Bhit Shah address: Altaf warns govt against sending ISI chief to US court

Published: December 26, 2010
Supporters of Muttahida Qaumi Movement listen to party chief Altaf Hussain’s address in Bhitshah on Saturday. PHOTO: PPI

Supporters of Muttahida Qaumi Movement listen to party chief Altaf Hussain’s address in Bhitshah on Saturday. PHOTO: PPI

Massive MQM 
rally strikes a 
defiant chord. Supporters of Muttahida Qaumi Movement listen to party chief Altaf Hussain’s address in Bhitshah on Saturday. PHOTO: PPI

The government will be wiped out if it considers sending the Inter Services Intelligence director general to a US court to answer questions, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain warned in a strong-worded speech on Saturday.

Hussain was referring to a controversy that has been stirred in the country after a US court in New York summoned the ISI chief to answer charges in a case related to the Mumbai attacks. The case has been filed on behalf of US citizens of Israeli-origin Rabbi Gabriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka.

Director-General ISI Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, his predecessor Nadeem Taj, Major Ali and Major Iqbal are among the summoned military officials. Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi are also on the list of people asked to appear before the US court.

Addressing a large gathering at the Malakhra stadium in Bhit Shah on Saturday over telephone, Hussain condemned the summoning of the ISI chief in the strongest possible words. “Today, this gathering rejects the ISI chief’s summons and says if he is handed over to the US, the government will be wiped out from the country.”

He said that if the US court was going to summon the heads of “our institutions”, then he (Altaf Hussain), too, would request “our apex court to summon the American Central Intelligence Agency’s chief and heads of other US intelligence organisations.

He also demanded that the US immediately release Dr Aafia Siddiqi and send her back to Pakistan.

He said that some people were warning the MQM that, if it parted ways with the government, there would be ethnic clashes and chaos in Sindh. However, he rejected these assertions and expressed confidence that the people of Sindh would forge unity and thwart all such conspiracies.

He warned elements who were “always conspiring to create rifts between the people of Sindh”, and said that the Bhit Shah public meeting had proved to be the last nail in their coffin.

He claimed that the MQM was the only political party that was working for protecting the interests of the people of Sindh. “Was it the MQM that vehemently opposed Kala Bagh dam or the political party that considers itself the true representative of Sindh? Was it the MQM that refused to sign the National Finance Commission unless the rights of the people of Sindh were guaranteed?” he asked, rhetorically.

Hussain said that the IMF and World Bank wanted to impose new taxes on the poor people of the country, but every such move would be resisted by the party.

He also spoke against injustices and oppression in the province. He said those involved in Karo Kari and killing of helpless women in the name of honour should be hanged publicly.

The public meeting was also addressed by Deputy Convener MQM Dr Farooq Sattar, Member Coordination Committee Ashfaq Mangi, provincial minister Nisar Panhwar and MPA Heer Soho.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (33)

  • Dec 25, 2010 - 5:45PM

    MQM shouldnt be hasty in taking the decision. In fact they should first see How PML N takes the route and then decide their course of action. Recommend

  • Abdul Rauf khan
    Dec 25, 2010 - 5:55PM

    MQM should not be double minded here and make the bold decision for the province of sindh peoples and for country level is not t be lie that today with the government and tomorrow PML N or PML Q or someone else.

    if you are in a majority in the parliament you have to play a good role in there not cheated with the voters.Recommend

  • Dec 25, 2010 - 6:39PM

    Well,i strongly recommend MQM cheif and their leaders as not to delay any further to quit Govt. after the harash language the interior Minister of sindh has used against MQM there is no even a minor reason for MQM to continue in joint Govt. I request the as to take immediate decision regarding leaving the both federal as well as provincal Govt. as quickly as possible for the sake of their supporters.Recommend

  • Imran
    Dec 25, 2010 - 6:53PM

    The wavering stance of Altaf Hussain is damaging his impression in the eyes of general public as he is using the available opportunity for bargaining with the most corrupt government.

    Beware the next vote will be on credibility of leadership. Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Dec 25, 2010 - 6:54PM

    Mr. Altaf Hussain’s voters every time vote for MQM to see changes and positive improvement in the system.

    It has been a long time that every time with various MQM makes Government in the Province of Sindh and also nominates its Ministers in the Federal Government. Now it is more than eight long years that Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan is serving as Governor of Sindh being representative of MQM and Mr. Altaf Hussain.

    Neither MQM was able to do any thing during General Musharraf’s regime, nor MQM is able to do any thing during Mr. Asif Ali Zardari’s regime.

    Mr. Altaf Hussain’s telephonic address on various dates and at various places was not been able to change the mindset either of the previous government, or of the present government.

    MQM voters have now become sick and tired of the prevailing systems in which Mr. Altaf Hissain talks a lot against feudalism but could not break the system.

    MQM have been in the politics for more than 30 years and the question arises as what MQM have given to its voters?

    It is an established fact that MQM cannot have two-third majority in the next general elections and therefore cannot change the fate of the country which has been discussed for umpteen times.

    If MQM cannot deliver what Mr. Altaf Hussain says in his speeches, what is the reason for MQM to remain in the government?

    It is a high time that MQM should quit from the government and ask its elected representatives to sit on the opposition benches to play an active role as an opposition party, rather than being the part of the government due to which MQM voters could not get the desired results.

    Whether it is a matter of RGST, feudalism, or any other matter, the fact remains that MQM despite part of the previous and present government even could not do away with the quota system, which was the basic point for MQM to gain the street power.

    As a MQM voter and supporter, I have given enough time to MQM to see the desired results for which MQM came into existence but MQM is not performing according to the wishes of its voters.

    For many years, the debate whether age for candidates appearing in the FPSC examination should be enhanced to 30 years or remain 28 years could not be resolved from MQM platform, what to talk on other matters which are the priority of Urdu speaking people in Karachi, what else MQM voters can expect from MQM or Mr. Altaf Hussain? Recommend

  • Dec 25, 2010 - 7:00PM

    ga altaf bhai only one leader safe pakistan ga altaf bhai
    ranchor line

  • Dec 25, 2010 - 7:06PM

    Everyone calling for a “french type” revolution should go and read their history again. They will be the first to face the guillotines Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Dec 25, 2010 - 7:11PM

    When did people of Bhit Shah become so empowered that he is seeking their permission to say good bye to the government? As far as Revolution is concerned, he must go to Pakistan first and lead the revolution. Many people are waiting for that moment. Recommend

  • abdul malik
    Dec 25, 2010 - 7:57PM

    i think that its a better chance to mqm to remove all of his past mistake and do right decision , quit the government other wsie ppl think mqm always blackmail and pressurized government takes some sort of benefits. u all ppl had seen this in the past mqm give threat to the govt. for quit but after few days again altaf said we and ppp are brothers…..Recommend

  • Mulla Toofhan
    Dec 25, 2010 - 8:01PM

    MQM should not be in a haste to quit the present government, If the government collapses, We need to think through about who will replace the government The PML-N, The ARMY, The MULLAHS, None of these organizations are good for the people of Pakistan. PPP with all its faults is still better choise, The alternative Parties will take Pakistan back to the stone ages especially the Mullahs “God save Pakistan from the Mullahs”Recommend

  • Ali Turk
    Dec 25, 2010 - 8:47PM

    Leave the coalition. You are the leader of the middle class and the poor. MQM is not perfect but there is collective thinking and the party cares for the masses.

    MQM is tarnishing it’s image by remaining in coalition. Recommend

  • Majid Maqsood
    Dec 25, 2010 - 9:45PM

    Its a good move to do big public procession at Bhit Shah because its a symbol of peace,love and coexistence. I am sure such move would integrate urdu and sindhi speaking, No doubt we both have to live and die together in Sindh and we all must try so hard to maintain normalcy and peace in the country.congrats Altaf Bhi.Recommend

  • Aamer
    Dec 25, 2010 - 10:09PM


    PPP government is worst than being under the pharaoh, another die-hard PPP supporter who just can’t say it out in open.Recommend

  • assad
    Dec 25, 2010 - 10:19PM

    mr mula toofan i thnk so u r a strng supporter of ppp…Recommend

  • Behram Khan
    Dec 25, 2010 - 11:02PM

    Yes.! Leave the coalition.Recommend

  • GGD
    Dec 25, 2010 - 11:11PM

    @Nadir…..nicely said. Haha :)Recommend

  • jawed sarwar
    Dec 25, 2010 - 11:25PM

    There are three parties against which no corruption charges are levelled, MQM, Jamaet Islami and Tehreek Insaaf. Pakiatan can only survive if the people get rid off corrupt politicians and vote for honest persons.Zameendaris system should be abolished. Learn from India which is now an ecomonic power.If Altaf ever come to Pakistan he will be killed,he is doing best service from London.Recommend

  • Maryam
    Dec 25, 2010 - 11:56PM

    mqm should not quit the coalition, let the government completes its tenure so that the next time PPP will have no excuse of, not had enough time..Recommend

  • Mulla Toofhan
    Dec 26, 2010 - 12:19AM


    My knowledge of Pakistan politics is limited but judging from the present circumstances I thought the PPP is better alternative but then I could be wrong. And I am sorry I don’t qualify to Vote in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany
    Dec 26, 2010 - 12:50AM

    Quit now and save the tomorrow!Recommend

  • Ch Allah Daad
    Dec 26, 2010 - 1:52AM

    In a democratic country, where people can bring down the government and rulers with ballot, talking about revolution and bloodshed is a criminal offence. If revolution means getting rid of corrupt leaders and bringing a positive change, then go ahead. You have got voting rights, organize people and change the corrupt government peacefully. It may take some time, but this the only process you can adopt, rest is chaos, bloodshed and civil war. You can talk revolution only, when a dictatorship or monarchy takes away your basic right of choice and representation. In Pakistan’s prevalent situation revolution talk makes no sense. Pakistan is not ruled by dictators or monarchs. Present government could be inefficient and corrupt but its elected by the people. Therefore, use the same process which brought this government in the first place and throw it away. If you cannot use method, it means majority of people are not with you, therefore just shut up let the majority rule.Recommend

  • Afzal+Ali
    Dec 26, 2010 - 4:35AM

    yes QUIT if you canRecommend

  • shah kamal
    Dec 26, 2010 - 6:58AM

    What are you thinking Altaf bhai? Quit this coalition if you have high hopes for the next general elections…Recommend

  • Dr.Razi uddin
    Dec 26, 2010 - 9:08AM

    Bravo,the educated middle class…you always are in a position to change the scenario…this time around you took a while to come to corner…anyone who speaks truth is never popular among liers!!!..quiting,the in.apt set up is better than to shoulder its coffin!!!
    you have done it can do it now,may God be with you and all the poor people,who are being under miseries under this present corrupt regime..Recommend

  • Ali Muhammad
    Dec 26, 2010 - 9:12AM

    Copying revolution even!!! Real Pakistani – mR. aLTAF.Recommend

  • Dec 26, 2010 - 9:36AM

    Leaving the coalition is not the solution. Insisting on reducing corrupt pracrices and obeisance to the law are imperatives the MQM must persist with. You have to let democracy settle into our physical and moral fabric, meaning become the order of the day.

    Reducing the size of the motley members of the cabinet leading to good governance will forsooth less troubles for the government. Three years have almost passed and a shorter term remains. It will be the better part of wisdom to start now.

    Salams and best wishes.Recommend

  • karim......
    Dec 26, 2010 - 9:38AM

    french revolution men of will and action lead their depressed class with in the boundaries of France they were not living in exile and exotic life…and they do neither follow any kind of religious faction ism nor they devoured a call for military despotic to assist their humanitarian cause they …many among them sacrificed their health wealth for the pursuance of cause….we hope Altaf bhai will prove himself to be a person who could lead the depressed people and prepare for greater French revolution,,,well done ,,,,,Recommend

  • Faizan ur Rehman
    Dec 26, 2010 - 12:50PM

    BHIT SHAH event is the great success of MQM, thats the stance which is required. Morever ground reality of the city does not favors MQM’s quit from the coalition as Zulfiqar Mirza is ready and prepared to begin the war in the I dont want MQM to gets out of the Govt. rapidly without any planing of the repercussion.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Dec 26, 2010 - 2:53PM

    Govt should not send ISI chief are any other officer to US courts.Recommend

  • Dec 27, 2010 - 1:40AM

    As long as the MQM is making steady progress towards a massive electoral victory in 2013, it should not make a hasty decision one way or the other.

    If the MQM left the coalition without making sure that the PPP government dismantles right after, then the PPP will go berserk against the MQM.

    For a few months before her death, Benazir showed political seriousness. I wish Benazir had stayed alive for many more years and steered her clueless and corrupt followers in a direction beneficial to the country. Without her, PPP is up to nothing more than its usual shenanigans. Zulfiqar Mirza is the vocal manifestation of the destructive PPP mentality.Recommend

  • Ali Haider
    Dec 27, 2010 - 7:52AM

    Is the ISI chief or the ISI itself within the jurisdiction of the US court? I am confused.Recommend

  • Zulfiqar Mirza
    Dec 27, 2010 - 10:51AM

    I think next time we will beat MQM in Karachi …Recommend

  • Syed
    Dec 27, 2010 - 3:13PM

    @ Zulfiqar Mirza:: Tring Tring Wake up.!

    @ The rest,
    MQM cant quit the government. because if it quits then the government will fall. If the govt fall then PPP will have an excuse that they were not allowed to complete the tenure. PPP is trying its best to scare away the coalation partners so that the govt collapse.
    If PPP completes its tenure, then in next election PPP will face the fate worse then the PMLQ. Inshallah !Recommend

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