MQM’s hunger strike

Muhammad Ahsan Ali

A hunger strike is a method of non-violent resistance or pressure in which participants fast as an act of political protest, or to provoke feelings of guilt in others, usually with the objective to achieve a specific goal, such as a policy change.
The protest started under the leadership of Aslam Afirdi, a member of the MQM’s Coordination Committee, and members of the National Assembly and the Sindh Assembly belonging to the opposition parties, are among the hunger strikers. The fast-unto-death was announced by Dr. Farooq Sattar, senior deputy convener of the coordination committee, and deputy convener Amir Khan at a press conference held at Khursheed Memorial Hall in Azizabad. On 18th August 2016 MQM began hunger strike unto death to record their protest against the arresting of their political workers. MQM demands to release those political workers who are uncharged. The party has also termed the arrest of its candidate for the position of the Karachi Mayor, WaseemAkhtar, as illegal and unconstitutional.
MQM’s hunger strike onto death is continuing. Recently two of their workers and a member of Assembly got seriously ill because of continuous fasting. Opposition leader Khursheed Shah visited MQM’s hunger strike camp on the second day and said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should play his part to do something about the reservations of MQM, as boycott of MQM would be a threat to democracy as MQM also warned to resign from National Assemble if needed. I think there is a genuine need to resolve the matter amicably and find out a way to address the grievances of the workers.
—Via email

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