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 harbored 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 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 where a large number of urdu-speaking people who migrated from India during partition reside.
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 Mohajir and Balochs.
In response, McCain said Pakistan has a ceremonial civilian government, whereas the real power is with the army.
The United States, he said, is really concerned about Pakistan’s ties with Haqqani network.
With the Trump administration carrying out its review of Af-Pak policy, he said, it is the decisive moment for the Pakistani regime.
Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, has to completely cut off ties with Haqqani and other terror groups, the statement quoted McCain as saying.
Pakistan has nuclear arsenals and the growing influence of jihadi groups could become nightmare for the peace, security and stability of the region, he added.