MQM BOYCOTTS HIDE COLLECTION CAMPAIGN:

KKF loses 60,000 hides after stern crackdown by Rangers: Dr Farooq Sattar

KARACHI: Dr Farooq Sattar, a veteran politician, KKF Trustee and leader of MQM said the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) charity wing Khidmat-e Khalq Foundation (KKF) could not take possession of more than 60, 000 hides of sacrificial animals during two of three days of Eid Al Adha. These hides were confiscated by the law enforcers while these were being transported to the centralised hides collecting centre.

He shared these views while giving a press conference at the centralised hide collection centre, Tariq Ground located in Federal B Area in Karachi Saturday evening.

He was flanked by KKF trustees and MQM leaders including MQM Coordination Committee Deputy Convener Kahifulwara, Syed Shahid Pasha, Muhammad Hussain, Zarreen Majid, Rehana Nasreen, Gulfaraz Khan Khattak, Advocate Arif Khan, Dr Abdul Qadir Khanzada, Mutiur Rehman, Arshad Hassan, Zahid Mansoori, MQM Central Organising Committee in-charge Waseem Akhtar and KKF Trustee Senator Ahmed Ali.

He said that the KKF, one of city’s largest charity NGO that runs hospitals, clinics, blood bank, educational institutions, free food and relief for the widows and orphans and morgue and a 200 ambulances fleet, was also among those that the Karachi Commissioner under the advice of elected Sindh provincial government had notified as legally fit for the receipt of hides from the people voluntarily.

While sharing the details as how the hides were snatched, Dr Sattar said that the KKF had set up 26 hide collection centres across the city while the Tariq Ground was made the central collection centre for receiving hides from city’s 26 localised centres. However, the paramilitary Rangers had snatched 10 trucks and 100 mini-trucks that carried 10000 and 5000 hides averagely and the KKF volunteers and even the drivers were threatened of dire consequences.

Proving the legitimacy of KKF’s campaign for the collection of hides, he said that the civil administration of Karachi, the Karachi Commissioner had while talking all charity NGOs and law enforcing agencies on board issued a “Code of Conduct” with respect to procedures for collecting the hides of the sacrificial animals during three days of Eid al Adha, starting from Sep 25 till Sep 27, 2015.

He said, “The KKF had diligently followed the rules that were described in the “Code of Conduct” but still the Rangers deprived the KKF of the hides of sacrificial animals that the people of Karachi had donated to the KKF voluntarily.”

Dr Sattar while expressing serious concern on depriving the KKF of hides said there are premonitions that those hides would either be given to the other charity NGOs or to the Jihadi organisations and even the banned outfits.

He alleged the paramilitary Rangers have established a state within the state and enforced a secondary “Code of Conduct” on hides’ collection, which for the KKF was to completely restrict the KKF and hence 100 mini-trucks and 10 large trucks fully loaded with hides were snatched. The hides were off-loaded while the empty trucks were placed under police’s control.

The KKF had on time despatched complaints to the Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Karachi Corpse Commander Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhtar and Chief of Army Staffs General Rahil Shareef for the immediate redressal of MQM’s concerns.

Dr Sattar while deploring the arbitrary arrest of KKF volunteers and leveling a baseless allegation of snatching the hides forcefully by the KKF volunteers said the KKF has since past 37 years been active on the hides collecting campaign for the welfare of the needy and the indigent but the Rangers had crossed all limits for inflicting the KKF with unprecedented tyranny. However, the KKF remained on top as the people of the metropolis and other cities of the province donated the hides of their sacrificial animals to the KKF absolutely voluntarily.

Therefore, the MQM founder and leader Altaf Hussain has extended his heartfelt felicitations to the mothers, sisters and brothers for this historic manifest of confidence and trust, he said.

He said that the gross actions by the paramilitary Rangers portrayed a scene as if they have established a state within the state and imposed the law of jungle in Karachi, Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Mirpurkhas and Sukkur and not only intimidated the people, who freely and voluntarily donated the hides to the KKF but also harassed and gave threats for the dire consequences to the transporters and hides traders restricting them not to make any bargain with the KKF for the hides.

The hides carrying transport was blocked and taken to different Rangers headquarters in the city while on the other hand, banned outfits and Jihadi organisation were allowed to freely collect hides, which creates a doubt that the banned outfits and Jihadi organisations and other charity NGOs received this loot of hides.

He was of the opinion that a deliberate campaign is being carried on televisions regarding arrest of KKF volunteers under baseless allegations that they were held while snatching hides from others. If this claim is true then why they are not also making the snatched 60, 000 hides.

He said that the KKF was legally allowed by the civil administration to collect hides of the sacrificial animals but the Rangers actions were in absolute contrast to the law. They have violated the “Code of Conduct” and special permission from the civil administration given to the KKF and all other NGOs.

Dr Sattar said the KKF had in past Ramadan got only 25 percent of public donations in terms of Zakat and Fitra as compared to previous years collection and this year the hides collection rate does not go above 50 percent and this is all because of the actions by the Rangers.

While addressing the PM, he said the PM has been trumpeting the drum of democracy but in his democratic government, ban on MQM has been imposed over raising the voice over violence of human rights under which unannounced ban is also imposed on media to carry press conferences of the MQM and cover the protest.

Circumstances keep changing and if MQM is the target today, it could be others next. The media has been fully captivated and held under siege, he added.

He condemned the arrest of MQM Central Executive Council member Noor Hassan, District Nawabshah Zonal in-charge Abdul Majeed and MQM Surjani sector in-charge Rehan.

Dr Sattar appealed to the people to raise their voices on social media in protest of atrocities against the MQM.

While addressing the COAS General Raheel Sharif, Dr Sattar said as he pays regular visits to the war-hit zones so as to acquire first-hand ground situations while ignoring the tabled reports, he should also visit Karachi to get the first hand details on the actual and ground scenario. A handful of law enforcing agency’s personnel seem to be toiling to fail the efforts of him for making Karachi a city of peace and tranquility and are pinning the MQM to wall on the pretext of actions against the terrorists.

He said the MQM is waiting to hear from the PM and the COAS General Raheel Sharif regarding the redressal of the complaints and grievances of the MQM.

It would be pertinent to mention that some 300, 000 hides were destroyed as those could not ne despatched to their centres for onward necessary preliminary chemical treatment for preserving them. It looks as if the local tanners would embrace more colossal loss with regard to procuring hides from local venders during Eid days as the hides that are produced in these three days provide around 40 to 50 percent of the raw material from which leather goods, bags and baggage and other leather goods are locally manufactured. Thus the national exchequer would also face an acute burden of foreign exchange for the import of the raw material.

RANGERS STATEMENT: On third and last day of Eid, the paramilitary Rangers issued a statement in which they said that Rangers had taken steps for the full implementation on the Code of Conduct across the province. Under this special action, all those involved in acts of hides-snatching and violations of the code of Conduct were arrested.

The Rangers spokesperson in the statement said that the Rangers confiscated 18037 hides from the possession of hide snatchers and arrested 356 offenders of which 288 were handed to police, 32 were released and 36 offenders involved in heinous crimes were detained.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Jamaat-e Islami, Ehl-e Sunnat Wa Jamaat, Jamaat Ud Dawa, Dawat-e Islami, Sunni Tehreek and Memon Community were found involved in violations to the code of conduct.

The Rangers spokesperson said a comprehensive report would shortly be despatched to the Sindh provincial and federal government.

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