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At least three persons were injured on Saturday in clashes between MQM workers and a breakaway faction inside Karachi Central Jail, days after the party’s chief Altaf Hussain was accused of inciting violence and making anti-Pakistan comments.
Several workers of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) — the two parties which represent the Urdu-speaking people — have been lodged in the jail for various offenses. There had been tensions among the workers for the last a few days, jail officials said on the condition of anonymity. “On Saturday, MQM and PSP workers along with other inmates clashed with each other, leading to three persons getting
injured. Later, jail officials brought the situation under control,” a he said.
PSP was formed by former mayor of Karachi Mustafa Kamal earlier this year with some dissidents of MQM. Since than, several leaders of MQM have joined the breakaway faction. Members of both the parties have been engaged in a war of words after the alleged hate speech on August 22 by Hussain, who is self-exiled in London.
Many senior leaders of MQM have disassociated themselves from Hussain and the central coordination committee in London. On Friday, MQM members of the national assembly supported a resolution moved by other political parties condemning Hussain for his “anti-Pakistan” comments.
Pakistan has sent a formal reference to the British government against Hussain for inciting violence in Karachi, saying he had given hate speeches against Pakistan and some media houses and incited his party workers to resort to violence and anarchy.
MQM claims that hundreds of its workers have been arrested and jailed on frivolous charges by authorities following Hussain’s speech. Karachi’s single largest party MQM emerged as a largely ethnic party in the 1980s and 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 reside.