Advice: Resign if you can’t stop the violence, Altaf tells PM

Published: August 22, 2011
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“How long will those at the helm of affairs remain silent spectators as citizens fall victim to incidents of terrorism," Altaf Hussain.
PHOTO: APP

“How long will those at the helm of affairs remain silent spectators as citizens fall victim to incidents of terrorism," Altaf Hussain. PHOTO: APP

“How long will those at the helm of affairs remain silent spectators as citizens fall victim to incidents of terrorism," Altaf Hussain.
PHOTO: APP MQM Deputy Convener and Federal Minister Dr Farooq Sattar.
PHOTO: AFP/FILE
KARACHI: 

Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain, whose party will observe a day of mourning today (Tuesday), has advised Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to step down if he is unable to bring an end to the violence in the city.

Gilani was in Karachi on Monday and held a string of meetings, including with the Sindh cabinet, on the Karachi situation. However, in a hard-hitting statement issued on Monday, Altaf said that the prime minister should see that his orders are implemented in both letter and spirit and he should resign from office if he is unable to seek strict compliance of his orders.

“How long will those at the helm of affairs remain silent spectators as citizens fall victim to incidents of terrorism. I, therefore, demand that President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani put a stop to the savage killings of innocent Karachi citizens and bring the killers to book,” he said.

(Read: Karachi killings are politically motivated, agree experts)

Earlier on Monday, MQM Deputy Convener and Federal Minister Dr Farooq Sattar announced at an emergency press conference that the party would observe Youm-e-Sogh (a day of mourning) throughout the country on Tuesday (today), to condemn the genocide by militant elements in the Peoples’ Amn committee against Mohajirs.

Addressing the press conference, held at the Khursheed Begum Secretariat, Sattar said that the party had been facing mounting pressure from the people of Karachi to settle and take definitive action against elements creating havoc in the city.

Sattar said the purpose of the day was to inform people across the country that the genocide against Mohajirs was happening with the
support of the government, adding that innocent Mohajirs were suffering due to inaction against elements from the Peoples’ Amn committee due to political patronage.

He alleged that the violence that has engulfed the city for a sixth day has only reached this point due to support from certain Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) ministers, adding that it was highly regrettable that no action had been taken by the government to control the law and order situation.

Sattar said that, due to the government’s inaction, the MQM is now free to decide its future line of action, adding that Sindh senior minister Zulfiqar Mirza has criticised action against the PAC and has repeatedly declared the members of the group equivalent to his offspring. “Take away protection given to PAC’s terrorists and if the government fails to do so, the MQM will be free to adopt its future course of action to give protection to the life and property of the citizens,” Sattar said.

He went on to brief the media about PAC’s activities in the city, saying the organisation had been abducting people from katchi abadis and killing them. He further added that the organisation was extorting money from traders, industrialists and shopkeepers by sending extortion slips, and that life threats were used to strike fear in the hearts of the business community.

(Read: Traders accuse government of sheltering ‘bhatta’ mafia)

Sattar also expressed concern over the government’s failure to reveal the identities of the kidnappers in Lyari, saying that it was further indication of the government’s patronage of the PAC.

Appealing to the international community, human rights organisations and civil society to take notice of the ‘butchery and mayhem’ taking place, Sattar urged them to raise their voices and to come forward. He urged people all over the country to hoist black flags and wear black stripes on their arms to mourn the dead and condemn the actions of PAC.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (56)

  • H.A. Khan
    Aug 22, 2011 - 7:18PM

    This killing in Karachi has to stop.!!!
    The government is in screen saver mode. Doing very little if anything to stop this killing.There is fear and in-security in the city of Karachi.

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  • JJ
    Aug 22, 2011 - 7:39PM

    Thanks MQM we are with you for observe Peaceful day of Protest to Condemn the recent killings in the city.Because government failed to stop the violence in the city.

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  • SavePakistan
    Aug 22, 2011 - 8:24PM

    They are announcing a day Mourning but joining the cabinet? I’m sorry I don’t think this makes too much sense. MQM please clarify these seemingly contradictory actions on your part.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Aug 22, 2011 - 9:09PM

    Good decision by MQM.

    But why the Provincial Education Minister of Sindh is adamant to keep the Government Schools open when the Universities have postponed the annual examinations?

    Zulfiqar Mirza has gone out of senses. Now he has asked Rehman Malik not to come to Karachi time and again and should not make any phone calls to any one.Recommend

  • rameed
    Aug 22, 2011 - 9:11PM

    It wouldn’t change a tad the political and ethnic dynamics in Karachi. It wouldn’t strike fear in the hearts of those whose conscience had already left them. It wouldn’t change the mindsets of those out to pillage Karachi and divide its spoils. It wouldn’t even compensate those who have lost their loved ones to the senseless killings. Another “day of mourning” means another day of doing nothing. All form, no substance. Hopeless!Recommend

  • mohammad aslam
    Aug 22, 2011 - 9:45PM

    i have to say that if this day would be on killing of all dead people of karachi so it was good Recommend

  • Aug 22, 2011 - 10:35PM

    A black era indeed!!! Not just a black day.

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  • Anwar
    Aug 22, 2011 - 10:55PM

    Day of Mourning is another reason to close school. This is the result of illiteracy.

    School closing leads to illiteracy leading to poverty and violence leading to school closures. And the cycle goes on and on.

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  • Anwar
    Aug 22, 2011 - 10:59PM

    Pakistan….we are our own worst enemy.

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  • Hairaan
    Aug 22, 2011 - 11:53PM

    @JJ:
    And as if the mourning is the solution to all the troubles. Only it would add to the miseries of the poor people already unable to meet the ends due to law and order situation.

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  • Ahmed
    Aug 23, 2011 - 12:16AM

    Yeah. Calling for strike and shutting down already crippled city is the way to go.

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  • Aug 23, 2011 - 12:25AM

    I wonder why PML N is silent on Karachi carnage. They should also have joined hands with MQM at least on Black Day since its not an MQM’s call only but Karachites.

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  • Aamer Khawaja
    Aug 23, 2011 - 12:42AM

    @Tanzeel:
    Im a Karachite, and i dont support this day of mourning for power. My work is getting affected, terror of this mourning has already shut down the city

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  • Shery
    Aug 23, 2011 - 12:45AM

    Yeah Good decision..
    Why Jamaties other political forces are not joining hands with MQM at the moment.. its not a time of Politics, please save Karachiest.

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  • Sajida
    Aug 23, 2011 - 1:05AM

    Look around you. Is this happening in any other country?
    Recommend

  • Arzoo
    Aug 23, 2011 - 2:16AM

    @Tanzeel: PMLN is silent because it does not consider Karachi’s residents as its’ own constituency and it has no sympathies towards them, pure and simple. And Nawaz Sharif is not acting like a national leader and it is apparent by his lack of dismay on Karachi’s situation and Balochistan’s mayhem. It is unthinkable that a leader of national repute would remain silent about killings on such a large scale as has happened recently in Karachi.

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  • Aug 23, 2011 - 3:10AM

    @Aamer Khawaja:
    You might be a Karachite but not Urdu Speaking perhaps. Ulemas, Trade Associations, now PLML N, PTI all parties have voiced with MQM and endorsed mourning day not because its a party’s call but its against the atrocities Urdu Speaking community is facing and Karachites in general. Your work might be affected for a single day but what about the extortion money affecting entire businesses of people. That would be very selfish of you if you dont become a part of this protest, if you live in this city own its griefs as well.

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  • Abdul Qayyum
    Aug 23, 2011 - 3:24AM

    I personally believe that MQM has officially returned to the decade of 80s, when they were using word “Mohajir” for them. Later they changed their name to “Muttahida” instead of “Mohajir”. But their actual intentions did not change and ultimately exposed today when they used word “Mohajir” again. Mr. Farooq Sattar was seen disblessing the terrorists and their supporters including himself.

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  • Aadersh
    Aug 23, 2011 - 3:24AM

    We actually need to protest against these silly political parties….all have pathetically Failed

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  • Insider
    Aug 23, 2011 - 5:26AM

    There is no denying that strikes hurt, especially, to the innocent daily wagers. But then it is them, the poor, who are mostly being killed and there is just no other way but strike or a million march to CM house to make a impressionable protest. March is not a possibility as the risk of firing on the procession could end up in a high number of casualties and even then it would make no impression on the govt. So a strike pretty much remains the only way to register a noticeable protest.
    http://karachitargetkilling.wordpress.com/

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  • Karachities
    Aug 23, 2011 - 5:33AM

    @Tanzeel:
    And what PML will do when MQM again rejoin the govt. :) Why not governor still resigned.

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  • Karachities
    Aug 23, 2011 - 5:36AM

    Last night, my shop and my market forcily closed by MQM workers, for day of mourning. We dont want to be part of these are these black mailings.
    A shopekeeper from Shah Faisal Colony, Karachi.

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  • RizwanTKhan
    Aug 23, 2011 - 5:49AM

    When will you resign Mr Altaf so people of Khi can get rid of the Hitler of today and live in peace.

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  • Aamir
    Aug 23, 2011 - 5:55AM

    To hell with Altaf, Zardari, Mirza, Malik, Galini, Nawaz and every other political leader who is exploiting the current situation and playing with innocent lives.

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  • LayMan
    Aug 23, 2011 - 7:16AM

    Careful fellows ..MQM is strong on its propaganda war otherwise who does not know even they have a lot to do in these killing affairs …

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  • Aug 23, 2011 - 7:28AM

    @SavePakistan: Maybe that has changed. Joining the cabinet is only to show goodwill and unity among the citizens in Sindh. But the Peoples Party does not think so and still harbors and cherishes the parochial bent of mind and behavior. And that is ‘fire and brimstone.’ Making people kneel and grovel to its desensitized policies.
    Frankly, the time is over and as long as you have outdated people and policies in the Sindh cabinet, the coalition will not function. Salams.

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  • billo
    Aug 23, 2011 - 7:32AM

    @JJ:
    who is we?? i am not… another working day wasted for what little we have anyways..and what will this protest achieve if not more killings and bus burnings.

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  • billo
    Aug 23, 2011 - 7:36AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    Good decision?!?!?….Can you elaborate?…i am tired of this ethnic cleansing by Raw sponsored political terrorists trained in south africa…

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  • Sohaib
    Aug 23, 2011 - 7:37AM

    How weird is this discrimination that no one in world is concerned about the cold blooded killing in karachi. Such a shame on this nation and such a disgrace on the peoples of this nation.

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  • Amjad
    Aug 23, 2011 - 7:50AM

    This of course seems to be the plan by MQM. As they say , they want the government to step down if it can’t control the violence but then again MQM is one of the tow groups involved in the current violence so why should they want it to stop. They must obviously getting benefit to make such statements.

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  • MJK
    Aug 23, 2011 - 7:53AM

    Why doesn’t Altaf Hussain come to Karachi?? Talk about his loyalty to the people of Karachi.

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  • ali
    Aug 23, 2011 - 7:58AM

    Haha…well said but joining the govt…a drama…

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  • Chester
    Aug 23, 2011 - 8:06AM

    My shop in malir cantt is safe because they cant protest with the army around. Why cant the rest of Karachi be like this? Recommend

  • aj
    Aug 23, 2011 - 8:59AM

    @Shery:its like congo

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  • JohnDoe
    Aug 23, 2011 - 9:53AM

    Yesterday after iftar I went to the gym for a work out. 20 mins later they told us we had to leave because the MQM was enforcing a strike/day of mourning/hartaal, whatever you want to call it. As I walked out of the gym, I noticed that every single store around me had been shut, lights off, not a soul in sight. This is at 9pm, almost on the dot, a week before Eid. The office is a joke, nobody works, people come in late and they leave early. Friday is a half day. Throw in all the days off for strikes and violence in the last 2 months and where does that leave Pakistan. Behind. Everyone. I saw last night on the news that were going to 4 days off holiday for Eid. That’s great but in the month of August, collectively as a country, I doubt we’ve completed 8 full working days. I like my time off as much as the next guy, I could stay in bed all day. But not now I actually want to work, I have to feed my family, just like everyone else. So if all the political parties could stop bickering, I’d like to get back to my life.

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  • Hassan Sadiq
    Aug 23, 2011 - 9:57AM

    @ Tanzeel, so if your not urdu speaking your selfish and thus have no stake in this city, i am sick of this ethnic propaganda being spread by these political parties but the soft peddling of such nonsense on ET is amazing. Urdu speaking are not the only ones being killed innocent people are being killed all over and as a political party that represents Karachi and has been in goverment for 3.5 years they must share the blame.

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  • syed Imran
    Aug 23, 2011 - 10:39AM

    I think by now the people must have come to realize that Army Rule was much better?

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  • Hairaan
    Aug 23, 2011 - 11:20AM

    Day of mourning by Mohajir Qaumi Movement. And what about other communities being killed? Who is killing them?

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  • Shatir
    Aug 23, 2011 - 11:24AM

    The 1st Responisbility of a Province Goes to Governer, He Used Resign 1st ! Recommend

  • Aug 23, 2011 - 11:39AM

    No matter what, Karachi will keep feeding the rest of Pakistan with its diversity and economy power. Think if and only if our political parties manage to keep Karachi open for business, this city alone can generate so much revenue for Pakistan. But the key question is “are they really interested in the well being of Pakistan?”Recommend

  • UJ
    Aug 23, 2011 - 12:12PM

    Why not giving the same advice to his governor first :)

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  • grinz09
    Aug 23, 2011 - 12:23PM

    @RizwanTKhan:
    Racism! You must visit Al Asif Square and Sohrab Goth.

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  • UJ
    Aug 23, 2011 - 12:23PM
  • Aamer Khawaja
    Aug 23, 2011 - 12:57PM

    @Tanzeel:
    Extortion has been going on for 20 years in Karachi urdu-speaking or non-urdu speaking, its not new to this city. It seems competition is this field is the reason of mourning. For the traders and transporters, i assure you, no one wants to get this truck/bus/shop burnt down today, that is the only reason for support.

    Provided the economic condition of Pakistan, shutting down a city is an act of high treason

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  • Aamer Khawaja
    Aug 23, 2011 - 1:02PM

    @Tanzeel:
    And extortion from non-urdu speaking has been rampant in Karachi for decades. As far as being selfish is concerned, selfish is the mentality to announce a day of mourning on the killing of urdu-speaking, and being silent for years at the killing of sindhis, punjabis, & pushtuns.

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  • Lobster
    Aug 23, 2011 - 1:21PM

    @Tanzeel:
    Whenever a Karachiitee raise his voice against idiotic decision, he is regarded as non-urdu speaking. Do you think all Urdu speaking have so low-level IQ, that they blindly follow incomprehensible strikes.Recommend

  • Aug 23, 2011 - 3:19PM

    whenever mqm pplz do press conference never ever qustion answer session allowed by them or voice mutes of all channels shame on you free media.

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  • Omer
    Aug 23, 2011 - 3:24PM

    Long march to Islamabad. Lets put an end to this corrupt government.

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  • Hadi Khan
    Aug 23, 2011 - 3:34PM

    @Aamer Khwaja:
    You are delusional! Its the Urdu-speakings who are being targeted and killed. They have suffered the most, not the other ethnicities. The other people live, earn from Karachi and then leave. Don’t turn a blind-eye mate. Look for the reality. MQM may not be saintly but the others are barbaric. Check the statistics of the recent killings and then comment. Don’t just sit there in Lahore or Islamabad on a sofa commenting irrationally about Karachi and the people who are suffering.

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  • shakil
    Aug 23, 2011 - 3:53PM

    Our leader should act as follows and should step down from power when they failed to perform for nation.

    unpopularPrime Minister Naoto Kan of Japan would be out of the picture by early next week.Kan has been accused of lacking leadership after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis, and survivors of the disasters complain of slow relief and recovery efforts. Polls show his approval rating is below 20 percent.

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  • Cautious
    Aug 23, 2011 - 5:23PM

    About time!

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  • Aamer Khawaja
    Aug 23, 2011 - 8:44PM

    First of all Im not commentating from Lahore or Islamabad, Im here in Karachi and have been here since 1988, i.e since my birth. Second, if you think Urdu-speaking are the only ones being targeted then being dillusional is not my trait, try telling that to pathans i would suggest. I dont know what ‘other people means, but Pathans, Balochs, Sindhis, Punjabis are all living in Karachi, earning and staying over here, the only ones going are those who are running for their lives, and those who are just out right frustrated by the situation in this city.

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  • Ee
    Aug 23, 2011 - 9:44PM

    In a proxy (spy infiltration and their handlers) war most and some ethnicities are targetted more to play one against the other. People should all come together and get rid of the useless and corrupt rule that continues to fool the public even in the face of genocide and bloodshed. And not only that, it is trying to stop the Army from intervening since Army will be able to expose and unfold the realityRecommend

  • stone age
    Aug 24, 2011 - 12:09AM

    only two party political system can save us….

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  • xOYA
    Aug 24, 2011 - 1:41PM

    Yes Mr .PM Go away & take those two Jokers along with you
    Rehman Malik & His Brother Zulfiqar Mirza & just Go .

    then Karachi will have PEACE

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  • True Patiot
    Aug 24, 2011 - 4:49PM

    We need this type of leader …. must check the link

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