Muttahida, PSP celebrate release of leaders KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM) and its nemesis, the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), shared a rare moment of joy, for the same reason yet with the opposite resolves, when their key leaders were released by the prison authorities after an anti-terrorism court ordered their release on bail in the same case.
MQM lawmaker Abdul Rauf Siddiqui and PSP leader Anis Qaimkhani had been in jail for the past three and a half months. They were taken into custody in July for their alleged involvement in securing medical treatment for criminals at former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain’s Ziauddin hospitals in Clifton and North Nazimabad.
The PSP organised a pompous vehicular rally to bring their president to the party’s office amid slogans and loud music. However, Mr Siddiqui silently came to the party’s office in PIB Colony, where his leader, Dr Farooq Sattar, had organised a press conference for him.
Party workers gathered at the PSP office premises where party chairman, Mustafa Kamal, received Mr Qaimkhani with other leaders.
Both the leaders thanked their leaderships for taking care of them and their families during their imprisonment. Mr Siddiqui expressed the hope that the Karachi mayor, Waseem Akhtar, too, would be released soon.
For Mr Qaimkhani, it was not the first time that he had been to jail. He said he was earlier imprisoned for the ‘false cause’ when he championed for the MQM’s cause. “I had been in jail for many times for which I will always repent. But this was the first time that I was imprisoned while treading the path of the truth,” he said.
Mr Siddiqui said: “We have faith in judiciary; and we expect that they would accord justice to our mayor as well.”
“I had greeted Murad Ali Shah for becoming our chief minister when I was still in jail. But now when I am free, I congratulate him again,” said the MQM leader.
Both the leaders said their path was that of true patriots.
“My freedom is the victory of every patriot. We were the first ones who spoke against the pharaoh of the time,” said Mr Qaimkhani. He said Pakistan was the ultimate cause of his party, which gave him and his colleagues the faith that they would eventually succeed in their journey for a prosperous country.
“We’ll change the spectrum of politics not just in Karachi but in the whole Pakistan,” he said.
Mr Siddiqui said: “We are integral part of Pakistan and suspecting our patriotism is a crime.
“Our struggle is for Pakistan and for its oppressed and wretched people. We are the enemy of the enemies of Pakistan. We’ll spill the last drop of our blood for the homeland,” he said, adding that his party would change the ‘exploitative’ governance system.
Mr Qaimkhani said his freedom was not an end to their struggle but in fact “the party has just begun”.
Speaking to the media, Dr Sattar demanded release of all innocent party workers who were in jail. Besides, he said, the MQM’s priority was the city mayor’s release and recovery of the ‘missing’ party workers.
PSP chief Mustafa Kamal said with the imprisonment and release of Mr Qaimkhani all those who were pointing fingers at the party and alleging that its leadership was acting at the behest of ‘unknown powers’ should take it as a ‘shut up’ call.
“We have crossed the hurdles, and now we have smooth path ahead to resume our journey,” he said, adding that the PSP leaders would go to Hyderabad on Friday where its workers would welcome Mr Qaimkhani.