KARACHI.: Holding the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) responsible for the May 12, 2007 carnage in Karachi, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday alleged that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was the new face of the MQM founder, Altaf Hussain.
“We lost 14 workers on May 12 when a dictator [Pervez Musharraf] was showing fist and people of Karachi were collecting bodies,” Bilawal said, addressing a rally at Karachi’s Bagh-e-Jinnah to pay tribute to his party workers who were killed in the massacre more than a decade ago.
“The history of Jallianwala Bagh massacre was repeated by the militant wing of the MQM. And the same history was repeated by the PTI when its workers resorted to violence, fired gunshots and injured the PPP workers [last week] when they were preparing to hold [this] rally,” he added.
According to Bilawal, the people of Karachi cannot tolerate another Altaf Hussain in shape of Imran Khan. He dubbed the PTI ‘MQM Banigala’, adding that the party had made no sacrifices on May 12, in which the PPP, the Awami National Party (ANP) and members of the lawyer community lost their lives.
Bilawal said the MQM had always resorted to the politics of ethnicity, violence, cheating and opportunism. He added that the PPP’s April 29 rally at Liaquatabad’s Tanki Ground created a sense of insecurity among the MQM factions and brought them together.
“Had I known that my jalsa will unite the MQM splinter groups, I would have held it earlier for the politics of Karachi,” he quipped.
He said the people of Karachi were being misguided that the PPP is their enemy which introduced the quota system. “It wasn’t enforced by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Quota system was first notified by first prime minister of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan in 1948,” he claimed.
The PPP chief said his party has no mandate in Karachi but it has still served the metropolis with the best of its abilities, but the MQM has been continuously disrupting the development works due to its political interests.
“Why K-4 projects were not initiated during the Musharraf’s tenure when the MQM had complete hold over the city,” he inquired. Even MQM-P chief Farooq Sattar has alleged that Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar is involved in financial embezzlement, he said.
“The man who is now Karachi mayor was the home minister at that time [May 12, 2007]. He is the one responsible for the carnage that day,” he said.
Bilawal also criticised the PTI for its ‘Naya Pakistan’ narrative, adding that party could not even build a single government university or hospital in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa despite ruling it for five years.
He said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government adopted a ‘step-motherly’ attitude towards Karachi and Sindh. “Water supply has been stopped by Punjab leaving the fertile lands of Sindh without water,” he claimed.
Bilawal vowed to initiate more uplift projects in Karachi, and called upon the masses to vote for the PPP in the coming general elections to end the politics of violence. “Karachi’s future cannot be changed by voting to the MQM groups or the PTI,” he added.