party and its chief. This, he said, was proved during the by-elections and local governments, and the MQM’s mandate could not be stolen.
Designated Karachi mayor Waseem Akhter, addressing the participants of a demonstration at Numaish Chowrangi, said continuous targeted operations had not discouraged the MQM activists and they would continue to support their party.
Another senior Muttahida leader, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, condemned the murder of Ahmed in the Rangers custody.
Addressing the demonstrators at Hasan Square, he termed described as a positive and healthy sign the army chief’s order for an impartial inquiry into the death.