Altaf slams PML-N, champions democracy

Published: October 31, 2011
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MQM and PPP leaders gather at a 
pro-democracy rally in Karachi. PHOTO: ARIF SOOMRO/EXPRESS

MQM and PPP leaders gather at a pro-democracy rally in Karachi. PHOTO: ARIF SOOMRO/EXPRESS

KARACHI: 

While Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan addressed thousands of people in Lahore, the old guard of politics in Karachi took to Tibet Centre to affirm their support for President Asif Ali Zardari and the democratic process.

The ‘Istehkaam-e-Jamhooriat’ rally organised by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement within, as the party claimed, 40 hours, was attended by tens of thousands of people.

Party leaders addressed the rally before MQM chief Altaf Hussain spoke. Contingents of leaders from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) also attended the event, including the PPP’s Professor ND Khan, Taj Haider, Agha Siraj Durrani, Pir Mazharul Haq and Sharmila Faruqi and the PML-Q’s Shaharyar Mahar and Haleem Adil Sheikh.

Agha Siraj Durrani and Pir Mazharul Haq criticised Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s use of ‘derogatory’ language against President Zardari during his speech in Lahore. While PPP veteran Professor ND Khan refrained from directly speaking about Sharif, Haq and Durrani took it on themselves to invoke memories of the 1990s and the ‘mistreatment’ of the PPP by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Durrani spoke about the time spent with Sharif when they were imprisoned at Landhi jail in Karachi while Haq said that Ijazul Haq was not the late General Ziaul Haq’s son, but the Sharif brothers – Nawaz and Shahbaz – were.

Both leaders warned the PML-N that they too knew how to speak in abusive language but were refraining from doing so.

PML-Q’s Sheikh said that the PML-N was on the verge of failing and that the party should be ashamed of its acts.

And like clockwork, the time came for the MQM founder and chief Altaf Hussain to deliver his speech. As if on cue, party workers and leaders stood as the air filled with the party’s song – “Mazloomon Ka Saathi Altaf Hussain” – and waved flags and sang along.

Hussain’s speech was largely a rehash of Saturday’s address to party workers, though he did ask for the MQM, PPP, PML-Q and even the Awami National Party (ANP) – whom the MQM has frequently blamed for violence in Karachi – to come together and have another rally for the sake of democracy.

Hussain criticised Sharif’s speech in Lahore and said that the “democratic process must continue”. He did say that government policies can be criticised but in a civil manner.

He also referred to the Sharifs’ past, reminding the audience that the Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif had “fled to Jeddah”.

“When the Sharif brothers were in jail, sounds of crying could be heard from their cells. Zardari bore his 11-year sentence like a man.”

The MQM leader said that the PML-N should wait for elections instead of trying to derail democracy and engaging in talk of “hanging people upside down”.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st,  2011.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Mansur
    Oct 31, 2011 - 3:31AM

    nothing new..
    MQM always supports provincivalism..
    and here again MQM wants to create Punjab vs Sindh situation..

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  • Khan
    Oct 31, 2011 - 3:33AM

    MQM exposed!

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  • ali
    Oct 31, 2011 - 4:02AM

    He is himself sitting in London. Why doesn’t he come to Pakistan…

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  • Hairaan
    Oct 31, 2011 - 6:40AM

    Surprised to see the educated middle class people dance on the tunes of their leader who not long ago declared the creation of Pakistan the biggest blunder of the centuryRecommend

  • Oct 31, 2011 - 6:51AM

    Someone must let MQM know that they must read comments on every thread regarding MQM . . .

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  • Pasha
    Oct 31, 2011 - 7:58AM

    Thank you Altaf Hussain for supporting feudal lords!

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  • Karachi
    Oct 31, 2011 - 9:29AM

    PML (N) is going in isolation.

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  • Oct 31, 2011 - 11:08AM

    This support has its ‘pros and cons’ and let’s see for how long.

    MQM being focussed only in the South has seen its growth stunted by the other political parties because of its control over Karachi and Hyderabad. If they can be allowed to go upcountry without getting burnt out and ransacked, they will make a difference for all to see. But for reasons best known to the other parties resident in Karachi, the gun battles for ‘qabza’ and turf are the main causes of trepidation and hatred.

    When they (MQM) had the chance the difference in four years in Karachi and Hyderabad is there for all to see. Even the honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan has praised the work of the Nazim and subsequently he was declared the second best mayor in the world.

    Let’s not get overawed by what we saw in Karachi and Lahore on 30-10-2011 but take history and the present geo-political situation prevailing in the region before jumping to conclusions.

    Please accept my Salams for our beloved country. (Imran Khan has made a difference)

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  • ONLY MQM
    Oct 31, 2011 - 11:15AM

    @ AHSAN because it see its ppl and politics is done in the streets not on some news web threads

    @ Ali ………. because ( humay munzil nhe rahnuma chaya ) how many of other leader came in to the street of karachi to really solve the issues of people ….. he is genuine political leader and we want him to guide us …..

    @ Mansur ….. brother MQM has to live in sindh and i guess u don’t know what rules outside karachi and hyderabed……. where your are sitting it is easy to say
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  • MAHER ALI
    Oct 31, 2011 - 11:58AM

    PTI is future….Recommend

  • Medical Advisor
    Oct 31, 2011 - 12:23PM

    @Hairaan: It is painful to see that many people supporting him. Wake up Karachi, its time to do something to change the system, don’t be afraid, you are a part of Pakistan. Recommend

  • M Aslam
    Oct 31, 2011 - 12:59PM

    PLM N is future of pakistan.

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  • M Aslam
    Oct 31, 2011 - 1:03PM

    @Karachi:
    sorry sir your view piont is not correct future is of PML N

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  • M Aslam
    Oct 31, 2011 - 1:05PM

    @Karachi:
    certyainly wrong future is of PML N

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  • PPakistani
    Oct 31, 2011 - 2:40PM

    how can we trust a party whose own leader openly called Pakistan’s creation as biggest blunder in the history of mankind?Recommend

  • Mirza
    Oct 31, 2011 - 8:29PM

    It is time for all secular parties of Pakistan to come together for the future of democracy and modernity. The rightwing parties are nothing more than an alliance with mullah and military. They are based upon hate against secular parties and secular democrcies. PML-N and Sharis (offsprings of dictator Zia) have alway aligned themselves with the fanatics would again go for undemocratic means. It is the duty of all secular forces to come out against the rightwing hate based parties before they make an alliance and takeover the govt via backdoor. Recommend

  • Tahir Khan
    Oct 31, 2011 - 8:36PM

    I guess the current rally ends the so called principled politics from the Nawaz Sharif. He is impossible to go on from here saving the democracy and not toppling the PPP government. If he does that, he is finished forever. Already, sadly enough, he has learned there is no use of a positive opposition and those who do it vanish from the political scene. So we should now expect all the dirty tricks in the bags and the disgusting politics of 90s is about to return. Imran Khan with his successful rally in Lahore, and Altaf Hussain with his huge gathering in Karachi have given ample warnings to the PML-N. The funny thing is that both of those Lahore and Karachi rallies were not exactly against the government, but against the opposition. In his address to the cheering crowd that turned up in tens of thousands at ‘Pakistan Bachao’ call of TI here at Minar-e-Pakistan, Imran Khan accused and warned the Sharif brothers. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain while addressing the rally organized in defence of President Zardari said they would have replied in the same manner but land of Sindh does not allow us. He said that today this ocean of people demands “No Nawaz No”.
    PML-N which is now practically only presents in central and Northern Punjab has no choice but to surrender and admit its faulty and dirty politics. PML-N is no more on political page it is the logical conclusion of right wing chauvinist party.

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