MQM says it hasn’t asked govt to wind up operation

We never asked to wind up the Karachi operation, it should be brought under the constitutional framework, Rizvi says.—screengrabKARACHI: A day before talks between the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the chief of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), an MQM leader has said that his party does not want the Karachi operation to be rolled back.
“We never asked [the federal government] to wind up the Karachi operation... [but] it should be brought under the constitutional framework,” MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi told a private news channel on Monday.
Know more: Fazl arrives in Karachi to push for MQM's return to Parliament
The MQM was being criticised by its detractors that it had resigned from parliament and the Sindh Assembly because it wanted to stop the Karachi operation.
But Mr Rizvi’s remarks were seen as a clear message from the MQM to the establishment and the federal government that it did not want to set any ‘unrealistic’ conditions for a formal dialogue to be held on Tuesday (today) between MQM and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman at Nine Zero, the party’s headquarters.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had asked Maulana Fazl to persuade the MQM leadership to withdraw its parliamentarians’ resignations.
Mr Rizvi told the anchor that the JUI-F chief was coming to Nine Zero as a mediator and formal talks would start after he heard their grievances. “We want our reservations addressed,” he said.
He claimed that the MQM had supported operation Zarb-i-Azb and the Karachi operation. “We believe better results can be achieved if the [Karachi] operation is carried out within the legal framework,” said the MQM leader.
Mr Rizvi added that the MQM had resigned from parliament in protest because no one was listening to their grievances.
However, he made it clear that the resignations did not aim at creating a political crisis in the country.
Mr Rizvi, who until recently was keeping a low profile, said that “no minus-Altaf [Hussain] formula would succeed”.
He explained that he was keeping a low profile due to security fears and on the instructions of the party’s high command.
He said that MQM leaders Babar Ghauri and Faisal Subzwari were out of the country and would return home soon.
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