ISLAMBAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) on Saturday called on the government to bring Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain back to the country and try him for the death of the Baldia Town factory workers, alleging that they fell victim to the party’s ‘extortionist agenda’.

“The government must also seek the return of the exiled leader of this mafia group, so that he can be tried for the death of the poor factory workers who fell victim to the MQM extortionist agenda and paid for it with their lives,” said PTI Information Secretary Shireen Mazari.
A report prepared by a joint investigation team (JIT) of the incident, submitted to the Sindh High Court (SHC) and Rangers, said the MQM was behind the deadly fire that claimed the lives of at least 258 factory workers.
“It is shocking, but not surprising, to see the findings of the JIT in the Baldia Town factory fire in which at least 258 workers died,” Mazari said in a statement.
The JIT report, along with a statement of the deputy assistant judge advocate general of Rangers, Major Ashfaque Ahmed, put the blame on Altaf Hussain’s party.
The statement said the information had been disclosed by suspect Mohammad Rizwan Qureshi, an alleged worker of the MQM, on June 22, 2013, during a joint investigation.
According to the JIT report, the MQM worker revealed that a “well-known party high official” had demanded Rs200 million as bhatta (extortion), through his front man, from Ali Enterprises, the owners of the ill-fated factory, in August 2012.
MQM disowns Rizwan Qureshi
MQM’s Rabita Committee on Saturday responded to allegations levelled in a JIT report, stating that the party has no connection or affiliation with Rizwan Qureshi.
Rangers had in their report accused Qureshi.
“MQM has hundreds of thousands of workers. Anyone can pose as a worker. But the party has zero tolerance for extortionists, terrorists and criminals,” the Rabita committee statement said as it asked the media not to call Qureshi an MQM worker.
The party demanded that the government take action against Qureshi.
PTI’s Mazari said that this was the deadliest incident of extortion by a political party in the urban centre of Sindh.
“With this revelation, clearly the party is now less of a political force and more a mafia organisation that has let loose a reign of terror in Karachi that resulted in the Baldia Town factory fire, and in daily target killings in the city,” Mazari added.
The PTI information secretary demanded the state immediately act against ‘mafia organisation’ and expose its political front which provides a cover for lethal mafia operations of the MQM.
The state must also encourage other victims of MQM extortions and other mafia activities to come forward, so that an end is put to such activities which have destroyed the very fabric of Pakistan’s financial and industrial hub, Karachi, she said.
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