Muttahida Quami Movement Pakistan appealed to the people throughout Pakistan, including doctors, engineers, lawyers, intellectuals, teachers, journalists, column writers, religious scholars, business persons, industrialists, civil society, NGO, farmers, peasants, and particularly the students to take part in the public referendum on 8 November 2012 and cast their vote about they want Qauid-e-Azam's Pakistan or Taliban's Pakistan?
Addressing to a press conference at Lal Qila Ground Azizabad, Karachi, Deputy Convenor of the MQM Coordination Committee Dr. Farooq sattar has said that Pakistan is surrounded by internal and external threats. On the one hand, the drone attacks against the militants are challenging the sovereignty of the country while on the other hand, the image of Pakistan is being tarnished in the world by acts of terrorism, religious extremism, violence and bloodshed in different cities of the country. Religious extremists are targeting mosques, imam bargahs, shrine of saintly persons, and schools. They are attacking defence installations and are killing personnel of police, rangers, FC and armed forces in a harrowing manner.
Complete Taxt of Press Conference
We are thankful to you for coming to attend this Press Conference. Today’s press conference has been called to draw the your attention to an important and sensitive issue and inform you about the efforts being made by the MQM for unifying public opinion for the future of Pakistan.
You know that Pakistan is surrounded by internal and external threats. On the one hand, the drone attacks against the militants are challenging the sovereignty of the country while on the other hand, the image of Pakistan is being tarnished in the world by acts of terrorism, religious extremism, violence and bloodshed in different cities of the country. Religious extremists are targeting mosques, imam bargahs, shrine of saintly persons, and schools. They are attacking defence installations and are killing personnel of police, rangers, FC and armed forces in a harrowing manner.
It will also be in your knowledge that MQM Founder and Leader Mr Altaf Hussain is the only political leader who had warned about growing religious extremism and Talibanization in the country many years ago. It is unfortunate that the leaders of political and religious parties, certain intellectuals, anchor persons and journalists ridiculed him instead of taking his apprehensions seriously. They accused that Mr Hussain was terrifying the public but now that the Supreme Court has said that serious notice should be taken about the presence of Taliban in Karachi and has called for action against Taliban, the stance of Mr Hussain has been vindicated. It has now been established that the apprehensions of Mr Husain were true.
It is the era of modern knowledge and technology. Only those nations and countries are making advancements that are equipping themselves with knowledge and learning. Those nations that are deprived of the light of modern knowledge are trailing behind in the march of progress and have become dependent upon the grants and assistance of developed nations.
Acquisition of knowledge has been greatly stressed upon in the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). According to one Hadith, it has been enjoined upon men as well as women to acquire knowledge. It is unfortunate that the Taliban terrorists are carrying out terrorism and bloodshed under the name of Islam, but they are also employing cruel tactics to stop the students, particularly girls, from acquiring knowledge.
The Taliban terrorists shot and injured Malala Yousufzai and her classmates Shazia and Kainat on 9th October 2012 when they were returning to their homes from school. The cowardly and barbaric act of the terrorists was universally condemned by the people of Pakistan. People were jolted into an unshakeable unity, which far exceeded the unity expressed by the nation during 1965, and they made strong protests against the inhuman attack.
What type of Pakistan did the Quaid-i-Azam want can be understood from his presidential address to the constituent assembly on 11th August 1947. The Quaid-i-Azam did not want Pakistan to become a theocratic state. He rather wanted Pakistan to be a liberal, secular and progressive state where the followers of every religion, sect and school of thought would be free to go to their places of worship. He wanted Pakistan to become a state where everyone had equal rights and the freedom to fashion their lives according to their religious beliefs. The Taliban terrorists are trying to mutilate the vision of the Quaid-i-Azam by forcing their particular beliefs having no religious on others.
The Taliban are trampling upon the rights of women and lashing with stripes in public, stoning them to death in a cruel manner, bombing schools in order to stop students from getting knowledge, slitting the throats of personnel of police and armed forces after declaring them infidels and refusing to accept the constitution of Pakistan. They are now even carrying out attacks against innocent children. It is now for the people of Pakistan to decide as to what type of Pakistan do they want.
The MQM wants to transform Pakistan into a democratic, liberal, secular and progressive state according to the vision of the Quaid-i-Azam. The MQM wants to form a society where everyone enjoyed protection of their lives, properties and honours without any discrimination based on race, colour, ethnicity, belief, and sect. The exemplary unity exhibited by the people of Pakistan after the barbaric attack by the Taliban against Malala Yousufzai, and her classmates makes it clear that they also want the spread of knowledge and education, religious tolerance, sectarian harmony and protection of life and property for everyone. It has become evident that the people of Pakistan do not subscribe to fake ideas and thinking of the Taliban. They have demonstrated that they are against any form of terrorism done under the name of Islam.
A public referendum is being held throughout the country on Thursday, 8th November on the directions of Mr Hussain in which people of Pakistan would be asked to express their opinion as to what type of Pakistan do they want. They would be asked if they wanted the Quaid-i-Azam’s Pakistan or the Taliban’s Pakistan.
Thousands of polling stations would be established across the country in order to facilitate people in casting their vote. The polling process shall start at 9 am, and it will continue until 5 pm. Ballot papers have been published in large quantities, which would be available at every polling station. A referendum commission comprising of retired judges, senior lawyers, intellectuals, and other notable people would oversee the process of the referendum, and it will also announce the results. Names of the members of the referendum commission along with other necessary details would be announced in the next press conference.
Besides the setting up of polling stations in Pakistan, online voting facility would be provided at the MQM’s website www.mqm.org in order to facilitate overseas Pakistan in expressing their opinions. People would also be able to cast their votes through SMS. Overseas Pakistanis can also cast their vote by postal ballot and send their ballot paper on the address of the MQM Headquarters Nine Zero at 494/8, Federal B Area, Karachi, Pakistan. Further information can be obtained by calling on the telephone numbers 021 3631 3690 and 021 3632 9900.
People in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, the Punjab, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan can contact the local zonal offices of the MQM for seeking information.
Pakistan is in the throes of innumerable problems, and we want to pull the country out of these problems. The MQM referendum would help in infusing a new spirit in the problem-ridden country and help it in getting back on its feet. It would also help it in making it a truly independent country by freeing it from foreign assistance and grants. Through this referendum, we can make it clear to those who are casting an evil eye on Pakistan, that the people of Pakistan are solidly united for protecting their country. The referendum is of utmost importance as it would help in deciding the destiny of the country. Enlightened and patriotic people, including students, would tell as how they want to see Pakistan.
We appeal to the people throughout Pakistan, including doctors, engineers, lawyers, intellectuals, teachers, journalists, column writers, religious scholars, business persons, industrialists, civil society, NGO, farmers, peasants, and particularly the students to take part in the referendum for a bright future of Pakistan.
We thank you again for coming to attend this press conference.