Karachi: For the first time in over 30 years, Pakistan’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement has decided not to collect hides of sacrificial animals on Eidul Azha this year for its welfare projects, citing “unfavourable conditions” and “targeted” by state institutions.
The announcement was made by MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar who said the party reached the decision after consultation with the coordination committee and all office-bearers of the Khidmat-i-Khalq Foundation (KKF).
The leader of the party, which had been winning annual major share of hides collection in the metropolis for decades, decided to stay away from the process considering the “unfavourable conditions” that did not allow the party to go for its “social welfare activity”.
“To generate funds for our social welfare projects, we have only two options, which are Zakat and Fitra collection in Ramazan and hides collection on Eid-ul-Azha,” Dawn newspaper quoted Sattar as saying at the party’s temporary headquarters.
“However, for the past one year, we have not been allowed to carry on with the activities. We were denied this right. We are being forced to announce that we are not collecting hides this Eid.”
Last year, he said, the law-enforcement agencies “targeted” party workers and “snatched truckloads of hides” donated to the KKF and then handed them over to other charity organisations.
The law-enforcement agencies did not allow KKF volunteers to collect hides and they “illegally seized hundreds of truckloads of hides” in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and other parts of Sindh, he added.
The MQM leader said the snatching of truckloads of hides by the law-enforcement agencies despite the fact that the KKF had been granted permission was against the law, the constitution and the official code of conduct.
“And it did not end here,” he said, adding that dozens of KKF workers and volunteers were arrested in the process who were only collecting hides and then they were booked under false charges.
“So we decided to stay away from this welfare work only to keep our workers safe as we don’t want to waste our energy under the given circumstances. This gap will allow us to reorganise the KKF and MQM,” he said.
MQM is a political party claiming to represent the Mohajir (Urdu speaking people) in Sindh. It remains the single largest party in Karachi for decades now and have dominated the political landscape of Pakistan’s largest city for years sweeping provincial and national elections but since the clean-up operation began on the orders of the federal government, the party has come under intense pressure.
Last month, Pakistan charged London-based MQM leader Altaf Hussain with treason for an inflammatory speech slamming Islamabad.
The MQM Chief is reported to have criticised Pakistan by calling it a cancer for the entire world.
According to Pakistan media reports Hussain called Pakistan under the Nawaz Sharif administration a “cancer of the world” and an “epicentre of global terrorism.”