News / Asia

Pakistan's MQM Denounces Imran Khan in Karachi Protest

A supporter of Pakistan's Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) political party chants slogans during a protest against Imran Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf political party, in Karachi, May 20, 2013.
A supporter of Pakistan's Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) political party chants slogans during a protest against Imran Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf political party, in Karachi, May 20, 2013.
Reuters
— Supporters of an influential Pakistani political party took to the streets of Karachi on Monday to protest against cricket-hero-turned-politician Imran Khan, who has accused it of killing one of his senior staff a week after a general election.
    
Furious members of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) have denied responsibility for the killing of Zara Shahid Hussain on Saturday outside her home in the upscale Defense area of Karachi, capping a bloody election in which about 150 people were killed nationwide.
    
MQM leaders condemned the killing by unidentified gunman and demanded a retraction from Khan.
    
The May 11 elections gave the MQM 18 of 19 national assembly seats in Karachi, which has long been the party's power base. Khan's party won a re-vote in part of one constituency of Karachi on Sunday, giving it one seat and also angering the MQM.
    
About 3,000 MQM joined the protest to denounce Khan, whose Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) party was to hold a rally later in the evening and elsewhere in the city.
    
“We won't allow Imran Khan to come Karachi if he continues with these baseless allegations,” senior MQM member Nabeel Gabol said as protesters chanted anti-Khan slogans.
    
There was no sign of violence, but the mood of protests in Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, can turn quickly.
    
Karachi generates about half of the government's revenue and is home to Pakistan's main port, stock exchange and central bank. Stability in the city is key to the stability of the nuclear-armed country.
    
The MQM, a secular party, is locked in a battle with various rivals for influence in Karachi, including Pakistan's Taliban movement, which has sought to gain a foothold in various districts on the outskirts of the city in recent years.
    
The general election handed a landslide victory to opposition leader Nawaz Sharif and his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). But Khan's campaign electrified many Pakistanis, pushing the PTI from the margins to Pakistan's third-largest party.
    
'Threats'
    
Results from a handful of constituencies across the country are still uncertain amid accusations of vote-rigging. There is re-polling in a few others where security issues prevented voting.
    
Police said that two gunmen shot Hussain on Saturday outside her home in Defense.
    
“I hold (MQM leader) Altaf Hussain directly responsible for the murder as he openly threatened PTI workers and leaders through public broadcasts,” Khan, recovering in hospital from a fall during campaigning, said.
    
“I also hold the British government responsible as I had warned them about British citizen Altaf Hussain after his open threats.”
    
Altaf Hussain is accused of murder in Pakistan and leads his party remotely from exile in England. His party is designated a terrorist organization by Canada, a charge it strongly denies.
    
In recent days, he gave a speech which many Pakistanis felt was an incitement to attack political rivals. British police are investigating whether or not it constituted a hate speech.
    
“We are in the early stages of the investigation and are assessing the information which has now been brought to our attention,” London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
    
Karachi is home to 18 million people. It typically sees about a dozen murders a day, a combination of political killings, attacks by the Pakistan Taliban and sectarian militant groups, and street crime.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid