Media watch: Altaf Hussain and martial law

MQM chief Altaf Hussain's statements have caused an uproar in multiple ranks of society.

Ali Syed August 24, 2010

Media watch is a daily round-up of key articles featured on news websites, hand-picked by The Express Tribune web staff.

MQM chief’s remarks

In the past, just as Mr Hussain urged on Sunday, generals have indeed taken over with the declared goal of cleansing the body politic of ‘corrupt politicians’. But each time the generals have eventually found themselves political bedfellows with many of the very same politicians they initially condemned. (

Altaf's call to the army

Comments favouring martial law are always unwelcome – particularly when a democratically elected government is in the middle of its tenure. But at the present time these comments may represent the kind of general feeling that exists and the desperate desire of people to see something that resembles good governance. The fact that an ally of the PPP has made this call should give its leaders pause for thought. (

A strange call

However, this does not mean that the reappearance of military rule will resolve any of these problems. After all, some of these issues stem directly from the military rules of the past – which have dominated Pakistan’s political history to date – which have left our society dangerously militarised. That is why we have been seeing resort to violence as the arbiter of all disputes and conflicts. (

Marching towards tyranny, again?

It would be wise if Mr Hussain could think with a cool mind instead of giving an open call to the military to seize power. Pakistan has already suffered greatly in its history by not adhering to democratic norms. Military interventions have brought nothing but pain to us and a fresh one will not bring anything new. (


Kamran | 11 years ago | Reply Altaf Hussain is absolutely right...... wake up guys before u die. come out save Pakistan save our poor nation we will have to unite to get rid of fake degree holders they r illiterate politician for the sake of God stand by to Trth. you do not know how many building mills and laxuaries they enjoy.... they r sleeping while nation is dieing. Army is only one who can save us who fighting against terrorist who struggling to save people they r great we want Army We want Army
Aristo | 11 years ago | Reply I am no fan of Mr. Altaf Hussain and yes my mother tongue is URDU and I am a proud Karachite (nothing to be ashamed of OR feel insecure about). To my best understanding, when the army intervened on restoring the esteemed judiciary, it was a martial law like step and again when the army intervened on the Kerry Lugar Bill, it was a martial law like step. The decision maker in the land of the pure is the Pak army, believe it or not, its a bitter fact and a ground reality. Mr. Altaf Hussain has stated that complete political restructuring is the need of the hour, we need to do away with this rotten, stinking and painful system once and for all. Those who are not naive and ignorant are very well aware that only two powers have the capability to make this happen. One is the Pak army and other is the power of the people of Pakistan minus the rotten lot. Mr. Altaf Hussain is demanding that this time the army along with the power of the people of Pakistan should take some pragmatic extra ordinary steps (extra ordinary steps for an extra ordinary situation: as Pakistan at this moment is on a ventilator). What he has stated is the bitter reality, he has actually taken the lead in asking for what will become later a popular demand of each and every common citizen of Pakistan. We have to give him the credit, where its due, it is a rather brave move and he has proven his leadership and statesmanship qualities here by putting a lot at stake. I do not know, whether I would yet like to follow his leadership but he has definitely started to make an impact on my understanding of local politics.
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