Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain continued his tirade against politicians and the armed forces on Thursday, remarking that while army has been in power in the country since 1947, other leaders who had criticised the military are being spared.
“Since independence, the army has been reigning the country and every political party that comes into power needs its support,” he told party workers at an annual charity event of the MQM welfare organisation, Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation (KKF), at the Jinnah ground in Azizabad.
The MQM founding leader said that in the Musharraf era they had also shaken hands with the army and carried out development in urban parts, changing the face of Karachi and Hyderabad. Altaf also lashed out at Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, saying that he had struck a deal with the army, which continues to this day.
“After coup in October 1999, Nawaz Sharif spoke against the army, Benazir Bhutto also criticised the armed forces,” he said, adding, “Recently, Zardari openly threatened the army but then he got scared and backed off.”
Reminding Zardari his party’s support in his tough time, the MQM chief said that he stood with Zardari when PPP leaders did not support him, but in return, Zardari betrayed Altaf.
While moving on, Altaf acknowledged that this year his party has received less donations compared to the previous year. “This year with the approval of the prime minister, the Sindh chief minister and PPP co-chairperson, DG Rangers and Corps Commander of Karachi Lt-Gen Naveed Mukhtar decided to target the KKF and not let the party carry out its campaign.”
Despite hurdles being created for collection of Zakat and Fitra, the party still carried out its programme. He said that the Rangers have announced war against five crore Mohajirs but they are facing everything with bravery and patience.
Regarding Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders, Altaf said they can continue to spew as much venom as they want to, but tomorrow they would also be presented in courts and made accountable.
He questioned the law enforcement agencies that while raids were carried out at Nine Zero, why were raids not conducted at the headquarters of banned and terrorist outfits such as Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2015.