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US calls upon Pakistan to respect law in MQM crackdown

Soldiers from the Special Security Unit (SSU) hold Pakistan's national flag during a ceremony to celebrate the country's 70th Independence Day at the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi, Pakistan, August 14, 2016. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
Soldiers from the Special Security Unit (SSU) hold Pakistan's national flag during a ceremony to celebrate the country's 70th Independence Day at the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi, Pakistan, August 14, 2016. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

Washington [USA]: Over Pakistan’s crackdown on Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) after its founder Altaf Hussain’s inciteful speech that led to violence in Karachi on August 22, the US State Department has said the United States continues to support Pakistan’s efforts to maintain law and order in Karachi.

But the State Department also reminded the Pakistan government that all such efforts must be made in accordance with the rule of law, reports the Dawn.

Pakistan Government razed and shut many MQM offices and arrested many of its activists.

On Saturday, a senior MQM leader Farooq Sattar urged the government to end what he called was an “undeclared ban” on his party.

Sattar also claimed that MQM had parted ways with Hussain and the London secre­tariat and now the leadership in Pakistan was running the party.

The state department in a statement explained the US position on the current situation in Karachi and the US administration appears supportive of the government’s action against MQM but urges it not to violate its own laws while doing so.

“We are monitoring these events closely and are aware that Pakistani security forces have arrested several Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) members and sealed MQM headquarters,” said the statement.

“We are monitoring these events closely and continue to support Pakistan’s efforts to maintain law and order in Karachi, while emphasising that all efforts must be made in accordance with the rule of law,” the statement added.

Commenting on MQM’s claim that it reserves the right to protest against the ongoing operation, the state department reminded the party that such protests should always be peaceful.

“We believe in the importance of public assembly and freedom of speech as cornerstones of democratic societies but also emphasise the importance that such protests must be conducted peacefully,” it said. (ANI)

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