MQM to quit govt over Shaista, say party sources
* Shaista prefers police job for greater security
KARACHI: The Shaista Almani affair took a significant political turn on Wednesday with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement reportedly threatening to withdraw from the Sindh government if it fails to provide security to her.
Sources in the MQM said that in its “ultimatum,” the party had also demanded that the government take action to stop those believed to be threatening Ms Almani’s life.
According to other reports, the ultimatum is as short as 48 hours. Ms Almani, who is at present under the protection of the Women’s Police Station in Karachi, has been declared “kari” by her Almani tribe for having married a man from the Maher tribe.The four-month marriage was dissolved under duress in October.
The development coincides with the declaration in Hyderabad by the leader of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Bashir Qureshi, that his party would on Saturday reconsider its relationship with the MQM because the allied party was the leading member of the coalition government in the province.
For a greater feeling of security, Shaista Almani would like a job in the police department, although she has not rejected the job offered to her in the Department of Population Welfare, her lawyer said on Wednesday.
Khuwaja Naveed spoke to Daily Times after meeting Ms Almani at the women’s police station, where she has lodged since Sunday. He said that she was uncertain about the population-welfare department job since it would require field work, which would expose her to danger. Ms Almani has been declared “kari” by her Almani tribe for having married a man from the Maher tribe, who divorced her under duress in October.
Mr Naveed said Ms Almani, a former schoolteacher, was also reluctant to move to the apartment offered by Sindh Minister for Population Welfare Imtiaz Shaikh because it would at best be temporary accommodation. According to her she would have to inform the Sukkur Bench of the Sindh High Court on Jan. 21 that she would need permanent accommodation wherever she decided to live.
He claimed that Ms Almani would go to Sukkur to appear before the High Court and he did not need to file an application to the Sindh chief justice for her case to be moved from the Sukkur Bench to Karachi.
Khuwaja Naveed said he would again meet her on Thursday (today) to discuss her legal aid. He was also preparing a draft for an application on her behalf to Chief Minister Ali Muhammad Maher for the provincial government’s assistance in her rehabilitation.