Throwing down the gauntlet: Altaf challenges PML-N to public debate

Altaf Hussain says he is ready to respond to Nawaz Sharif's charges in a public debate.

Express December 29, 2010
Throwing down the gauntlet: Altaf challenges PML-N to public debate

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has challenged Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) leader Nawaz Sharif for a public debate.

He condemned Sharif for criticising his party in a public meeting in Muzaffarabad. Referring to Sharif’s allegations that the MQM was somehow involved in the May 12, 2007 violence in Karachi, Hussain said he was ready to respond to the charges in a public debate with the PML-N chief.

As the MQM supremo threw down the gauntlet, the Nawaz League quickly accepted the challenge, with its senior leader Khawaja Asif saying that his party was ready for public debate with the MQM in Lahore, Karachi or anywhere.

Addressing a large gathering of MQM workers at Nine-Zero  by telephone from London on Monday night, Hussain also spoke about his party’s straining relations with the PPP. He said the future of the ruling coalition in the centre and in Sindh rests on the government’s attitude.

“If the government does not improve its attitude, we will sit on the opposition benches,” Hussain told a large gathering of MQM workers at Nine-Zero, the party’s headquarters, and Hyderabad Zonal Office by telephone from London.

He challenged PPP leaders who insisted that they did not need the MQM, saying: “Adopt a resolution in this regard and we will quit the Sindh government immediately. We still want the PPP government to complete its five-year tenure and the continuation of the democratic process. If the government changes its approach … the MQM will continue to support it. The MQM cannot be intimidated into accepting the government’s actions.”

In his address, lasting over an hour-and-a-half hours, Hussain cited the reasons for quitting the government, particularly the PPP’s attitude, breach of promises and inappropriate behaviour of certain PPP leaders.

“Over the past three years, the MQM supported the government through thick and thin and co-operated with President Zardari in every way possible.”

He said the president had assured him several times about addressing MQM’s complaints, but “nothing happened”.

“Despite repeated breach of promises by government we have only decided to leave the federal government (posts) but we have not yet decided about sitting on opposition benches. Our future course of action will depend on the government’s attitude.”

Addressing Zardari, he said: “We … have taken this decision with a heavy heart … I passionately appeal to change your attitude and ways. You will have MQM’s support if you start serving the country and its people. The (wrong kind of) attitude of highhandedness will not work with the MQM. The ball is now in PPP’s court. Everything now depends upon them.”

Zardari and Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad met late at night to try and resolve differences and save the coalition.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2010.


Syed | 13 years ago | Reply Sorry I forgot to add, Refer to the recent report of Human Rights Comission of Pakistan "Biggest Victim of Target Killing in Karachi is MQM" PS: For those of you who think MQM controls each and every organisation in Karachi through fear; HRCP is based in Lahore not Karachi.
Syed | 13 years ago | Reply @ Naeem Siddique Australia, My dear brother, the spat of killing that erupted that day was a systematic and planned, its logical that planning was done by the same team that knew or planned the murder of MPA. Simple. On the other note, MQM is not the party of knuckle heads, the whole world knows that you cannot scare away Pukhtuns by power, the more power you apply the more resistant they will become! So why would MQM want to lock horns with Pukhtons, the only party that would benefit from it is ANP, because the more Pukhtuns are killed the more anti MQM wave will be generated in the community and more will come towards ANP. Allow me to qoute a statement of Asfand Yar Wali Chairman of ANP. " There are more Pukhtuns in MQM in Sindh then ANP (in sindh)" Capital Talk. , you can verify this on Youtube. So why would MQM start the genocide of Pukhtuns?? Think Logical! Dont be victim of Deception !
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