More than 80 lawmakers from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) political party - Pakistan's fourth largest party - resigned on Monday in protest against alleged “injustices and repression” against their activists.
The lawmakers, who resigned from parliament, senate and southern Sindh province’s state assembly, accused security forces of imposing “one-sided” operation against the activists.
“We have resigned from all three houses in protest against a series of injustices and repression against MQM’s workers and supporters in Karachi,” said Dr Farooq Sattar, the party’s parliamentary leader.
“We are being sidelined [by security forces] to give space to our political rivals in Karachi,” he added.
Altaf Hussain, the leader of the Karachi-based MQM lives in exile in London, has blamed the military for targeting his party following arrests of hundreds of activists allegedly for involving in the killings of political opponents and security forces and other crimes.
Hussain went into exile in 1992 after arrest warrants were issued against him over charges that allegedly included murder and the cases were later dropped.
Karachi is a financial centre that is home to 20 million people and generates half of the government revenue.
The MQM represents the descendents of Urdu-speakers who migrated from India after the creation of Pakistan in 1947 and holds the majority of the city’s legislative seats.