‘I do not want a country of extremists and mullahs but a country of Quaid-e-Azam’s vision’

Published: September 12, 2012

Altaf Hussain highlighted that Jinnah had included Hindus and Ahmadis in the cabinet - the country’s first foreign minister was Sir Chaudhry Zafarullah Khan, who was an Ahmadi, and the law minister was Joginder Nath Mandal. PHOTO: COURTESY MQM

KARACHI: Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a liberal-minded Muslim who did not believe in differences between sects of Islam, said Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain said in a speech on Tuesday.

He spoke via telephone at a seminar organised by the MQM to mark the death anniversary of the country’s founder. Altaf Hussain highlighted that Jinnah had included Hindus and Ahmadis in the cabinet – the country’s first foreign minister was Sir Mohammad Zafarullah Khan, who was an Ahmadi, and the law minister was Joginder Nath Mandal.

Speakers at the event included veteran politician and a former key leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party Mairaj Mohammad Khan, author and journalist Mohammed Hanif as well as Mujahid Barelvi, Saleem Safi and Dr Farman Fatehpuri. According to an account of the event issued by the MQM, Hanif noted that if the ambulance that had transported the Quaid from Ziarat left today, it would have been stopped in Quetta. Jinnah would have never reached Karachi because if they had checked his identity card, they would have realised what sect of Islam he belonged to. The Quaid, Hanif said, did not want a country like the one we have today, which has become a ‘factory producing non-believers’.

Mairaj Mohammad Khan said that this was not Quaid-e-Azam’s Pakistan, but a country of beggars and that the country’s policies had engulfed it in debt.

Journalist Mujahid Barelvi said that the vision of Pakistan that the Deobandi ulema and the Jamaat-e-Islami have adopted is different from that of the Quaid’s and Allama Iqbal’s.

Altaf Hussain reiterated a point that he has made often in the past few weeks: decrying the spate of killings of Shias after they are identified. “I do not want a country of extremists and mullahs but a country of Quaid-e-Azam’s vision where people of all faiths, sects and creeds are treated equally,” Hussain said. He said that the Quaid’s honesty was not appreciated by the ‘establishment’ and alleged that the founder of the country had not died of natural causes. He asked why the ambulance that was sent to the late founder did not even have petrol in it, and why was there no backup car for the governor-general of the country?

Talking about minorities, Altaf Hussain said that he had once used the word ‘mosques’ when speaking about Ahmadis and was told to refer to them as places of worship instead. The MQM founder asked that if people could not consider them Muslims, they should at least be considered Pakistanis. “Do they not have the right to live in Pakistan and stay alive?” he said.

It was being said that Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and Ahmadis had no right to live in Pakistan and that they should be killed and their places of worship be destroyed. But what would happen if this fire were to spread to Europe or the US; if Muslims were told that they could only be considered citizens if they went to church or if a Muslim woman was told that she could not marry a Christian and would have to convert if she wanted to. He asked if Muslims would be able to handle it if mosques in Europe were destroyed.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2012.

Reader Comments (38)

  • Falcon
    Sep 12, 2012 - 5:01AM

    A very reasonable argument. I think MQM is a very reasonable political party, only if they gave up militancy.

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  • Sindhi_Pakistani
    Sep 12, 2012 - 5:03AM

    Violence is hall mark of intolerance and greed. Extremism, violent politics, and terrorism by any PARTY and/or group is poisonous to country and society. Militant wings of political parties should also be banned. Sooner our country get free from all those violent political groups as well as terrorist religious groups, better will be the law & order situation, which will eventually help our country to prosper. let us unite all against all kind of terrorism, politics of violence and hate. United we stand.Recommend

  • Khalid
    Sep 12, 2012 - 5:39AM

    The sentiment is appreciated. But someone tell Mohammad Hanif his posturing is allowed by a party that his novel’s hero Gen Zia created. I dont think he would exactly write about the party in a future sequel.

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  • ali mustafa
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:01AM

    No leader except him is raising voice for minorities.in punjab mqm had always been portrayed a terrorist party.looks like the only true patriots.

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  • Junaid Naseer Faroqui
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:07AM

    I think, MQM should keep this ‘Liberal Mode’ on and make it a vehicle to propagate the manifesto till GE arrive. The sane faction of society is willing to tune to the frequency MQM is broadcasting in. Rest, religiously driven ignorant masses and establishment driven hate sponges would off course remain on the other side of the river.
    Good going…

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  • liberal_pak
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:10AM

    Look who is talking.. LOL? Terrorism, violent politics and extremism are detrimental to the stability and progress of any country. Zia created factories of religious and ethnic violence. Many groups and parties are using violence to get their vested interests. For strong, stable and progressive Pakistan, all terrorist groups should be brought to justice. State should not bow down before such elements.

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  • Freeman
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:15AM

    The only party has concrete ideology for the country that is why establishment always tries to defame MQM in the whole country in the name of ethnicity and other baseless labels and create conspiracy against them so that their message could not spread to whole Pakistan…….if MQM is given a chance they will deliver the same as Karachi became a 12 fastest development city of the world…….!!!!!!!!at the time of Mustafa Kamal and huge foreign investment come to Pakistan and law and order was much better than now!!!!!

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  • Freeman
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:18AM

    @Falcon: The propaganda of militancy is created by the agencies of 90s when they conduct operation clean up against MQM to wipe out them from the politics of Pakistan since they belong to poor and middle class so better open up eyes and see the true picture

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  • Fauzia Siddiqui
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:27AM

    This is why I vote for MQM. I think Altaf Hussain is a very good moderate Muslim. He is not too liberal (which I do not like), nor is he an extremist (which I really hate), he is a moderate Muslim, and his party workers are moderate too. I only wish the MQM would open it’s heart to Imran Khan, and together, they can bring Pakistan out of the clutches of oppression. Kudos to Altaf Hussain and MQM.

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  • Shehzad
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:29AM

    Just want to say that I went to Karachi for first time last week. I am from Lahore, and I was so amazed to see how popular the MQM really is in Karachi. I will still vote for PTI, but now I know for fact that MQM and Altaf are not winning elections through gun, they are very much popular in Karachi, I saw with my own eyes.

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  • liberal_pak
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:32AM

    @Freeman:

    Bro, you also open your eyes, 12th May videos are still available on YouTube. Kindly check Supreme court observations and Human rights records about MQM too. You will definitely agree with me that politics of violence is condemn-able even done by any party. Right?

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  • RS
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:47AM

    Please bring your goodself into Pakistan n than give lecture as others. What’s the idea sitting in another country n waisting your words. Think about it!

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  • Waqas
    Sep 12, 2012 - 10:07AM

    Another mess from so called “Modern Extremists”.

    Every liberal(Modern Extremists) love to quote that Quaid-e-Azam said “Everyone is free to go in their worship places”. Why they all forget that same Quaid-e-Azam also said “We want a such a laboratory where we can practice Islamic laws”.

    Where are these laws implemented in country?

    and to Mr. mujahid braveli if u think “Deobandi ulema has adopted vision whihc is different from that of the Quaid’s and Allama Iqbal’s.”

    then how would see the opposition of Quiad-e-Azam by Ahmed Raza Khan by supporting British forces Rather than Muslims.

    Please Don’t hide truth from the public

    Quaid-e-Azam zindabad

    Pakistan Paindabad

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  • Maria
    Sep 12, 2012 - 11:29AM

    Why does Altaf Hussain care about what kind of Pakistan the Quaid wanted when he clearly went to India and spoke against Pakistan?

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  • Ayesha
    Sep 12, 2012 - 11:39AM

    We don’t want either :)

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  • M.Ahmer Ali
    Sep 12, 2012 - 11:52AM

    You don’t want Pakistan of extremists and mullahs then come to Pakistan and remove extremism and mullahism from Pakistan by your own methods instead of addressing and guiding from UK.Why have you been living in UK from a very long long time and why don’t you come to Pakistan and what kinds of fears are you feeling stopping you to enter Pakistan Altaf Hussain???????

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  • Introspection
    Sep 12, 2012 - 12:28PM

    “Come forward as servants of Islam, organize the people economically, socially, educationally and politically and I am sure that you will be a power that will be accepted by everybody”.
    Pakistan’s success and sustainable prosperity lies in following the above cited ‘directive’ of our beloved Father of Our Nation, the honorable Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, upon which our very Constitution is structured.

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  • umar
    Sep 12, 2012 - 12:42PM

    @Freeman What has Mustafa Kamal done? He only focused on the quantity rather than quality. I live in Karachi and whenever it rains all the underpasses fill up with water, and it has happened since Mustafa Kamal was running the show. Have you seen the Hassan Square flyover? The quality of everything that Mustafa Kamal has built is really pathetic. You have to slow down your car at every flyover and underpass that he has built. Right now I am in Lahore, and the underpasses at the Canal Road were built around the same time as those in Karachi and you do not have to slow you car one bit to go through them neither does the rain water accumulate in them. You are right that he did a lot of work but the quality of the work is really really bad!

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  • Sep 12, 2012 - 12:42PM

    You always speak and guide the nation on right path as said and done by the founder pf Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam M.A.Jinnah. But when every thing has gone up-side down and the rulers can not see beyond their nose, there is no hope for any better moments in poor man’s life, unless the August 11 speech is followed by the leaders , in letters and spirit, then things will start moving on positive, progressive lines. InshaAllah.

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  • Vigilant
    Sep 12, 2012 - 1:01PM

    Hate the guy but argument is strong

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  • R.A
    Sep 12, 2012 - 1:37PM

    Altaf Bhai WE ARE WITH YOU
    We want Qaide Azams Pakistan
    Nothing less or more
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  • Genius
    Sep 12, 2012 - 1:56PM

    Nothing will change for the people at large. Not until they will work very hard to change themselves.
    For a start they all need to change their outlook and get into the very unpalatable but very just habit of regarding and respecting the fellow human, exactly as they are i.e. a human just like themselves.
    Nothing will change for the people. Not until they will be prepared to put into practice the above philosophy in their everyday life.
    If people will ever start doing so, they will find coming together to work together for their betterment an easy task.
    The situation in every locality and consequently the country as a whole will never get better until people will work hard themselves to make it better.
    Can I remind people as to what Senator Haji Adeel Ahmed, said. He said exactly what every friend of the people will say i.e.
    “Don’t leave everything on the state and its agency. They have their own self-centred agenda. Let people take the lead and their collective wisdom will guide to the ultimate good,”

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  • Sep 12, 2012 - 2:33PM

    Get well soon is my message for him

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  • ???????
    Sep 12, 2012 - 4:54PM

    Look at the comments, no matter you like him or hate him at least stand with the truth, and the truth is what he is saying, at least appreciate what he said at least in this freakinly polarized country someone is taking a stand ….. i mean those who read this article are educated people and beside praising the argument..

    we have all the tensions why he is not in Pakistan,” because he is not like your “kursi” greedy leaders and he can run and organize an organization from thousand mile away ….. why mustafa kamal wanted quantity rather then quality etc

    i mean get a life, ” ak tuoo representation nhe dy dty hoo or or jab representation hasil kar lytay haan tuoo ikhteer nhe dyty hoo” At least MQM do “on his limited scale” what no one is this super mullah country won’t even think”
    you guys have hopes from iman ahhh, time is the best teacher.
    ” jis ny kabhi apni personal life ma bus ma safer nhe kia wo kia jany ga ky musafir ky masail kia hotay haan”

    Me my family my friends my relative have always voted for MQM and will voted for them even if we have too with our blood. because we didnt heard on redio that Pakistan came in to being we gave our blood.

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  • A J Khan
    Sep 12, 2012 - 5:06PM

    Good to head soething good from a politician.

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  • rome
    Sep 12, 2012 - 5:31PM

    how sad that our first foreign minister was an ahmadi, i did not know that but now i understand why our country running at the wrong direction. my knowledge abt jinnah was very wrong. howcome he put an ahmadi and a hindu in so sensitive position. chocking…….

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  • Hasan
    Sep 12, 2012 - 5:53PM

    MQM is all for Quaid Ka Pakistan.

    Religious Intolerance has to STOP, and Altaf Hussain couldn’t have said it any better.

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  • dpd
    Sep 12, 2012 - 6:06PM

    Altafbhai,
    Speaking from the UK is well and good.
    Go to Karachi
    The people await a person with your intellect.
    If I was in Pakistan my first question will be – Why stay in the UK? The true leader of MQM would be in Karachi and looking after it’s people. Recommend

  • Hairaan
    Sep 12, 2012 - 6:21PM

    @umar:
    How can you ensure quality of flyovers if eat up 40% of the allocated budget with the help of contractors?

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  • Pakhtoon
    Sep 12, 2012 - 6:25PM

    owh, so will MQM accept the pukhtoons of Karachi as per the vision of tolerence given by Quaid-e-Azam?? Recommend

  • Sep 12, 2012 - 6:35PM

    It is none of Quaid-e-Azam’s visions that leaders should station themselves outside the country, and play politics through remote controls.

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  • Enlightened
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:32PM

    Altaf Hussain should be applauded by all Pakistanis for speaking in favour of Shias and minority communities. Infact other major parties leaving aside their differences should join him in fighting the sectarianism in Pakistan otherwise country is heading for an anarchy in the coming months.

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  • IceSoul
    Sep 12, 2012 - 7:39PM

    Only Altaf Bhai has the guts to speak up!

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  • Freeman
    Sep 12, 2012 - 8:56PM

    @umar:
    I think the whole world is witness the wonderful development of Karachi except you and it seems like you are blind in ethinicity even to denying the truth which every Karachiites is a witness and your poor observation is nothing except hate towards the 2nd best mayor of world Mustafa Kamal and he is the one who changed Karachi and not to say but he is the creator of modern Karachi keep your biased story with you we do not need any certification from people who distort the real facts and always negative the appreciatable.

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  • Son of Karachi
    Sep 12, 2012 - 9:13PM

    True leader is born once in a century!!! and We do not want Altaf Hussain to come Pakistan and we know we do not want to loose the visionary then the season politicians. We still remember what happend with other leaders from Quaid-e-Azam, Khan Liaquat Ali Khan, Bhutto and Benazir!!!!! We Karachiite do not want him to come back since his life and guidance is much important for us then his physical presence he lives in our hearts and minds even if he is far away much closer to us than the leaders are much closer but very far from our hearts and minds so whatever the propaganda machinery tries to keep people away from him we know the value of gem then than the rest!!!!

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  • Sep 12, 2012 - 9:49PM

    @rome:
    First of all, please clear your mind of all the wrong, incorrect and small ideas with little or no study of history of Pakistan and the Freedom Movement. I wish you read the books of Prof. K.K. Aziz, the most authentic and reliable historian of Indo-Pakistan’s freedom movement with background history. Here it be known to all that little knowledge sometimes becomes very dangerous as is the case with you, ‘rome’. Let me tell him that the Founder of Pakistan did not appoint an Ahmadi as the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan. The Quaid-e-Azam had appointed Ch. Sir Zafrullah Khan as first FM because of his intellectual, educational and extraordinary legal qualifications as a great lawyer, a prolific writer and a great debator/speaker special qualities of heart, soul and mind. As such Zafrullah Khan was not, never, made FM just because he was an Ahmadi.
    Plz allow to mention some facts of Zafrullah’s life story. He was an active member of the Muslim League delegation during the three Round Table Conferences of early thirties, along with Sir Agha Khan, Allama Iqbal and M. A. Jinnah. Before partition, Sir Zafrullah served as the Federal Railways Minister and after the creation of Pakistan ,he had the honor to perform as Foreign Minister from 1947 to 1954 in an out standing manner. In 1963, he was elected as the President of the UN General Assembly. And after that he was elected twice as Judge of Inter. Court of Justice, Hague, from where he finally retired as Chief Justice of ICJ in 1973. All these outstanding achievements are due to his lofty character, God gifted qualities of soul and brain and untiring labour of love with his job or assignments.

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  • hmm
    Sep 12, 2012 - 11:04PM

    @Shehzad:
    and you also seen public parks occupied by the party people??? also a lot of immature wall chalking, streets blocked by barriers and road breakers to establish No Go Areas for opponent parties, and a lot of flagging. you also seen bhatta khori, target killing and lawlessness. Now, you want same things in Lahore??

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  • Zara
    Sep 13, 2012 - 1:47AM

    @rome: How shockingly sad you are talking like this and you call yourself a true Pakistani?

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