Senior Pakistani Politician Resigns

Posted August 28th, 2011 at 5:15 pm (UTC-5)
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A senior politician with the ruling Pakistan People's Party in Karachi resigned from his post, accusing the city's largest political party of murder and terrorism.

Zulfiqar Mirza said the powerful Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is responsible for the killing of journalist Wali Khan Barber earlier this year. He also leveled accusations against MQM chief Altaf Hussain, saying he is responsible for the killings in the violence-plagued city – and he criticized Interior Minister Rehman Malik's handling of the situation.

In a statement published by the Associated Press Sunday, the MQM denied any links to the unrest and accused Mirza of being a patron of murderers. The statement said Mirza's remarks were an attempt to spark hatred, violence and insurgency.

Also Sunday, Pakistani authorities said a court has ordered the confiscation of former president Pervez Musharraf's property and the freezing of his bank accounts in Pakistan.

Mr. Musharraf, who lives in self-imposed exile in Dubai and London since his resignation as president in 2008, is wanted in Pakistan in connection with the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Prosecutors have accused him of failure to provide Ms. Bhutto with adequate security. But the former president has denied allegations of conspiracy to kill his political rival.

Hundreds of people have been killed in Karachi in recent months, in one of the worst waves of violence there in years. Many of the killings are blamed on ethnic gangs linked to rival political factions such as the majority Urdu-speaking MQM and the Awami National Party of Pashtun migrants.