Tuesday, September 13, 2011

MQM is a "Terror Outfit" : Canada

According to National Post, the Federal Court of Canada has declared Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) a terrorist organization and deported the Head of MQM's Quebec Branch from Canada due to his association with MQM.

The judge upheld the deportation of Muhammed Kashif Omer, a resident of Montreal, on the grounds he is a member of the Muthaidda Quami Movement.

It is the second time this year Canadian courts have ruled the MQM party meets the legal definition of a terrorist organization.

Mr. Omer is one of dozens of Pakistanis whom Canadian immigration authorities have deported because of their involvement in the MQM.

Despite being blamed for the kidnapping, torture and murder of its political rivals in Pakistan, the MQM has opened a Canadian branch called MQM-Canada.

Members of the group have worked on Conservative election campaigns, met Prime Minister Stephen Harper and recently hosted a conference in Calgary.

Conservative MP Art Hanger spoke at the June 8-10 MQM Canada convention, which was attended by several Pakistanis who are being deported for their alleged involvement in terrorism. Mr. Hanger said he did not support the group. Conservative MLA Shiraz Shariff also attended. He said yesterday he was unaware Canadian courts had deemed the MQM a terrorist organization. "Why are we as a nation then allowing them to have a congregation here?" he said.

Among the speakers at the convention was Mr. Omer, who presented a report on the "achievements and future strategy" of the Montreal office of MQM.

Mr. Omer has no immigration status in Canada. A Canada Border Services Agency spokesman, Erik Paradis, said the court ruling means that the deportation order against Mr. Omer is now in effect.

The Canadian MQM branch has never been accused of illegal activities but in Pakistan the party has been blamed for widespread violence, specially on 12th May 2007 when gunfights between the MQM and anti-government demonstrators left more than fourty dead.

MQM officials deny any role in attacks and say they are victims of misinformation spread by Pakistani authorities. Canada's Security Intelligence Review Committee has been looking into complaints from MQM members that immigration authorities have unfairly branded them as terrorists.

Mr. Omer came to Canada in 1998 and was granted refugee status but in 2005 immigration officials said he could not remain in Canada "Because he knowingly and for a long period of time belonged to an organization that has engaged in terrorism."

In Pakistan, Mr. Omer had been a member of the MQM and its student wing from 1987 to 1998. He denied any involvement with the MQM in Canada but eventually acknowledged he was in charge of the MQM's Quebec office.

The Immigration and Refugee Board said "Mr. Omer's reasons for trying to hide that, in Canada, he is responsible for the Montreal section of the MQM-Canada lead me to believe that he knew that his party was committing many violent acts."

He appealed the decision to the Federal Court, arguing that the MQM is not a terrorist organization and that the violence was committed by rogue elements in the party, but the court was not convinced.

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