Islamabad: The Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has accused the Pakistan government of "patronising" the killers of its supporters, saying 200 of its activists and sympathisers have been killed in Karachi over the past one year.
Addressing a news conference in Karachi, the MQM deputy convener, Farooq Sattar, condemned the assassination of the MQM`s former member of the Provincial Assembly, Liaquat Qureshi, who was shot dead last night by unidentified gunmen.
He said that 200 MQM leaders, activists and supporters had also been killed last year.
"It is regrettable that the government is patronising the killers of the MQM supporters and the assassins are roaming freely," the MQM leader alleged.
He rejected the allegations that MQM is behind the incidents of target killings in Karachi and said that 80 percent of those killed were associated with the MQM.
He asked the political leaders, media and writers to stop blaming the MQM for target killings.
The MQM leader announced mourning day in Karachi and Sindh province tomorrow against the killing of the party`s former MPA.
Karachi, the port city and the country`s commercial centre, is under the grip of political and ethnic killings and local reports said that five more people were killed in Karachi in 24 hours.
Farooq Sattar said that the MQM is demonstrating patience but the time is fast approaching when the MQM would not be able to control its workers.
Sindh Information Minister and PPP leader, Sharjeel Memon, rejected as irresponsible the MQM leader statement that the government is behind the killers.
MQM and PPP are coalition partners in Sindh province and reports say that the PPP leadership is trying to bring back the MQM to the federal cabinet.
The MQM had quit the cabinet in December, saying ruling PPP had dealt with it in a "non-serious" manner and the party`s two ministers were allocated "impotent" portfolios.