Altaf sees bleak future if change does not come

MQM chief Altaf Hussain has said that the situation in the country calls for extraordinary steps.


Express September 17, 2010

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has said that the situation in the country calls for extraordinary steps and if a positive change did not come then, God forbid, the future of the country will become bleak.

He said he had not talked about martial law, and that he was misinterpreted. He said the army came to power four times but it never subjected the plunderers to accountability.

Speaking in Point Blank programme of Express News, he said that by patriotic generals he did not mean those who imposed martial laws by violating the constitution. “Patriotic generals are those who are helping the nation against floods and terrorism. Those are not the patriotic generals who usurp power to protect the interests of the feudal lords and the plunderers.”

“I challenge all politicians and constitutional experts that no action can be taken against General (retd) Musharraf under Article 6. However, if someone wants to proceed against him for the murder of Akbar Bugti, yes that can be happen.

“If MQM is given power for three months, we will constitute a committee of honest experts of the constitution and launch investigations against those who inundated the poor populations by breaking embankments. If the charge is proved against any of them, we will hang him at Liberty Chowk. Even if any MQM leader, office-bearer or worker is found involved, he will not be spared.”

He said that MQM respected the army even when a state-sponsored operation was started against it on June 19, 1992 and it still does so as the army is an organised institution that helps people hit by floods, earthquakes and acts of terrorism. He said that he had expressed the view that now the patriotic generals should put their weight behind those who had been subjected to cruelty for the last 63 years – the generals should step forward to support the oppressed class.

Altaf Hussain said that the local bodies had completed their four-year term and an extension was given for a few months. Then it was decided that new local bodies’ elections should be held. But the polls could not take place despite a lapse of seven months.

He said that the world can see that the floods have washed away entire villages. They are compelled to stay under open skies, in camps and dilapidated buildings where food or anyone to care about them is not available. He said there was no set-up of government in existence that is from among them and that could take care for them. He said that majority of the people liked the [former] local government system.

“Had the local government system been in place, we could have saved 50 per cent of the precious lives,” he said. “If anyone suspects that we are after any benefits through the restoration of this system, I offer that MQM nazims in Karachi and Hyderabad not be restored while those in the rest of the country be reinstated.”

Altaf Hussain said that Pervez Musharraf can come to Pakistan if he likes and his party workers can welcome him as well. The government has the right to deal with him according to the constitution. As long as the MQM is concerned, it is a liberal party and is against extremism. Musharraf’s return will not affect MQM in any anyway.

He said, “We wanted to change this outdated system in 1992, but then a state-sponsored violence against us started during the democratic period of Mian Nawaz Sharif and we could not declare to turn the Muhajir Qaumi Movement into Muttahida Qaumi Movement at the time. Now we are Mutahida and are not Muhajir. Muttahida Qaumi Movement is a federal party now and the Pakistani nation will carry the MQM flag as that of a federal one.

He said that that he did not know if someone was governing the country or not, but he clearly saw that a political awareness was emerging among the common people and they are gathering under the MQM banner.

Replying to a question he said MQM was part of the coalition government. He said if we had the powers of the federal government and the provincial government is ours, then we would bring law and order under control through law enforcing agencies in the whole of the country including Karachi. If the police would fail, we would use paramilitary forces, and if they too would fail, then we would call in the army and would not stop till banishing the land mafia and drug peddlers.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2010.

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