ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Thursday asked their respective party leaders not to issue personal statements against each other.
After the recent verbal warfare between the two parties, the PML-N chief asked his party workers not to lose patience over the statements issued by the MQM.
According to a declaration issued from the MQM international secretariat, Altaf Hussain also asked the MQM coordination committee, senators, parliamentarians and other party members not to express anger in response to the statements issued by the PML-N leaders.
Updated from print edition (below)
Verbal skullduggery: Temperatures rise as MQM, PML-N trade charges
Verbal sparring between the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) descended to historic lows of ugliness on Wednesday when leaders of the two rival parties dragged out skeleton after skeleton from their family cupboards while trading charges of corruption and poking fun at each other’s foibles.
By the end of Wednesday’s skirmish – the third consecutive and most virulent day of political jousting – it was virtually impossible to separate the personal insults from the political invective. While one leader accused their rival of being alcoholic, the other retorted with jeers about donning a toupee and getting a hair transplant.
In tit-for-tat attacks outside parliament, the second tier leaders of the two parties mounted scathing attacks on the personal lives and family relationships of Nawaz Sharif and Altaf Hussain. The focus of the PML-N diatribe was the self-imposed exile of MQM chief Altaf Hussain and his allegedly troubled family life. Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and a prominent member of the PML-N, fired the first salvo, threatening to reveal what the former spouse of Altaf Hussain had deposed in a British court while seeking a divorce from him. He claimed that the MQM leader owned property worth billions and was often found in a woozy state. Chaudhry Nisar openly ridiculed Altaf for offering to challenge Sharif to a public debate on national issues. “We know he (Altaf) is not conscious most of time when he speaks…he is not somebody we should take seriously,” he said when asked to comment on Hussain’s challenge to Nawaz. “But for a debate with us Altaf will have to return to the country and I’m sure he cannot,” said Chaudhry Nisar in a mocking tone.
He then made allusions to Altaf’s troubled marital life and his mental condition. “During the debate we can produce a certificate from a London rehabilitation centre where Altaf was treated for a mental disorder,” Chaudhry Nisar added.
The MQM did not hold back any venom either. Its federal lawmakers Haider Abbas Rizvi and Waseem Akhtar were even more vicious as they thundered that they knew “whose daughter had run away with whom” and charged that “dance parties” were held in Lahore “in every house” and “prostitution was widespread”.
The two MQM parliamentarians did not spare the daughters of the Sharif family and resorted to crude and ‘uncivilised’ language to castigate their party’s rivals. “We know whose daughters have been flirting with whom…and we are also aware of what was recovered from Nawaz Sharif’s bedroom after a military coup in 1999,” one of them said.
Currently, the MQM is in a three-way tussle with major political parties. It has taken on the ANP in Karachi, it is engaged in a political row with the PPP and is busy in a vicious verbal battle with the PML-N.
The MQM wants the ruling PPP to restore the old local body system, opposes the restoration of commisionariate system and does not want the introduction of RGST. It has already withdrawn its members from the federal cabinet and has threatened to sit on the opposition benches if its demands are not met.
Meanwhile, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain, has directed members of the MQM Rabita Committee as well as all office-bearers and members of the provincial and national assemblies to refrain from giving any statements or reacting to the “personal attacks” made by PML-N leaders.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2010.