KARACHI: Five workers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and one of the Awami National Party were gunned down here on Wednesday and Thursday.
The bodies of three MQM activists were found in a car in Malir Halt on Thursday morning.
Waseem Aftab, a member of the MQM Coordination Committee, accused the Sindh home minister of supporting elements of the Lyari gang warfare which, according to him, were involved in the killings.
Meanwhile, an eight-year-old boy was killed after being hit by a police APC in Lyari on Thursday night. Asim Anwar was taken to the Civil Hospital but he died.
The APC driver, Mohammad Rafiq, has been detained.
Amir Wasim adds from Islamabad: The MQM, a coalition partner in the PPP-led government at the centre and in Sindh, has alleged that “elements within the provincial government” are involved in the target killing of its workers in Karachi and said some 200 party activists have lost their lives since January last year.
“According to our information, criminals and terrorists belonging to the Lyari gang war group having the patronage of some important Sindh government officials are behind the killing of our five workers in Karachi over the past two days,” deputy convener of the MQM and federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Dr Farooq Sattar said at a news conference in Islamabad on Thursday.
He claimed that the Citizens Police Liaison Committee had complete data about the people involved in Lyari gang war who were also wanted in cases of bank robbery and kidnapping for ransom. He criticised police, agencies and the provincial home ministry for not taking action against “these criminals who have made the people of Karachi hostage”.
“We appeal to President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and other people at the helm of affairs to immediately arrest those behind the killing of MQM workers and also take action against those who are providing patronage to them,” Dr Sattar said.
However, he refrained from giving any threat to the PPP about quitting the government despite a number of questions by journalists.
Later talking to Dawn, Dr Sattar complained implicitly that his party was not being consulted by the PPP in decision-making at the provincial level. The MQM would not accept responsibility for the deteriorating situation in Karachi, he added.