Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Wednesday urged the government to call a round-table conference of all religious and political parties within 48 hours in the backdrop of the “highly sensitive and consequential state of affairs” in the country.
According to a press statement issued by the MQM, Altaf Hussain said if the “government cares even a little bit about the sovereignty and the freedom of the country it should call the conference.” The statement added that Altaf Hussain is waiting to hear policy statements of all the leading religious and political parties, on the US operation against al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
“Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chiefs of air force and navy and the head of the ISI should also be invited to the conference,” it stated. “We should take the nation into confidence about the raid of American helicopters and the presence of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in the vicinity of Pakistan Military Academy Kakul,” the statement quoted Altaf Hussain as saying.
The MQM chief has demanded that the nation be given details and has questioned the continued silence of the government, heads of the armed forces, the ISI and ambiguous statements of the Foreign Office.
Altaf Hussain said that nearly all the countries of the world are criticising the Pakistani government and security agencies which is a source of “outright embarrassment” for the Pakistani people.
“As the world accuses Pakistan with the situation in the country being closely monitored by the US administration, the prime minister chose to go out of the country on a foreign tour,” said Altaf Hussain. The MQM chief also expressed his dissatisfaction over the holding of the oath-taking ceremony for the newly appointed ministers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid.
Altaf Hussain has also expressed his concern over the security of Pakistan’s atomic installations in the present circumstances. “It is time that the government and the intelligence agencies come clean on their negligence,” he said, adding that if anyone is hurt by his statement he would tender an apology because he has only spoken as a “true Pakistani”.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2011.