Following ‘Free Balochistan’ campaign which has raised awareness about human rights abuses by the Pakistan government, a group of Muhajirs in the US launched a ‘Free Karachi’ campaign to highlight the alleged state sponsored atrocities against their community in Karachi, Pakistan. Led by a mini-truck, about half a dozen cabs displaying ‘#FreeKarachi’ posters participated in the Martin Luther parade.
This is Washington D.C., the capital of the USA. Taxis are lining up with #FreeKarachi banners to participate in Dr Martin Luther Kind Day parade in the capital. #FreeKarachi pic.twitter.com/OfqCLT3hik
— Nadeem Nusrat (@nadeem_nusrat) January 15, 2018
#FreeKarachi movement was triggered following the murder of Professor Hasan Zafar Arif, who was found dead in the Ibrahim Hyderi area of Karachi earlier this month. “We want Karachi free from the control of Islamabad. We want Karachi to be free from atrocities of the security forces. We want an immediate end to the human rights violations of the people of Karachi,” Nadeem Nusrat, the US-based former convener of Muhair’s mainstream political party, Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) is reportedly said to have said.
However, the political parties in Pakistan have condemned and called it a ‘smear campaign’. Sadaruddin Shah Rashdi of Pakistan Muslim League Functional (PML-F) also blamed India to have helped ‘stage the drama’.
The United States, on the other hand, has assured Pakistan that it does not support any group threatening country’s national integrity. Pakistan had reacted strongly to the campaign, following which, the US government agencies assured Pakistan that none of the US agencies support these campaigns.