KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain, defending Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s tenure as the power minister, said that he was misguided and misled by others and all the blame was placed on him.
But, he hoped that Ashraf had learnt from past mistakes and in his six months in power, he will put all his capabilities to good use.
“He will take such courageous decisions that people won’t have any reservations, but they will rather appreciate him later,” Hussain remarked during Ashraf’s visit to MQM’s Karachi headquarters Nine Zero.
Praising the new PM
Welcoming the new prime minister to MQM headquarters in Karachi, Hussain said that he was happy that Ashraf was not born with a “silver spoon”.
“He was also a worker. He used to put up posters. This has happened for the first time in Pakistan that a worker has become a prime minister.”
Hussain asked the prime minister to work for the country and not his party.
He further advised Ashraf to initiate talks in Balochistan to end the plight of the people in the province. “I also want to advise those sitting in the mountains of Balochistan to prepare for talks as this will be beneficial for you as well as the country”.
After seeking permission from the prime minister to go off-topic, Hussain said that through this phone call, he would like to ask an astrologist, famous by the name of “mamu”, to explain this “strange coincidence” of how the people bearing the same name have been coming into power.
First it was former president Pervez Musharraf, then the current Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and now the newly elected Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, noted Hussain.
Lauding the PPP
The MQM chief, lauded the workings of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and congratulated President Asif Ali Zardari for running the government for 4.5 years even in the “toughest of times”.
“With patience, he accepted all Supreme Court orders. His prime minister, Gilani was disqualified, and with a heavy heart he removed former ambassador to US Husain Haqqani. The Supreme Court also suspended his wife’s membership. Rehman Malik was also suspended from his Senate seat. But the president maintained patience.”
He added that those holding dual nationalities help in strengthening the country’s economy.
Targeting the opposition
On the issue of National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), Hussain invited all opposition parties to gather in one place and have a debate with him alone on the topic. “If they beat me at it, I’ll leave politics forever,” Hussain challenged.
He added that democracy should not be derailed in the country. “Opposition should stop protesting in the country. If they want to protest, they should do it as per law.”
The country is going through tough times, during which all parties should stop fighting with each other and should be united, added Hussain.
Clash of institutions
Hussain termed the clashes between different institutions of the country as not only harmful for the institutions but also for the country’s democracy, security, economy and its future. “I request the institutions to work within their jurisdiction.”
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