At its 28th Yom-e-Tasees, the first to be celebrated in Hyderabad, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain reiterated his battle cry to continue the struggle against feudalism and ‘uncontrolled’ capitalism. He called upon the Sindhis to stop voting for the feudal lords who consider poor peasants their slaves, asking the provincial assembly to legislate to give them the status of ‘industrial labour’.
“MQM wants to liberate Sindhi, Punjabi and Baloch brothers from slavery. I request my Sindhi brothers not to trust the feudals and the pseudo nationalists who are on payroll of the agencies,” said Hussain while addressing a public meeting via telephone on Sunday at Bagh-e-Mustafa ground.
He referred to Pakistan as the bastion of feudalism, a system uprooted the world over, according to him. He claimed that his party is the only one in the country against sectarianism and exploitation of minorities. “If the MQM came to power I will end the use of word ‘minority’ for Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and others.”
The MQM chief congratulated president Asif Ali Zardari on his fifth parliamentary address, appealing that he save Karachi from the menace of the extortion mafia. He invited Sindhis to become part of his movement against feudalism and slavery but unlike Dr Farooq Sattar, the deputy convener of MQM, did not warn of dire consequences if they continued to follow divisive politics.
“Like Balochistan, the gifts of disfigured corpses (maskh lashain) will become the fate of urban and rural Sindh if you (Sindhi nationalists) persisted in fomenting divide,” warned Sattar. He stressed that the MQM is not just against the geographical division of the province but also opposes the division of people who populate Sindh. “Yet the self-styled nationalists raise cry only to oppose the geographical division and in doing so they divide the people.”
Before concluding his speech, Hussain put forward a list of demands for the development of Hyderabad. He asked the party’s MPAs to step up pressure in the assembly for legislation to allow the establishment of a university in Hyderabad as announced by Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad. He also directed the MPAs elected from the district to allocate amount from their development funds to set up an advanced information technology institute. Improvement of Latifabad’s drainage system and setting up a cardiology hospital were some of the other demands.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2012.