Terming the appointment of new Chief of Army Staff `an extremely sensitive issue’, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain on Friday appealed to the media, especially the hosts of TV talk shows to refrain from commenting and debating the issue.
“In fact, the act of making such a sensitive issue controversial or discussing the same amounts to an insult not only to the high position but also to the institutions responsible for the country’s survival,” he added.
The MQM chief was speaking over phone to the volunteers of Khidmat-i-Khalq Foundation (KKF) at a dinner hosted in their honour at its central camp in Karachi. The KKF’s In-charge former Senator Ahmed Ali, trustees, MQM Coordination Committee members, elected representatives and workers of its different departments were also present on the occasion.
Elaborating, on the subject, Mr Hussain said that “his request to the media is that if they have to say anything on such a highly sensitive issue then they should only emphasize that the appointment on this sensitive position must not be made on the basis of recommendation, friendship, relations, liking or disliking, but purely on merit and merit alone.”
Referring to the issue of talks with Taliban, Mr Hussain said that at a time when the country was passing through a critical juncture, the need of the hour was not to cause any harm to the writ of the government and armed forces by demonstrating any haste in holding dialogues with Taliban. “Unnecessary and uncalled for criticism comments can affect the morale of the country’s security institutions and its personnel and the country cannot afford this at this time,” he opined.
He said that whether or not others extend their support but millions of MQM workers would extend their full cooperation to the government and security institutions, he declared.
“At present, two important issues one relating to the appointment new COAS and another whether to hold dialogues with Taliban or war are being debated in the media,” Mr Hussain said, adding that his earnest appeal to the media, in general and, hosts of TV talk shows in this regard would be to refrain from discussing the highly sensitive issue of new Army chief’s appointment in the interest of the country.
Recalling that an All-Party Conference held on Sept 9 with a view to restoring peace had already decided with a consensus to hold dialogue with the Taliban then one should wait for some time.
He said that at a time when the country was passing through a critical juncture and there was wave of terrorism, its economy was on the verge of collapse, value of rupees against dollar was declining rapidly and facing several other challenges, it was necessary upon all not to put the writ of government and the armed forces institutions’ at stake.
Felicitating the participants on the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, the MQM chief said that despite trying circumstances, the role played by unknown workers, sympathizers, mothers, sisters, daughters and elders in collecting hides of sacrificial animals was highly commendable.
Except for unfortunate incident in which Khyber Pakhtunkhwa law minister and several other people lost their lives and a girls’ school was bombarded, the overall law and order situation in the country’s four provinces remained considerably better as compared to previous years, he said and added that “all the credit for this goes to administration, Rangers, police and other law-enforcement agencies for which he is highly thankful to D-G Rangers, DIGs, officers and other personnel of law-enforcement and security agencies.”
He also lauded the efforts of KMC officers for making better arrangements for the lifting and disposing of offal of sacrificial animals.
Mentioning about the KKF’s welfare work, Mr Hussain said that the MQM did not make tall claims but its KKF always took practical steps for the victims of natural calamities whether they belonged to Azad Kashmir, Balochistan and any other part of the country.
At the outset, he paid rich tributes to the volunteers and staff of the KKF, saying the KKF was the country’s only welfare organization which always played vital role in providing relief to the needy and deserving people f the country.
Moreover, MQM was the only political party of the country which always openly condemned the terrorism and the barbaric acts of bomb blasts, he said, adding not a single relative of his was among the elected representatives of MQM, but his brother and nephews were among those who sacrificed their lives for the Movement.