HYDERABAD: The founder and leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Altaf Hussain, has asked the intellectuals, journalists and writers of Sindh province to work to remove the differences and divisions between new Sindhis and old Sindhis. He declared that if Pakistan was to become prosperous and strong, the legitimate rights of Sindh province would have to be granted.
Altaf was addressing a gathering at the Al-Mustafa Ground, Hyderabad, on the occasion of the 28th Foundation Day of the MQM. There was a sea of people at the venue of the Jalsa. People were even standing on the roofs of the building adjacent to the ground and waving MQM flags.
A significant feature of the gathering was the large number of women present. Altaf Hussain particularly praised the women for coming out to attend the Jalsa in such an enormous number. He also appealed to the Punjab’s women to make the upcoming women’s jalsa in Punjab equally successful.
Mr Hussain asked the people of Pakistan to make a firm resolve that they would not vote for any feudal lord, chieftain or “filthy rich” person who had amassed huge wealth through sleaze and corruption. He said that he was living in exile for over 20 years because of his refusal to take money from government agencies and selling his conscience. He said that he had sent able and educated people from the poor and middle classes to the assemblies and brought them on an equal footing with the feudal lords.
Altaf said that he was the only leader in the country who did not take money. Ex-ISI officials Brigadier (retd) Imtiaz, Colonel (retd) Akbar and Younis Habib had said that Altaf Hussain was the only leader in the country who had turned down a huge amount of money as bribes.
Altaf Hussain said that the medieval feudal system had been scrapped throughout the world, but unfortunately, it was in vogue in Pakistan. The MQM wants to liberate the poor peasants and farmers from the oppressive subjugation of the feudal lords and chieftains that looked upon poor people as their slaves. The feudal system had weakened the entire society, and the body politic of the country had become the fiefdom of a few “filthy rich” families. He said that the present-day Pakistan did not belong to common Pakistanis. The MQM would build a Pakistan of the poor and middle classes people in the true sense of the word.
Altaf stressed upon the parliamentarians to work to give the status of industrial labour to the peasants and farmers in the country. He said that the MQM was neither socialist nor communist. The MQM was not against private industries, but it was opposed to uncontrolled capitalism.
Mr Hussain said that the MQM was the only political party that had raised the issue of the extortion mafia operating in Karachi. No other political party worth the name had cared to raise this issue that was plaguing the business community in Karachi.
Altaf appealed to President Asif Zardari to rid the people of Karachi from the extortion mafia and street crimes. He said that the citizens were being looted in broad daylight. He called for stern action against the criminals and said that no leniency should be shown to anyone. He also congratulated President Zardari on addressing the joint sitting of parliament for the fifth consecutive time.
Altaf particularly appealed to the people of Sindh not to be misled by the so-called nationalist elements in Sindh. He exhorted them to join the MQM as it wanted to emancipate poor people from the oppression and injustices of the feudal lords.
Altaf said that the MQM was the only political party in the country that was against the spread of sectarianism. The MQM wanted to spread sectarian harmony. He said that it was because of the earnest desire of the MQM to promote interfaith harmony that people from different religious backgrounds were joining the MQM in large numbers.
Altaf said that if the MQM came into power, the Christian, Hindus, Sikhs and followers of all other faiths would have equal rights. There would be no minorities in the country as everyone would become equal citizens of Pakistan. He said that the last sermon of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was an immortal charter of equality. The rich and the poor, the slave and the master, the white and the black were equal before Allah.
Altaf particularly spoke about the problems being faced by the people of Hyderabad and stressed upon the government to take steps on an emergency basis to give relief to the people.
He said that there was no university in Hyderabad. Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad had announced the establishing of a university in the city, but the Sindh Assembly had not passed the bill. He said that efforts should be made on an urgent basis to get the bill for the university passed from the Sindh Assembly.
He said that the sewerage system in Latifabad was dilapidated and overflowing sewage was causing immense problems to the people. He said that additional funds should be allocated for improving the sewerage system in Latifabad.
He said that manufacturing of bangles was an important industry of Hyderabad. He said that the government should support the people affiliated with the bangles industry and help in its revival.
He said that there was no cardiovascular hospital in Hyderabad due to which, there was a source of hardship and inconvenience to the people. He asked the government to establish a hospital in Hyderabad for curing the patients of heart diseases.
Dr Farooq Sattar, Deputy Convener of the Coordination Committee of the MQM and Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis also spoke on the occasion. He warned the so-called nationalist elements not to breach the unity of the people of Sindh.
Dr Sattar said that the MQM was opposed to the geographical division of Sindh, but it was equally opposed to creating divisions among the people. He asked the intellectuals of Sindh to strengthen the hands of the MQM.