The Quaid-i-Azam was a liberal and secular leader who believed in religious and sectarian harmony
Address to a seminar organized by the MQM on the 64th death anniversary of the Quaid-i-Azam
The Founder and Leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Mr Altaf Hussain has said that he wanted Pakistan and its stability, and he did not want the Pakistan of the extremist mullahs. He said that he wanted a Pakistan based on the visions of the Quaid-i-Azam, where followers of every religion, sect and schools of thought were considered as citizens of equal status and every enjoyed equal rights.
Mr Hussain expressed these views while addressing a seminar organized by the MQM on the occasion of the 64th death anniversary of the Quaid-i-Azam. The topic of the seminar was “Quaid-i-Azam and Today’s Pakistan”. Leaders of different political and religious parties, scholars, intellectuals, columnists, traders, industrialists, lawyers, teachers of different colleges and universities, and people belonging from different other spheres of life attended the seminar.
Veteran political leader Mairaj Muhammad Khan, prominent researcher and worker of the Pakistan movement Dr Farman Fatehpuri, senior journalists Mujahid Barelvi, Saleem Safi, Muhammad Hanif and former director of the Quaid-i-Azam Academy Khawaja Razi Haider also spoke to the audience.
Addressing the audience Mr Hussain said that the Quaid-i-Azam was a symbol of honesty, truthfulness, integrity, sincerity and courage and hence there should be no deception and double-saying on a stage that had been put up on the occasion of his 64th death anniversary.
Mr Hussain said that he had known about the religious sect of the Quaid-i-Azam since long but he never felt the need to speak about it. He could not remain silent when innocent and guiltless Pakistanis were put to death simply because they were Shias and declared heretic after seeing their identity cards. He was forced to say not to kill the Shia people and if the killing of the Pakistanis on the ground that they were Shia was justified than the Quaid-i-Azam should also be “killed” and his mausoleum should also be pulled down because he was also a Khoja Twelver Shia.
Mr Hussain said that some people were saying that the Quaid-i-Azam never talked about his sect. He did not have any need to declare his sect because he did not believe in sectarianism and someone who did not believe in sectarianism could not be an extremist mullah.
Mr Hussain said that the truthful statements of the Quaid-i-Azam after the creation of Pakistan were not liked by the establishment and they contrived to eliminate him. He declared that the Quaid-i-Azam did not die a natural death.
Mr Hussain said that the Quaid-i-Azam was a liberal and secular leader believing in religious tolerance and sectarian harmony. It was unfortunate that he was being portrayed as a mullah by some people in Pakistan. How the Quaid-i-Azam could be a mullah when he had included a Hindu Jogindar Nath Mandal and an Ahmadi Sir Zafrullah in his cabinet.
Mr Hussain said that besides struggling for changing the system of the country he would also bring real facts of the history before the nation even if he was killed.
Mr Hussain said that once he had used the word “Masjid” for the place of worship of the Ahmadis. He said that he was corrected and asked not to use the word “Masjid” for the places of worship of the Ahmadis. He said that the Ahmadis may not be considered Muslims but they should at least be considered Pakistanis.
Mr Hussain said that the elements who were saying that the Hindus, the Sikhs and the Ahmadis had no right to live in Pakistan should realize as to what would happen if the Muslims started to face the similar situation in America, Britain, France, Germany and the rest of the European countries. He asked if the Muslims would be able to fight back and resist if their Masjids are bombed or set on fire in the European countries.
Mr Hussain quoted the famous excerpts from the speech of the Quaid-i-Azam which he had delivered to the Constituent Assembly on 11thAugust 1947. He had said:
“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”
“Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”
Mr Hussain said that the landmark speech of the Quaid-i-Azam made it clear that he was a liberal, progressive and secular leader. He regretted that secularism was interpreted as irreligious in Pakistan which was not the true definition of the word.
Mr Hussain said that the Quaid-i-Azam wanted equal rights for the followers of all sects and schools of thought. If Pakistan is made the country of the followers of any particular sect or school of thought it would not be the Pakistan of the Quaid-i-Azam. In the Pakistan of the Quaid-i-Azam everyone would have equal rights and they would be treated as Pakistanis of equal status.
Mr Hussain said that Pakistan belongs to the Sunnis, Shias, Brelvis, Deobandis, and Ahl-i-Hadith equally. Pakistan belongs to Muslims as well as Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Amadis and Parsis.
Mr Hussain appealed to the appeal to free the country from the clutches of the extremist and it should be transformed on the ideals of the Quaid-i-Azam. He asked the people to support the truth if they did not want to support him.
Mr Hussain also drew the attention of the audience on the reports published by the Human Rights Watch on the issue of sectarian violence and the inclusion of hate content in the text books against non-Muslims. He said that text books were being distorted and history was being mutilated for fomenting extremism. He warned that the nations that mutilate their history are wiped out from the map of the world.