My doors are open for everybody who left me and the party. Chairman Afaq Ahmed
Mohajir Qaumi Movement Chairman Afaq Ahmed on Saturday reached his residence in Landhi No 6 in the form of a convoy of his party supporters and personnel of the law enforcing agencies after he was released from the Central Prison, Karachi.
His detention was challenged in Sindh High Court by his brother, Amjad Shafqat, and a Division Bench of SHC on Friday struck down his detention under MPO and ordered his release.
Chairman Afaq Ahmed, who had been languishing in jails since April 2004 after his arrest from Karachi, was finally released after the Sindh High Court (SHC) struck down his detention orders and directed the provincial government and prison authorities to release him.
The SHC on Friday had directed the authorities to release him immediately, declaring the order of his detention under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance (MPO) as illegal.
Subsequently, the Sindh Home Department issued the notification orders for Afaq Ahmed’s release, which led to his being freed from prision on Saturday evening. A large number MQM supporters, mainly from Landhi, Korangi, Malir and Shah Faisal Coloney, Liaquatabad, Lines area and other areas of the city had gathered outside the Central Prison since the morning to welcome their beloved chairman who faced many manufactured cases made by the rival Muttahida Qaumi Movement since 2004.
The MQM chairman was taken to Rehri Goth graveyard in an armored personal carrier of the Sindh Police in strict security where he offered Fateha at the grave of his father and other Shaeed members of the MQM who died and were killed during the last nine years.
On arrival at his residence, Chairman Afaq Ahmed was showered with rose petals by jubilant party workers while moving scenes were observed when he was greeted by his family members after reaching his home in Landhi No 6.
Talking to newsmen at his residence, Chairman Afaq Ahmed said many of his former colleagues, party workers and office-bearers who had parted ways with him were in contact with him and they would soon join him as they were forced to leave the party in his absence.
"My doors are open for everybody who left me and the party while I was in the prison. I know there were compulsions that compelled them to leave the party," he added.
He said he or his party had no differences with any religious or political party in the country except the Muttahida Qaumi Movement whom he termed as a "mafia", operating under the direct command of its London-based leader Altaf Hussain.
The MQm Chairman told a questioner that he would forgive Altaf Hussain and Governor Ishratul Ibad for keeping him detained at jail and not allowing him to attend the funeral of his father as these were the atrocities against him as a person.
"But I can’t forgive those persons (Altaf Hussain and Ishratul Ibad) for what they are doing against me."
Chairman Afaq Ahmed vowed to reorganize the party and once again make it a vibrant movement for the youth, saying when he parted ways with Altaf Hussain, there were only seven persons but now he has thousands of workers in the city.
He also vowed to rebuild once again Baitul Hamza, the MQM central office that was demolished illegally by Parvaiz Musharraf’s government.
Bitterly criticizing the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and its chief Altaf Hussain, Afaq Ahmed said he (Altaf Hussain) did nothing for Karachi despite being in power for decades, saying otherwise there would have been at least four more public sector varsities in the mega city.
Ruling out any talks or reconciliation with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, he said otherwise his doors were open for every religious and political party in the country as he had no grudge against any of them.
On the occasion, he thanked the Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan, the PPP government for "showing some courage" in releasing him despite pressure from their allies.
He also thanked the law enforcing agencies, including the police, for providing him security and the media for highlighting his cause and plight of party workers who suffered a lot during his detention in what he termed as fabricated cases.