pakistan karachi protest
pakistan karachi protestReuters

At least one person died and several were injured in an attack on a news channel in Karachi, Pakistan. Violent protesters belonging to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party marched against ARY News channel for not giving them enough media coverage.

The workers of MQM protested after their exiled leader Altaf Hussain spoke out against "enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of workers." He raised slogans against Pakistan and called it "a cancer for entire world."

"Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism for the entire world. Who says long live's down with Pakistan," Hussain had said on Monday.

Hundreds of workers of the channel were held hostage by the party workers, the channel said. The MQM workers fired aerial shots and pelted stones at the police and ARY news officials. However, the party counter charged the police and said that they were protesting peacefully when the police fired shots. Hussain had called on his followers to storm ARY news and Samaa TV's offices. He also told them to march against the Rangers and Sindh government.

Armed workers of the political party snatched firearms from security guards, started abusing and torturing channel workers, stole and damaged property in an episode which continued for more than an hour," the channel was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

A senior member of MQM Syed Ali Raza Abidi tweeted on Monday saying that it was a conspiracy against the party.

MQM has been protesting since past three years non-violently. Regretfully, masked men at Fawara Chowk created these deplorable scenes," he said. "Dissociate yourself from violent mobs sent for a purpose!" he tweeted.

Another MQM member Wasay Jalil said that the protestors were gathered at the ARY office peacefully when the police started firing at them.

At least one person was brought dead to hospital while several others were injured," Dr Seemin Jamali, head of emergency at Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre told reporters.

MQM's party headquarters Nine Zero was raided and sealed and senior party leaders were taken into custody, Pakistan Rangers' Brigadier Khurram was quoted as saying by Dawn. Their website was also blocked.

The MQM was made by "muhajirs" or the people who had migrated from India to Pakistan in 1947. A largely secular party, they have been accused of using violence in Sindh province for political ends.