Source: The International News
Karachi: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s rally on Sunday, dubbed by political analysts the party’s biggest ever after its historic public meeting in 1990, might be the prelude to the grand reception that would be staged in case its chief Altaf Hussain returns to the country.
“Millions of Altaf’s supporters would welcome him at the Karachi airport on his arrival,” party leader Nabeel Gabol said while addressing the rally.
He said Hussain would return to the Pakistani soil even if the government did not issue him a national identity card for overseas Pakistanis.
“If Altaf Hussain is not a Pakistani, then Nawaz Sharif and Chaudhry Nisar are also not Pakistanis.”
The mammoth public rally near Tibet Centre on New MA Jinnah Road was staged to express solidarity with and allegiance to Hussain.
The party was able to build momentum for the rally within a 48-hour notice and the venue was packed from early afternoon.
Beside the Urdu-speaking supporters of the party, many Punjabis, Pakhtoons, Sindhis, Balochs, Kashmiris, Hazarawals, Gilgitis and Seraikies also participated in the rally.
There was also a large presence of Christian, Hindu and Sikh supporters of the party.
Mangla Sharma and Bishop Daniel Sadiq, who represent Hindu the Christian communities, spoke about the MQM chief’s philosophy. Both said the MQM was promoting liberalism, progressivism and religious tolerance and harmony in Pakistan.
Mohammed Laique, who had turned up at the rally on a wheelchair and braving the scorching sun, said the rally symbolised the start of a revolution.
Besides the party’s personal security staff, many law-enforcement agencies personnel were also present at the venue.
A stage, 20-by-80 feet, was set up for the party leaders to address the rally.
Speaking on the occasion, MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said Hussain had given vision, identity and strength against imperialist forces. “He is the voice of 95 percent of Pakistanis. His voice is being silenced by anti-state forces,” he said. “Had we listened to his warning about Talibanisation in the country, we wouldn’t have been in the present situation.”