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MQM leader briefs McCain on situation in Karachi

WASHINGTON: A top Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader met with Senator John McCain and briefed him about the crackdown on his party members by Pakistan‘s security forces in the port city of Karachi.

MQM convener Nadeem Nusrat told McCain, who chairs the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, that liberal and progressive political party MQM is facing state oppression whereas Islamic militant groups are being harboured in Karachi.

“MQM Convener Nadeem Nusrat met with Senator John McCain and briefed him about the crackdown on MQM and Mohajirs by paramilitary Rangers in Karachi,” the MQM said in a statement.

Nusrat along with another local MQM leader met McCain during an event in the Virginia suburb of Washington DC.

The MQM, Karachi’s biggest political party, is facing a crackdown after its former self-exiled leader Altaf Hussain in London last year delivered an anti-Pakistan speech and asked his workers to launch an attack on media.

The MQM emerged as a largely ethnic party in the 1980s. It has political dominance in the southern Sindh province’s urban areas – notably in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Sukkur, home to a large number of Urdu-speaking people who migrated from India during the 1947 partition.

The MQM leader asked questions regarding the US military aid to Pakistan despite its close ties with the Haqqani network and the Afghan Taliban, and gross human rights violations by the Pakistan Army in Karachi and Balochistan, the statement said.

They also asked about the growing influence of China in Pakistan and possible impact of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor on Mohajirs and Balochs.

In response, McCain said Pakistan has a ceremonial civilian government, whereas the real power is with the army.