MIRPURKHAS, March 18: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Monday asked the party’s coordination committee to establish a shelter home under the Khidmat-i-Khalq Foundation (the MQM welfare wing) for freewill couples and provide protection to them.
He was speaking at a big public meeting held in the Gama Stadium here on Monday to mark the party’s 29th foundation day by the telephone from London.
He said that after coming to power in upcoming general elections, the MQM would bring an end to injustices being committed against women, adding that the evil customs of Karo-kari and ‘marriage with the Holy Quran’ would be abolished. “Those who throw acid on women will be given harsh punishment,” he said.
Mr Hussain said his party would establish a just and equitable system that would ensure speedy justice to people lacking resources to hire lawyers.
“No one shall die for want of money to buy medicine … no one shall be left illiterate because they lack financial resources,” he said, adding that an MQM government would make education up to matric free and it would be the responsibility of the government to provide free healthcare facilities to the poor.
An across-the-board accountability would be held and loan defaulters, looters of national wealth and corrupt people would also be given exemplary punishment, he said.
The MQM chief said his party did not sell party tickets at the time of general elections and no one could point finger at its lawmakers for corruption. The MQM awarded tickets purely on the basis of merit and totally free.
Mr Hussain said people would ask how the MQM would implement its revolutionary policies keeping in view the country’s huge foreign debts. “Looted national wealth will be recovered and spent on public welfare projects,” he added.
He said no one would be able to evade tax if an MQM government was in place. He said an MQM government would allocate 50 per cent provincial and national assemblies seats to women. He said 50 per cent jobs in government and semi-government institutions would be reserved for women.
Mr Hussain promised land reforms and fixing of a maximum limit for landholdings. The surplus land would be distributed among landless peasants, he said.
About law and order, the MQM chief said in an MQM government, no one would fear being looted and even women travelling alone would feel secure.
He said the organisations killing people on sectarian grounds should be boycotted. “Shias should protect Sunnis and Sunnis should protect Shias,” he remarked.
Deputy convener of the MQM coordination committee Dr Farooq Sattar said rural area people would no longer accept only change of faces in the elections, but would demand real change.
Sardar Nabil Gabol, who joined the MQM on Sunday, told the audience that all segments of society in Sindh had to live as brothers and “I will take this message to all cities, towns and villages of the province.”
A coordination committee member, Ashfaque Ahmed Mangi, also spoke.
Elaborate arrangements were made at the stadium for the event. Traders and businessmen around the stadium and many neighbourhoods had pulled down shutters in the afternoon to help increase attendance at the public meeting.
Strict security arrangements were made in and around the Gama Stadium and MQM workers, mainly from Karachi and Hyderabad, were looking after security arrangements.
A large number of women from all parts of the province attended the public meeting. They, with other party activists, arrived at the stadium in caravans of vehicles.
Young men were singing party songs and dancing in the streets on their way to the stadium. Some roads of the city were closed to traffic for security reasons and MQM activists were seen frisking people entering the stadium.
Public transport remained off the roads as most vehicles were hired by the party to ferry the participants in the meeting.
Some prominent figures, including Rais Dilawar Khan Bhurgari, Umer Halepota, Chaudhary Naved Alam, Chaudhry Naved Bajwa, Rafique Bajwa and Farooque Bajwa, announced their joining the MQM with their community members.