Leaders Attacked Pak-India Talks MQM Resignation Follow Up Other News
MQM Resignation Follow Up
This week saw targeted attacks on two senior leaders including Punjab Home Minister, Shuja Khanzada and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) lawmaker Abdul Rasheed Godil.
Punjab Home Minister Col (r) Shuja Khanzada and 17 others were killed in a suicide bombing at the minister’s home in Attock. The blast caused the roof of the house to collapse as the minister, held meetings with around 20 people. A Taliban-affiliated militant group, Lashkar-e-Islam, (LI) claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was retaliation for military operations against them. Khanzada had been actively involved in major operations against terrorists.
Meanwhile over in Karachi, four attackers on two motorcycles opened fire at the car of MQM lawmaker Rashid Godil, injuring him and killing his driver. According to media reports and police, the lawmaker has sustained bullet wounds in his jaw and neck.
Moreover operation against terrorists in FATA region has been intensified following the attacks on leaders and at least 50 militants were killed in air strikes carried out by Pakistan Air Force in Waziristan.
National security adviser- level talks between Pakistan and India are scheduled to be held on August 23 in New Delhi, as decided by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart in Russia in July. In this regard a meeting between the civil-military leadership, including Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi, has finalised the agenda of the upcoming talks.
According to media reports, issues such as Samjhota Express bombing, Indian involvement in Balochistan and violations across the LoC, will be discussed in an upfront manner with India. The meeting also decided to keep unprovoked Indian firing at the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary and the killing of Pakistani civilians on the agenda of the upcoming meetings in New Delhi.
Meanwhile Pakistan invited Hurriyat leaders from Indian-held Kashmir for a meeting ahead of national security advisor-level talks with India. Pakistan also summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner this week to lodge a protest against unprovoked ceasefire violations by Indian security forces that resulted in killing of two civilians.
Meanwhile National Assembly has announced that it would not host the 61st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) scheduled to be held in Islamabad in September. According to media reports Pakistan has pulled back from hosting the CPC, over Indian demand to invite the Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) Assembly speaker. Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq says that Pakistan’s principled position on Jammu and Kashmir would be compromised if the speaker of the IHK Assembly is invited to the conference.
Political parties have been trying to convince disgruntled members of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), who had resigned from the parliament and Sindh assembly in protest over Rangers-led security operation in Karachi, to take back their resignations and sit in assemblies. This week Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) visited nine- zero, headoffice of MQM in Karachi, to mediate between the government and MQM. The outcome of the talks was encouraging as MQM members agreed to continue the dialogues for their return to the assemblies.
Meanwhile MQM leader, Farooq Sattar, while talking to the media said that his party members would only take back their resignations after their concerns are addressed as MQM wanted to resolve issue through dialogue. He also reiterated that his party does not oppose the Karachi operation but only seek impartiality.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also visited Karachi a few days after Maulana Fazlur Rehman to inaugurate the construction of a nuclear plant in the city and to review law and order situation but did not meet members of MQM. While chairing a meeting to review security of the city, prime minister reinstated that Karachi operation is not against any particular party but is against criminals and was started with the consent of all stakeholders. Meanwhile Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) leader Farooq Sattar expressed his disappointment over the visit of PM without him meeting or contacting his party.
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