Despite all that is against us, MQM will continue undeterred; Altaf Hussain
We will go on fighting for the principles and policies we believe in; Altaf Hussain
London. 23 July 2016
Founder and leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Mr. Altaf Hussain said, “Despite all that is against us, MQM will continue undeterred. We will go on fighting for the principles and policies we believe in.”
He was addressing to a huge gathering of US-Pakistani community protesting outside White House, Washington USA. The protest was organised by USA chapter of MQM, was also attended by a large number of women, youth and children. The protesters were raising slogans against extra judicial killings, enforced disappearance and arbitrary arrests of MQM workers by para-military rangers in Karachi, Hyderabad and urban Sindh.
He said, “We are here today, outside one of the world’s greatest symbols of democracy, to bring to your attention the grave injustices.”
“These injustices threaten the lives of fellow Mohajirs each and every day.”
Describing geo-political significance of financial hub of Pakistan Mr. Hussain said, “Karachi is the Pakistan’s largest city, and the seventh largest in the world. It stands, as it always has, at a great international crossroads.”
“With its’ 23 million citizens, this city could be a powerhouse economy and a force for stability, but after years of neglect by Pakistan’s civil and military masters, it has become a hot bed of terror and religious extremism.”
“Since 2013, the Pakistani military has imposed effective martial law on our city. And for the duration of this so-called operation, Paramilitary soldiers have roamed our streets, unaccountable to civil authorities.”
While briefing the protesters about promises made by establishment Mr. Hussain said, “They said that the operation was designed to root out terrorism and religious extremism. Instead, it has turned into an operation with a singular focus – the systematic destruction of MQM, Pakistan’s fourth largest political party.”
“Since their arrival, thousands of MQM workers’ homes have been raided. More than 1500 are in arbitrary detention. No charges have been brought; these people victimised for their political views.”
In his address Mr. Hussain gave complete details of human rights violations being carried out against MQM. He said, “In March 2015, para-military rangers surrounded, and then forcibly entered our party headquarters. Para military rangers’ cold bloodily murdered a young MQM worker. No one was held accountable till date.”
“In fact, over the course of the operation, 61 MQM members have been extra judicially killed, their bodies dumped or returned displaying clear signs of torture. 135 of our workers remain missing.”
“Mohajirs are being denied their democratic rights by other means. In December last year, local bodies’ elections took place in Karachi, Hyderabad and urban cities of province of Sindh. Despite the close control of the military, 60% of citizen of Karachi voted for MQM.”
“Yet, eight months later, not one of those parliamentarians has been permitted to take up their posts. Karachi remains the world’s largest ungoverned city”, he said.
Mr. Hussain also raised his concerns over the baseless and fabricated cases registered against mayor-nominated Waseem Akhter. He said, “Only this week, the nominated Mayor of Karachi was arrested on trumped-up charges of terrorism. No case has been heard, no evidence brought before a court. He, alongside one of our elected Provincial Assembly member Mr Rauf Siddiqui, remains incarcerated.”
Condemning the excessiveness of the establishment he said, “My voice is also behind bars. After all these atrocities against MQM, I openly condemned the authorities’ lack of respect for the rule of law.”
“Just one application from a political opponent filed in the Lahore High court imposed a ban on my words appearing in Pakistani media. Not even my photograph can be displayed. Police cases were registered and party workers have been arrested just for attending party rallies at which I speak.”
Reaffirming his resolve to continue his struggle for the fundamental rights of masses he said, “I am proud to say that, since the very beginning, MQM has always sought to advance the interests of the poor, the working class, the aspiring middle classes and all those whose interests have too often been ignored by Pakistan’s traditional political parties.”
“We will continue to do so. We will continue to be first and foremost the party of equal rights and equal opportunity for all. “
“We will continue to safeguard the rights of women and of religious and ethnic minorities. And at a time when the abuse of religion has too often become the norm in political life, we will remain firmly opposed to all forms of fanaticism, extremism and any attempt to impose views by violence and intimidation.”
“MQM is committed to free access to education and healthcare for all. We are committed to implement business-friendly policies, to support free enterprise, to promote investment both domestic and foreign and to introduce good governance for the benefit of all Pakistanis.”
He further stressed on his commitment to the mission of the MQM and said, “Our enemies attack us. Our detractors try to put us down. They make allegations and throw mud. But they do so is because of what we stand for: The challenge that MQM poses both to the extremists and to the political stranglehold imposed by the ruling elite.”
“We will go on fighting for the principles and policies we believe in. For equal opportunities and equal right for Mohajirs and every one. And we will never stop fighting for the future of Pakistan as a democratic, independent country”, he said.
On behalf of the protesters Mr. Hussain demanded the US administration to use their good offices to press Pakistani establishment to cease its attacks on MQM, respect the rule of law and the democratic will of the people.
At the end of address, Mr. Hussain extended his appreciation to the organisers of the event for their dedication and hard work and also congratulated all participants who made this event a big success.
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