KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain said on Sunday his party would support an army action against the Taliban, asserting that “we will have to rise up against them, if we want Quaid-e-Azam’s Pakistan”.“They are inhumane, illiterate and people from the stone-age,” the MQM head said of the Taliban in his address to participants of a conference held at Jinnah Ground in honour of Malala Yousafzai, a child rights activists attacked by Taliban gunmen on October 9 when she was on her way home from school.Altaf, speaking over telephone from London, said Malala Yousafzai was the daughter of the nation and the attack on her life was an attack on education.
He eulogised the national peace award recipient, observing that raising voice for education in Taliban strongholds was a “courageous act.” He prayed for early recovery of Malala and two other girls, Kainat and Shazia, wounded in the attack in Swat. “May I ask where are Pakistan’s armed forces, and its high-ranking personnel who utilise up to 80 per cent of the country’s resources,” the MQM chief questioned. He said if the armed forces failed to apprehend these culprits, then the people would be left with no other option, but to look towards the international community for the protection of their children.He also questioned the role of the political and religious parties.
“Why are they quiet, why don’t they fight against the Taliban? See their wealth, their property; see how much they have gained through politics,” he said, and deplored that they were not fulfilling their national obligations and responsibilities.The MQM chief, however, asserted that the nations changed their fates by themselves and “we have to move forward despite all these challenges”. Calling Malala a beacon of hope for millions of girls in Pakistan, Altaf asked if acquiring education was a crime. He said the Taliban’s stance on female education was against the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).He added that there were very few religious scholars that preached the correct version of the religion, while the rest were all “religious thugs” whose agenda was to “sell Islam”.“I am humbly requesting all the genuine religious leaders and scholars to speak up now. It is your duty. If you remain silent then you are similar to the terrorists,” he said.
Speaking about the injustices taking place in the country, the MQM chief said that his party has always condemned oppression regardless of the consequences – be it the attack on Malala, the blasphemy case against Rimsha Masih or attacks on churches and temples. “The MQM was, is and will always remain against drone attacks,” he added.The MQM chief called on Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take a suo motu notice of the brazen attack on Malala. “We don’t want a favour, we want justice.” MQM Deputy Convener Dr Farooq Sattar, while speaking to the gathering, said the event was the first step in a movement to mobilise people against extremism and militancy.He stated that the Quaid’s Pakistan was engulfing into darkness and everyone needed to unite in order to save it. “The attack on Malala was an attack on Pakistan’s conscience,” he asserted, observing that a handful of militants wanted to enforce their way of life on the people of Pakistan.