Taking up arms

Published: August 7, 2012
Hussain called on Karachi’s businessmen to buy whatever sophisticated weapons they could, including A-3s and Kalashnikovs. PHOTO: FILE

Hussain called on Karachi’s businessmen to buy whatever sophisticated weapons they could, including A-3s and Kalashnikovs. PHOTO: FILE

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief, Altaf Hussain, never stays out of the headlines for long. This time, at an iftari hosted by the MQM, he called on Karachi’s businessmen to buy whatever sophisticated weapons they could, including A-3s and Kalashnikovs, in order to deal with extortionists. Mr Hussain suggested that even if bribes needed to be paid, these weapons should be acquired as the business community had no other means to deal with the ‘bhatta’ mafia. He also said that the MQM would be willing to provide 100,000 men to help the business community protect itself. He pointed out that traders were already spending huge sums of money paying ‘bhatta’ and may as well hire bodyguards instead.

Mr Hussain’s remarks came in the presence of Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and other senior government officials, who all appeared embarrassed by the contents of his speech. Mr Hussain stated that they had failed to protect people and also asked Mr Malik why he spoke so often of an operation in Lyari when none took place, day after day and week after week. This is not the only attack Mr Malik faced. He was also asked why he was calling the people of Balochistan ‘terrorists’ or  ‘anti-national elements’, when in fact, they were victims of the security forces0. His criticism of the government also covered other areas and he stated that while he opposed any division of Sindh there may be no choice left in the future.

Mr Malik made an attempt to defend the government and also lavished the MQM chief with praise, saying it was because of him that the government was still intact. This, however, hardly covered up all that Mr Hussain had said. His remarks obviously come as a sharp rebuke to the government and send a tremor to the uneasy coalition that exists. A major national leader calling on people to take up arms is in some ways highly disquieting and indicates the times of trouble we have run into in Karachi and indeed everywhere else.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • Ali Ahmed
    Aug 7, 2012 - 10:49PM

    Altaf Bhai bashing all others like a boss!


  • Saladin Chamchawalla
    Aug 7, 2012 - 10:58PM

    Preaching what he practices and practices what he preaches; man of words and deeds!
    Her Majesty must be proud of Her “Loyal Subject.”
    Knighthood is on the way “Sir” Altaf!


  • Anon
    Aug 7, 2012 - 11:08PM

    A3 (size of paper bigger than A4) or “G-3” (like the gun) ????


  • Gulzar Kandrani
    Aug 7, 2012 - 11:17PM

    Leaders must not be hyper on any situation come what may rather they display their tolerant mood always
    . They should every situation with moderate way to sort out them politically rather than to suggest masses to pick up arms that means every individual should take law in his hands to deteriorate already poor order condition in country which, of course, can not afford such ” Suggestions’. If your are sincere ” Leader” then make your efforts to bring an holistic approach to tackle the issue and don’t try to point fingers at particular community. On the one hand, you support savage Baloch community in Balochistan and on the other hand, you ask for operation in Liyari against Baloch community. Indeed strange.
    In Karachi MQM enjoys support and its coalition partner in government so don’t blame PPP for not curbing crises.
    Come on board and give rational suggestions unlike asking ” Deep State” to intervene and topple down democratic process. Masses of Pakistan are not oblivious that whose slogan is that ” 2 Rupe Ki Dori, 5 Rupee Ki Bori. Naam Batao, Lash Uthao”
    Please stop weaponing Karachi which is already burnt.Recommend

  • Aug 7, 2012 - 11:23PM

    @Saladin Chamchawalla:
    well said


  • Ash
    Aug 8, 2012 - 12:09AM

    High time for Karachi…whatever Altaf bhai said was after much deliberation and I myself believe there is no way out then to get down and deal with this maniac. Altaf bhai is damn correct and we are with him!!


    Aug 8, 2012 - 12:47AM

    Altaf Bhai has cleverly tried to prove his party workers clean out of the Bhatta blame game. But, what a pity! Every single Karachiite knows that it’s nothing but a Chor machaye shor topi-drama.


  • Gem
    Aug 8, 2012 - 1:24AM

    Love how you reported the incident but didnt condemn his call to pick up a gun. Chickens


  • Shah
    Aug 8, 2012 - 1:59AM

    G.A Altaf


  • Waziristani
    Aug 8, 2012 - 2:03AM

    At the end he said what he want. Take up the arms like his mercenaries to bleed the country. He was coming closer to his dream of Jinnah Pur. Through peaceful means his dream is not possible. Allah save us from the shadow of devil. Mr. Rahman let him go out of the coalition; I am sure he will not survive. He is terrorizing people with having state power.


  • Ijaz Mir
    Aug 8, 2012 - 2:07AM

    MQM used to collect all the bhatta, looks like some one else is doing this.Bhatta collection.


  • Ali tanoli
    Aug 8, 2012 - 4:21AM

    inventors talk.


  • Ali tanoli
    Aug 8, 2012 - 4:24AM

    He is a good jobs creator hundred thousand kidnappers will get job and love MQM its like a cat guard the milk factory.


  • Aug 8, 2012 - 4:36AM

    and whosw going to protect Karachis business community from his men?


  • U
    Aug 8, 2012 - 4:41AM

    @Ijaz Mir:

    Totally agree. He is mad at this new competition. He wants all for himself.


  • Karachiite
    Aug 8, 2012 - 5:34AM

    MQM makes me laugh, seriously. MQM itself takes bhatta.


  • ApnaKarachi
    Aug 8, 2012 - 1:25PM

    I myself have seen these guys extorting…!!!…so no further question.


  • ZYZE
    Aug 8, 2012 - 2:26PM

    I am just dreaming, if there was no Altaf Hussian, how peaceful our country could be….


  • Irshad Khan
    Aug 8, 2012 - 8:30PM

    Most of the people in Pakistan talk in terms of arms and arms running (hatiar hamara zewar hae). Altaf Hussain, representing and unquestioned leader of most civilised people of this country, has been compelled to speak in the language of these barbaric tribes.


  • GS@Y
    Aug 8, 2012 - 8:43PM

    How is this an editorial? It just recounts and reports, with some casual comments at the end. Where is the considered and original opinion on Altaf Hussain’s statements?


  • Enlightened
    Aug 8, 2012 - 9:32PM

    Altaf should contact Maoists who may not only readily help Karachi businessmen but also others throughout Pakistan and which would indirectly help India as well.


  • Ali tanoli
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:42PM

    @Irshad khan
    If we were so babbaric then why your forfather migrated ???


  • Kaspar
    Aug 8, 2012 - 11:52PM

    Your cautious editorial really proves your point made at the end of the editorial, viz. “A major national leader calling on people to take up arms is in some ways highly disquieting and indicates the times of trouble we have run into in Karachi and indeed everywhere else” You have, however, carefully avoided commenting on Altaf bhai’s desperate call for members of the business community to either take up arms or let his “100,000 workers” ‘protect’ them! This also indicates how much water has flown under the bridge since our great leader, Quaid-e-Azam M.A. Jinnah did not, for a moment, advocate taking up arms even against a colonial government, and defeated it politically within the parameters of its own laws. This shows how the quality of our leadership has deteriorated. The sitting government’s Interior Minister present at the Iftar Party showed no reaction to this open call to take up arms, nor did he have a convincing answer to the accusations from a leader of one of the parties of the ruling coalition!
    Your editorial should have been more substantive, and you should have analysed the repercussions of the move suggested by the MQM leader.
    If there were will on the part of the parties in power, this bhatta khori would long ago have been brought to an end. There is still time that those responsible for law and order and ending crime became serious and successfully controlled things that are leading inexorably towards a collapse of the national economy.


  • sceptical
    Aug 10, 2012 - 1:48AM

    Altaf bahi , first drop your weapons as we karchiite are too frighten from you n MQM rather than Taliban.


  • Farhan Mirchiwala
    Aug 14, 2012 - 4:28PM

    Indeed the situation seemed worst and the govt ineffectiveness is also not ignorable. For the business comuunity of Karachi in particular and for a common Citizen in general taking up arm to protect themselves remains the only solution.
    For the few inttelectuals criticizing it, the are either not feeling the pain or have so much political biasness toward the common citizen of Karachi that they seems the solution as problem nd have never condemned the problem.
    God keep my Karachi save


  • QKhan
    Aug 14, 2012 - 5:29PM

    The President of the Country Lives in Clifton in Karachi and Karachi is right now home to the most henous crimes in Pakistan. I Think MQM has proposed a direction of protecting yourself if the government is not opting to. Without Government support the crimes would never take place. Businesses and Industries if shut will damage Pakistan further. Already over 5000 established businesses have left. Now the only option is to protect your home by yourself. Although it would seem a drastic measure but it applies to a simple saying…when no one will do it …I will do it myself—-and that’s what MQM Leader Altaf Hussain is pragmatically asserting here.


  • Hamza Saif
    Aug 15, 2012 - 3:46AM

    One and only daring leader who got the ability to speak truth in front of any one. this is not first time i remember long time ago he was vocal against all senior politicians in Shalimar Bagh Lahore on invitation of Lahore mayor – there he specifically address people of lahore to come and find representative from their neighbourhood.


    Aug 15, 2012 - 4:25AM

    Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion… in private self-defense. Self-defense is Nature’s eldest law. Altaf Hussain’s call is because of the rise in crime, and the tried-and-tested efforts by the MQM in 2007 and 2009 of initiating neighbourhood watches.


  • Saqib Mohiuddin
    Aug 15, 2012 - 4:48AM

    Pretty annoyed with the comments of ignorant people up there (not all of them)……People have no clue about the situation of Karachi but yet they have to open their gutters to Bash MQM and specially Altaf Hussain.
    Karachi IS providing 70% of the national revenue. If the business is going down the whole country will be suffering and going down. No political party has guts to stand up with the Business Community of Karachi but MQM. The fact that Altaf Hussain has not asked the people to raise guns and start killing everybody but to provide his Men, (which ONLY an organized party like MQM can do) to provide the security to the Business Community as NONE of the Law Enforcement Agencies or Political Parties or Ruling Party is interested in and the Businessmen in Karachi are dying left and right so does their business.


  • Ajaz siddiqi
    Aug 15, 2012 - 4:54AM

    Business community is agreed with Altaf Hussain suggestion so what’s the problem folks? Is MQM asking you to join or raise arm no simply he saided hire u own personal security guard or MQM workers will provide security for them. Let me say this most ofthe people who here blogging here don’t even lives in pakistan or even in Karachi and they don’t waist any time say something against MQM. One person was bragging about Quadiazam because of him we are in bad shape he divided the Muslims and now are nothing but in three diffrent nations. I wish our grand fathers have listened to Mulana Abull kalama.


  • Mazhar
    Aug 15, 2012 - 5:49AM

    I am 100% agreed with Mr. Hussain suggestion. I vigorously demand MQM to please deploy its workers and protect my business from criminals of banned organizations. I am willing to bear all costs. I am sick and tired of paying Bhatta every month.


  • Shariq
    Aug 15, 2012 - 8:37AM

    When State is not able to secure life and capital of her citizens and instead of protecting innocent citizens giving shelter, cover and protection to criminals, bandit and extortionist then helpless people have no other choice except to take arms for self-defense because Islam doesn’t allow to accept the supremacy of oppressors – Karachi runs Pakistan and if we weaken Karachi means death to Pakistan, so instead of criticizing MQM and Altaf Hussain you should come forward and support to those who are trying to secure Karachi and Pakistan.


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