KARACHI/LAHORE - Chief of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain has urged the government to impose a ban on Jamaat-i-Islami, accusing the party of having close ties with Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other militant groups.

Altaf Hussain was addressing a general workers meeting of MQM at Lal Qila Ground, Azizabad here on Tuesday.

He said that dozens of workers of Jamaat-i-Islami and Islami Jamiat Talaba including a woman were arrested in several high-profile cases of terrorism while at least seven workers of JI died in drone strikes.

He said that law-enforcement agencies seem reluctant to arrest the militants affiliated with Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) and those who were picked up by the LEAs have been released without being charged in the cases.

Why not JI and IJT were denounced and banned in Pakistan, Ataf raised the question?

“It has been proven that JI has close ties with Taliban, al Qaeda and providing them shelter and also assist them in terrorism.”

JI had close association with Hakimullah Mehsud former TTP chief and JI termed him a martyr. He said that JI is an organisation involved in the murder of Army troops.

He demanded to register treason case against JI allegedly seeking to disintegrate the country. He said MQM have never been sought to disintegrate the country.

“I was the man who warned about the Talibanisation in Karachi and now Taliban dominated the various localities of the metropolis including North Nazimabad and adjacent localities but currently ruling party has no concern with the issue,” he said.

Altaf urged that govt, Army and secret agencies to stop the discriminatory action against the Muhajirs, otherwise, situation will not be controlled even by the whole country’s Army.

MQM is a patriotic organisation but it considered like anti-State organisation, he said. He urged that people should understand the conspiracy and avoid to be a part of the hatred game.

Reacting to the MQM chief’s allegations, Jamaat-i-Islami spokesman Dr Farid Ahmed Piracha has condemned the speech of Altaf Hussain against the JI and termed it absurd and baseless.

Commenting on the MQM chief’s accusations against the JI and the Islami Jamiat e Talaba, Farid Piracha said Altaf Hussain was a British national and was levelling baseless charges against the JI from London.

In a statement in Lahore, the JI spokesman said Altaf Husain’s statements were never serious as in the past, he had used harsh language against the Ulema, lawyers, journalists and also the armed forces.

Piracha said JI was a law abiding organisation and had been working in the field of politics and it believed in facing the other partiers on the political front.

The JI was not in favour of misusing the live coverage facility on the media for media trial of others, he added. As regards Altaf demand for banning the JI, he said many people had dreamed of banning the JI, while first military dictator Ayub Khan had even banned the JI, but the Supreme Court declared the ban as unlawful.

Farid Piracha said the masses all over the country were aware of the character and working of the JI and it did not a certificate of patriotism from the MQM chief.

He said the JI would participate in the Local bodies’ elections all over the country, including Karachi, and hoped for a big success.

He dismissed Altaf Husain’s allegation that the JI had opposed Pakistan as an absurd allegation which required no explanation.

The spokesman further said that the JI never had an association with the Taliban or al-Qaeda.

He said JI had always rendered huge sacrifices for the independence and sovereignty of Pakistan.