Millions Flock to the Venue – Express Solidarity with Altaf Hussain
Muttahida Quomi Movement (MQM) held a mammoth public rally at Karachi’s New M. A. Jinnah Road on Sunday afternoon to express solidarity and allegiance with the party’s founder and leader Mr Altaf Hussain.
Held at a mere 48-hour notice and without much effort into building momentum that has been the hallmark of MQM’s public events in the past, the rally still managed to be an unprecedented success as masses from all parts of the port city flocked to the venue. The main venue was packed from early afternoon and the crowds had stretched miles away where they could only listen to the speeches of the speakers through an intricate system of loudspeakers.
Besides a great number of Urdu speaking people, the emotionally charged crowd included people from all other ethnic groups –Punjabis, Pashtuns, Sindhis, Balochis, Kashmiris, Hazarahwals, Gilgatis, Baltistanis and Saraikies. A prominent feature of the rally was the presence of a large number of Christians, Hindus and Sikhs, who are now increasingly finding the MQM as the true, if not the only, representative of religious minorities’ rights in a country that is increasingly sliding towards religious extremism and fanaticism.
The speakers and participants of the rally showed great resentment over the recent news report aired by Britain’s BBC TV’s report in its Newsnight program. The speakers dubbed the BBC report as part of a media trial that is instigated to malign the party’s image nationally and internationally.
The speakers said that it was extremely disappointing to see that the BBC was deliberately ignoring in its coverage the evil of Talibanisation in Pakistan, particularly Karachi, and was busy tarnishing the image of a party (MQM) that is regarded as the true representative of liberalism, progressivism and religious tolerance and harmony in Pakistan.
Political pundits are declaring this public rally as the biggest ever MQM public gathering after its historic public meeting in January 1990.