We are thankful to you for coming to attend this important press conference that has been called to inform you and the people about the decisions taken in the meeting of the Co-ordination Committee of the MQM.
You are well aware of the fact that the MQM had entered into an alliance with the PPP in 2008 for strengthening democracy and promoting the environment of peace, brotherhood and unity in the Sindh province by forgetting past acrimonies. We had strong hope that the PPP would not repeat its past attitude and that it would implement the agreement reached between the two parties. Unfortunately this could not be done.
We stood by the PPP in every difficult time but the PPP did not reciprocate in an appropriate manner. We stressed on the need to let the local government system continue for devolving power at the grass-roots level and for continuing the development works. The PPP abolished the local government system nevertheless.
The local government system that was passed after lengthy dialogues and discussions with the PPP was never implemented and the people of Sindh were left to the mercy of civil bureaucracy and administration. We continued to raise the issue before the PPP leadership and persevered for the sake of democracy.
Hindrances were created in the workings of the MQM ministers. These issues were taken up in the meetings of the core committees of the PPP and the MQM but the non-serious attitude on the part of the PPP persisted and problems remained unresolved. We placed our grievances before President Asif Zardari and other leaders of the PPP but the situation did not change.
On the other side the PPP created the Peoples’ Amn Committee and gave it a licence to kill shopkeepers, traders, business persons and other innocent citizens. The gangsters of the Lyari gang-war went on a rampage in the city and started openly demanding huge extortion money from members of the business community. They attacked shops in different markets of the city with grenades and rockets and many business persons fell victim of their terrorism.
These gangsters attacked the Sher Shah Kabari and gunned down shopkeepers after verifying their identities because they had refused to pay extortion money. The shopkeepers who had registered the case against these terrorists of the Lyari gang-war were threatened of dire consequences. The PPP government released the accused terrorists of the Lyari gang-war on personal bond overnight.
A large number of business persons have been forced to relocate their businesses to foreign countries because of the ceaseless incidents of terrorism, demand of extortion money and kidnapping for ransom. We agitated this issue both inside and outside the assemblies but the government continued to lend support to these criminal elements.
Last year, the blood-thirsty terrorists of the Lyari gang-war subjected dozens of Urdu-speaking people to inhuman physical torture in Lyari and other adjoining areas. These innocent people were taken out of buses after verifying their identities. They were cut into pieces after brutal torture and parts of their bodies were thrown in different parts of the city. Video clips of these horrific deeds were also released but the terrorists were never arrested. The PPP government continued to harbour them and hence their activities continued unabated.
Two days ago, the Sindh government withdrew cases registered against these terrorists of the Lyari gang-war who were involved in the brutal killings of the workers and sympathizers of the MQM, members of the business community, grenade and rocket attacks on police mobile and police stations and the killings of police officers and personnel. These criminal elements of the Lyari gang-war are being encouraged which is also evident from the fact that they gunned down the vice president of the Sher Shah Kabari market and another trader the other day. Their nefarious activities have now spread to other areas of the city as well and no longer confined to the Lyari area alone.
These terrorists are openly threatening shopkeepers and traders while the government is projecting them as political leaders and heroes. The citizens have been left to the mercy of terrorists and no one is there to protect them.
Taking into account this unchanging attitude of the PPP, the harbouring of criminals and the steps taken in different times, we have reached at the conclusion that we can no longer continue our alliance with the PPP. The Co-ordination Committee of the MQM has therefore decided to break the alliance with the PPP and to come out of the federal and provincial governments. It has been decided that the MQM would sit on the opposition benches. This is a final decision and there will be no change in it.
We have not taken this decision in haste. We bore with patience on the killings of our MPAs Syed Raza Haider and Manzar Imam and hundreds of our workers and sympathizers. Had we broken this alliance earlier, we would have been blamed for the toppling of the PPP government. We cannot be blamed now as we have allowed the government to complete its tenure of five years.
We want to make it abundantly clear that we did not surrender before oppression in the past and we would not do so even now. Our struggle is not for the personal gains of a few individuals but for the better future of our coming generations. More than 15000 workers, including the brother and nephew of Mr Altaf Hussain, have laid down their lives for this struggle. We were subjected to unimaginable state repression and we were not even allowed to bury our dead. Thousands of our workers were put in jails and many more were forced to leave their homes and go into exile. Despite everything, we did not bow down.
The MQM is the only political party in the country that genuinely represents the people belonging to the poor and middle classes. It is struggling for their legitimate, democratic and constitutional rights. The MQM is a trend-setting political party that sent educated, capable and honest people belonging to the poor and middle classes in the elected assemblies for the first time in the history of the country. It has demonstrated that the MQM translates its words into actions.
The MQM wants to abolish the obsolete feudal system and unrestrained capitalism from the country. It wants to do away with the corrupt political culture and dynastic politics from the country. It wants to end the politics of loot, plunder, kickbacks and plot permits in order to eradicate poverty, hunger, inflation and unemployment. It wants to end the dual system of education from the country so that the quality education available to the rich may also become accessible to the children of the poor.
The MQM wants to establish a just and equitable system in Pakistan that could provide justice to the rich and the poor alike. Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect so that a truly democratic system and welfare society may take roots in Pakistan.
The MQM had made practical efforts for promoting sectarian harmony and it wants to create an environment of harmony among the followers of different schools of thoughts. People of every religion and sect should have full freedom to worship according to their beliefs. The MQM recognizes that the non-Muslims are also citizens of equal status and their legitimate rights should be respected. It has always raised its voice for the non-Muslims and would continue to do so in future as well.
We would appeal to the people of Pakistan, particularly the business persons, students and the younger generation to support the MQM for promoting democracy in the country. We ask them to join the MQM for making Pakistan stronger and prosperous.