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Zulfikar stands by remarks against MQM

KARACHI: Sindh Home Minister Zulfikar Mirza praised on Saturday the role played by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and other political parties in maintaining peace in the province during Ashura.

Zulfikar stands by remarks against MQMHowever, he said he stood by his earlier statement about the arrest of people involved in incidents of target killings in Karachi, which had adversely affected relations between the PPP and MQM.

Mr Mirza’s remarks at a press conference he held along with Senior Minister Pir Mazharul Haq on Saturday failed to dilute the MQM’s anger against him because the party remained adamant on seeking an explanation from the PPP’s central leadership over his earlier statement.

Mr Haq praised the Sindh government’s handling of Ashura processions. He said the PPP would respond to the MQM’s 10-day ultimatum when “the time comes for it”.

He said the MQM leaders were “brothers and there could be difference of opinion among brothers”. He said that only unity could abolish militancy and extremism from the country.

Mr Mirza said he had kept his party leadership fully informed of the law and order situation obtaining in Sindh.

He thanked all political and religious parties for their cooperation during Muharram.

Meanwhile, the MQM said it had sought explanation over Mr Mirza’s controversial statement from the federal government and not from the provincial authorities.

Sources said some PPP leaders were bitter over the MQM’s growing demands and said its role was similar to the one it played during a no-confidence move against the Benazir government. At that time too, the MQM was part of a coalition government in Sindh.

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