KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain launched a blistering attack on politicians and feudal landlords on Sunday, accusing them of corruption and harbouring treasonous designs against the country. Almost in the same breath, the MQM leader vowed to support “any patriotic general” who was prepared “to take action” against those venal politicians and feudal lords, even in the guise of martial law.
Altaf Hussain earlier accused corrupt politicians and feudals of plotting to “break Pakistan into pieces.” He made these remarks during a speech at a general workers’ meeting at Lal Qila Ground in Azizabad. According to him, feudal landlords do not want to see people of lower-middle and the middle classes in politics.
“If we have to choose between two evils, we will go for the lesser evil. If our generals are ready to take any initiatives against these ‘criminals who have looted and plundered this country’ then we will welcome them,” he said.
“If the armed forces can take control by derailing democratic governments, then why not come forward against these landlords and feudals?” he asked.
He appealed to the ISI and the armed forces to stop supporting the looters and landlords. He said that it is high time that people of this country decide that neither will take dictation from America nor any other country. “We have to be stronger at our own,” he said, making a pitch for an increased sense of sovereignty.
He pointed out the dire need for bringing about a French-style revolution in Pakistan. His party was ready to do just that in order to teach “these feudal lords” who are trying to save their property even in calamities.
Altaf Hussain claimed that the Tori bundh breach was man-made because it was intended to divert the flood water and save the lands and properties of these landlords. “This is a criminal act and lots of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others are compelled to leave their abodes. This is the biggest catastrophe to have occurred in the living history of Pakistan,” he said. The MQM chief called for a murder case to be registered against those responsible for the breach.
He announced a donation of five million rupees for the flood victims and called upon workers and leaders of the party to come forward and help the people of the country in their hour of need.
He also spoke out against the foreign policy of the government, saying it was neither up to the mark nor independent. Instead, he said, the foreign policy is influenced by foreign powers. He also appealed to US President Barack Obama to review his policies on Pakistan.
The MQM leader took a dim view of the government’s plan to utilise international donor pledges for flood relief. “I fail to understand how the relief donations being received from abroad are being utilised,” he said.
Recalling the post-earthquake period, he said that the government had acknowledged that it could not carry out proper relief activities because of a severe shortage of helicopters. “But no one knows how the earthquake relief funds were utilised. Why did the government not purchase latest equipment and flying machines for rescue, relief and rehabilitation? The same scenario is being repeated now,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2010.
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