KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain said on Tuesday that the government and the protesting parties must engage in dialogue to address the political crisis. He added that it is in the best interest of democracy and stability to ensure the current regime survives the furious protests.
Altaf said he had repeatedly made appeals to the government and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to resolve their conflict through dialogue.
“Although I am not a proponent of the government’s stance, I strongly request Dr Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan to give the government a chance and open dialogue with the government.” The MQM supremo said that if the PAT and PTI chiefs cross into the red zone, it may lead to the possibility of violence and genocide and serve no tangible purpose.
Altaf insisted that it was not the democratic system in Pakistan that was faulty. On the contrary, the prevalence of a feudal mindset had undermined the roots of democracy.
“We should reform the political process so that the fruits of democracy can reach common man,” he said.
According to the MQM chief, he had asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif to change their attitude and personally visit Imran and Tahirul Qadri to resolve their demands.
“Furthermore, I told the PAT and PTI chiefs that their protest has been registered. Although the government has made mistakes, Dr Qadri and Imran must also show flexibility in their stance and give the government time to make amends.” If the system collapses, the people of Pakistan will suffer the consequences, the MQM chief said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th,2014.