MQM referendum on Taliban on Thursday

Published: November 5, 2012

“Referendum will decide the fate of the country. People will have to decide if they want Jinnah’s Pakistan or the Taliban’s Pakistan.” says Sattar. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

KARACHI: Terming the Taliban’s move of creating ‘state within a state’ as the biggest threat, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) will hold a countrywide referendum on Thursday to decide whether people want Jinnah’s ‘liberal’ Pakistan or the Taliban’s extreme ideological state.

Addressing a press conference at the Lal Qila ground on Sunday, MQM’s deputy convener Farooq Sattar lashed out at the Taliban, just days after militants had threatened to liberate the people of Karachi from the MQM.

Suggesting the attack on Malala was a wakeup call for the nation, Sattar said, “The referendum will decide the fate of the country.
The people will have to decide if they want Jinnah’s Pakistan or the Taliban’s Pakistan.”

The MQM leader said that the referendum was being held on November 8, a day before Allama Iqbal’s anniversary. Polling stations would be formed across the country, and people would be able to cast their vote from 9am to 5pm. Votes may be cast via a website and through SMS, a facility put forth for overseas Pakistanis in particular. A commission comprising retired judges, lawyers, intellectuals would be monitoring the referendum. “Irrespective of the result, the MQM wants a progressive, liberal and secular Pakistan,” said Sattar.

Highly critical of the Taliban, Sattar said that the militants have challenged Pakistan’s constitution. “Years ago when Altaf Hussain had warned everyone of rising Talibanisation in the country, and especially in Karachi, leaders of religious parties and  journalists made fun of him and accused him of spreading fear,” he said. “And today, finally, the Supreme Court demands action against the Taliban. This proves that Hussain was speaking the truth.”

Furthermore, the MQM leader said that while education and technology is the key of every progressive nation, the Taliban are stopping people from pursuing education by blowing up schools and attacking students. “The October 9 incident is a final wakeup call for Pakistan when the country’s daughter Malala was attacked. The whole nation came together and condemned the incident.”

“Jinnah did not want extremism. He wanted a liberal, secular and democratic country where all communities were free to practise their religion,” he added.

Great fury

Pointing out the Taliban’s atrocities, Sattar said that they were violators of women’s rights. “Not only do they treat women like animals but also whip them to death. They declare people infidels and force their beliefs on to others.”

He said the country was facing great external and internal threats: with drone attacks threatening its sovereignty on one hand and religious extremism and terrorism destroying its image abroad. “Imambargahs, masjids and mazars are being attacked. Law enforcement agencies are not spared; rangers and police officers are being killed brutally.”

Sattar said that the referendum will prove that the people are united and want equal rights for minorities. “Pakistanis want harmony and peace in the country. They want a democratic and liberal nation. This referendum will give a new life to the country, help to free it from foreign aid, and to move towards stability,” said Sattar with high hopes. He added that all political parties, including the ANP should participate in the referendum and prove their unity against the militants.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2012.

Reader Comments (34)

  • Shahid
    Nov 5, 2012 - 4:10AM

    Way to go MQM.

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  • shah
    Nov 5, 2012 - 4:36AM

    The only party which has balls to speak against the taliban, I support MQM

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  • aysha
    Nov 5, 2012 - 5:20AM

    MQM does it again!
    May it be the women jalsa, presenting a breed of hard working intellegent legislators, workers like mustafa kamal, prayers of sunnis and shias together(ref: Reza Haider Namaze janaza), striking down baised legislation against women in the assembly and the list goes on

    MQM you have support from the masses pls lead in rebuilding Jinnah’s Pakistan

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  • basharat
    Nov 5, 2012 - 6:04AM

    People will vote for Jinnah´s Pakistan, MQM has taken a clear and courageous stance.

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  • AZMAT KHAN
    Nov 5, 2012 - 6:22AM

    BUCK UP DR. FAROOQ. WE WANT JINNAH’S PAKISTAN.NO MULLAISM OR EXTREMISM.

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  • faheem
    Nov 5, 2012 - 6:43AM

    Farooq bhai, of course 99 percent people are against Taliban… I will salute you if MQM will hold a referendum about target killing, extortion, street crime and terrorism in Karachi.

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  • yellow
    Nov 5, 2012 - 7:32AM

    Doing this referendum makes no sense ! Just a waste of money !Recommend

  • jugno
    Nov 5, 2012 - 7:36AM

    The only way forward for a country lies in science and technology. In order to be good in science, the people must have scientific attitudes, analytical minds and critical thinking. Unfortunately pak society’s attitudes are dogmatic and religious. Science relies on observation whereas religious thinking is based on blind faith, therefore these two do not mix. As an example look at the dark ages of Europe where the thinking of majority of people were similar to that of pak people today. MQM referendum may be a small step in right direction, although it seems a bit late.

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  • Khy2Khi
    Nov 5, 2012 - 8:05AM

    It’s the moment of truth. Lets see who is supporting Talibanism from back door. Just remember because you pray namaz and go to Jumma does not make you a supporter of bombing and killing of innocents. But Taliban think they have the support of majority of Pak Muslims. It’s time to tell them we are an education loving society who don’t want to live under harsh Taliban rule. Remember the Karachi card Talibans have played is only to bring anti-education and anti development on one plateform. Prove them wrong for the sake of future of Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad.

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  • Jewcifer
    Nov 5, 2012 - 8:29AM

    Looks like a new drama. For a decade MQM declared war on feudalism yet make alliances with the feudal lords to sit in assembly.

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  • Sohraab
    Nov 5, 2012 - 9:11AM

    MQM is the only party in Pakistan which has the courage to catch the Bull by the Horns. We want Jinnah’s Pakistan, this is also a wake up call for other Toothless Tigers sitting in Punjab…We are with MQM!

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  • Haris Chaudhry
    Nov 5, 2012 - 9:19AM

    MQM has my vote !

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  • anwar
    Nov 5, 2012 - 9:36AM

    This nation is just as fed up with both

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Nov 5, 2012 - 9:47AM

    @yellow:
    Shame on you. Having no guts to oppose referendum’s terms of reference, you just claim it to be a waste of money. MQM is trying to reclaim the soul of Jinnah’s Pakistan and you are trying to be cynical. MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON US

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Nov 5, 2012 - 9:56AM

    @Jewcifer:
    My dear you can oppose / make fun of / deride / ridicule Feudalism as a hobby or fun or political point scoring and not a single hair on your body will be harmed. But it needs extreme courage and conviction to do the same against Taliban and Talibanization. The evidence is all around you
    if you care to read newspapers or watch TV. The bold and mighty anchors who easily and repeatedly rip apart the President, suddenly are at a loss of words when it comes to Taliban.

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  • Enlightened
    Nov 5, 2012 - 10:00AM

    Congratulations and best wishes to the brave MQM for taking bold and just stand against the barbarians. No comments from PTI, PPP, PML(N) and others so far but if they don’t speak against the enemies of the country, none of them deserve to rule Pakistan.

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  • Tanzeel
    Nov 5, 2012 - 10:09AM

    A real daring move by the MQM

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  • HBA
    Nov 5, 2012 - 10:12AM

    All parties can participate including ANP…this is appreciable, Obviously we want Jinnah’s liberal Pakistan.

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  • Mazhar
    Nov 5, 2012 - 10:51AM

    I strongly support MQM’s wake up call on this issue. It is time we have to decide what Pakistan do we need for our children. I want a peaceful, progressive and a secular Pakistan where all religion live peacefully exactly what Jinnah dreamed. Way to go MQM !!

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  • A J Khan
    Nov 5, 2012 - 10:56AM

    Quaid e Azam Pakistan is the winner. Taliban Pakistan is burried along with all armed, militant, ideological and self assuming pious molves, Millitants and their ashamed supporters.

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  • S K Afridi
    Nov 5, 2012 - 12:37PM

    No difference between the famous question asked by Gen Zia ul Haq for his referendum and the question now being asked by MQM for their referendum.

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  • Karachiwala
    Nov 5, 2012 - 1:44PM

    Then why these party people comes in talk shows and blame each other for target killings and bhatta khori. also does taliban free 35 target killers on payroll????

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  • Karachiwala
    Nov 5, 2012 - 1:45PM

    Enough is enough, when no other political party can flag or wall chalk in MQM areas. I wonder how taliban comes in Karachi

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  • MyHeartSpeaks
    Nov 5, 2012 - 2:05PM

    Majority will vote for ‘Quaid ka Pakistan’. For the same reason, they give animal hides to MQM out of their desire.

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  • Muhammad Rizwan Ali
    Nov 5, 2012 - 2:09PM

    Well done MQM

    Why Imran Khan does not speak agains Talibal

    Is he afraid of them, or have sympathy……Recommend

  • jacke
    Nov 5, 2012 - 3:54PM

    total time wasting jobs………

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  • Nov 5, 2012 - 5:16PM

    It is a national obligation,we should opened heartedly recognized the fact attributed to the existing circumstances.

    M.Q.M.as a political party in Sindh has a prolonged people’s services record.In the comparison whole world has declared Taliban extremists,insurgents and terrorists,playing with innocent people’s life including teenagers,women and children.

    In view of the services of the people no political party or orgnization can defeat or remove M.Q.M. from Karachi,it is a admitted fact of the day.

    The question has been framed in the referendum are very important,there is no permission in the islamic idealogy girls are to to deprived of education,educational institution destroyed,

    Who play with innocent people’s life and properties claiming to be a true muslim,front line clerics says they are infidles and have no concerned with Islam.
    Islam provide concept of democracy,democratic system provide all the citizens a chance to share in the conutry’s affairs exposing his/her opinion by casting vote.

    They killed our armed force,kidnaped and beheaded,why people of Pakistan cast their vote in their favour,never never never,they are hateful,really hateful.

    No doubt,referendum would go in favour of M.Q.M,I support M.Q.M stance because I have seen Taliban’s services for Islam and targeting a teenagere in broad daylight.

    I have seen many people having invisible tears in their eyes ,wandering on the roads and streets in Lahore ,their lovedones swept away by insurgency and bomb blasting.Allah Amighty forgive us.

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  • Nov 5, 2012 - 5:22PM

    @Muhammad Rizwan Ali:
    There are two catagory of Taliban bad Taliban or good taliban.
    Imran Khan support good Taliban not bad Taliban.
    He is a brave and true muslim ,believe in Allah Almighty
    Time has been fixed of death by Allah.he says.Recommend

  • Nov 5, 2012 - 5:26PM

    Good option has been adopted,
    it will expose to all,what is the crucial majority mindset about them.Recommend

  • Nov 5, 2012 - 5:32PM

    @jacke:
    It is indispensable,dear jack,part of life also.
    if they left the job you will have disappeared with others
    from the earth forever.
    let them do their job.Recommend

  • Karachiwala
    Nov 5, 2012 - 8:24PM

    @Sultan Ahmed:
    No political party, nor a person can held referendum on these type of sensitive issue without approval from the parliament or Prime minister. So this is an illegal referendum.

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  • jugno
    Nov 6, 2012 - 3:18AM

    @Sultan Ahmed:
    There are no good and bad fundamentalists, terrorists and Taliban. This thinking is responsible for the current situation. By good taliban, Imran means ones which spare pak but carry on terrorism else where.

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  • Nov 6, 2012 - 4:12AM

    ALTHOUGH MQM HAS MANY THREATS BUT MQM ALWAYS FACES THE CHALLENGES
    AND I AM SURE THAT MQM IS RIGHT, OTHER POLITICIANS ARE NOT TOO BOLD TO FACE THESE SORTS OF THREATS SO MQM CAME FORWARD FOR THE SACK OF SAVE AND PEACEFUL PAKISTAN.

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  • Muhammad Rizwan Ali
    Nov 6, 2012 - 8:03AM

    @Karachiwala:

    This is for public opinion, needed.

    As Government is sleeping, how to wake up people

    Let it go, it will work

    Go for it ” MQM “

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