KARACHI: In response to the interior minister’s statement against Altaf Hussain, Muttahida Qaumi Movement questioned why Chaudhry Nisar was not infuriated when former president Asif Ali Zardari used derogatory language against the armed forces.
Announcing the party’s decision to stage a protest outside the Karachi Press Club today (Tuesday), party leader Dr Farooq Sattar said in a press conference that conspiracies to separate Mohajirs and Altaf would never succeed.
“The party has been facing similar situations for the past 37 years. In the past too, efforts have been made to make the MQM confront the armed forces. But we are with the forces,” he said.
Rabita Committee members— Mustafa Azizabadi, Qasim Raza and Mohammad Ashfaq—in a joint press statement questioned, “Where was Chaudhry Nisar’s honour when Asif Ali Zardari was provoking the army in his speech and saying that if the army would fight with them, then they would fight back.”
The party members said that if the government wished they could intensify the operation against the party or approach the UK authorities and call for a ban on his speeches. “They can do it by all means but they can’t break the link between Altaf and the Mohajirs as the majority believes in his leadership,” they maintained.
The war of words between the federal government and the MQM was triggered off by Altaf’s speech on Sunday when he criticised the Rangers, and asked the army chief to kick out rotten eggs from the forces and take action against those who are targeting innocent citizens in uniforms.
Lashing out at DG Rangers, Altaf said that instead of presenting a charge sheet of the Nine Zero operation, he should bring forth Hamoodur Rahman commission report of the 1971 war.
Later on Monday evening, the MQM chief in a television interview said that the current operation was similar to the 1990s operation against them, adding that if Khawaja Asif was sure of “two generals supporting the dharnas”, why any action wasn’t taken against them.
Meanwhile, MQM let off party’s senior leader Mohammad Anwar on Sunday, citing his illness and memory loss as reason and asking workers not to contact him.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2015.