Chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain urged both the government and the judiciary to end their conflict and reconcile for the sake of the country.
Addressing a large crowd at an annual charitable function held under the aegis of Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation on Sunday, Hussain backed both the judiciary and the government, saying: “Both should accept one another, and turn the rift into friendship,” during a telephonic conference at Jinnah ground, Azizabad in Karachi.
Meanwhile, Altaf called upon all political and religious parties, the judiciary, the armed forces and traders to sit together and formulate an agenda which would save the country from ‘destruction’.
Highlighting issues of gas and power shortages and unemployment, the MQM chief said, “Traders are wrapping up their businesses and moving abroad. Others who are here are applying for armed licences.”
Altaf also decried national representations of the past, saying: “Pakistan’s history is hidden from its people. We are told that we won the 1965 war, but in reality we lost.”
He said that Sindh despite being free was ‘maqbooza’, or captured, adding that even in the presence of the government traders were left at the mercy of extortionists. The MQM chief said that the country has no national language, and even if it does, it is not freely used, citing examples of proceedings in the presidency and important places which are not conducted in Urdu.
Altaf also lashed out against family dynasties in politics, saying, “Only Altaf Hussain and his nephews have never contested elections.”
He said that people have forgotten Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s August 11 speech, and Hindus are being forced to leave the country.
Addressing nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan who was also present on the occasion, he said, “How can you criticise us for not protecting the city while we are in the government. You made the atom bomb but you were not able to protect yourself from allegations and arrests.”
Altaf called on the government to work with all parties to control the law and order situation in Karachi.
MQM leader Farooq Sattar also said that their party believes in a coalition in politics to work together for the country. He called for political parties to sit together and hold a roundtable conference. “We need to formulate a national agenda before election, so when the new government comes into power, those who are the rulers and those who are in the opposition would (agree on) this agenda.”
He said MQM does not believe in isolating any party.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2012.