14 August 1999

While addressing the participants of MQM's "Save Sindh -- Save Pakistan" Rally at Jinnah Ground Azizabad, Karachi, Mr. Altaf Hussain, Founder and Leader of MQM, pointed out that MQM struggle is against the prevalent feudal system in Pakistan and not against any particular ethnic community. Such allegations are part of the feudal conspiracy against the MQM. The State machinery is hell bent to crush the MQM oblivious to the consequences. It is not acceptable to them that MQM supporters want to celebrate the Pakistan Independence Day. He questioned the President of Pakistan Rafique Ahmed Tarar and Chief of Army Staff General Parvez Musharraf, as to what kind of Independence Day is it that the patriotic Mohajirs are not allowed to come out and celebrate! The Police have forcibly confined them to their homes. Mr. Hussain questioned as to why the descendants of those who were pioneers of Independence Movement are not permitted to celebrate the Independence Day? He pointed out that people in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur, Nawabshah and other parts of Sindh were physically stopped by the Police to board buses. Hundreds of MQM workers in Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Hyderabad are arrested and large areas cordoned off. Women in Hyderabad were molested and rebuked by the PML hoodlums under Police protection and the Police who threatened them to go home or we shall roll trucks over you. Even the elected MQM Senators, MNAs and MPAs were obstructed to travel to Nine Zero. All this Police brutality despite assurances by MQM parliamentarians and members of MQM Co-ordination Committee that the rally will be peaceful. He said that the wrath of God descends upon those who deny the people their fundamental rights. He questioned Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif whether his Shariat allows such atrocities and denial of human rights!

Since the government has taken action against those who are gathered to "Save Pakistan" and "Save Sindh", it seems that the government is not interested in saving either, Mr. Hussain stated. Mr. Hussain appealed to all the people in position of power not to drive Mohajirs to the wall. The consequences of such actions would only be disastrous. He appealed to all his supporters and to the thousands present at the Jinnah Ground to remain peaceful at all times. He said that the State can stop you physically by brute force but they cannot capture your minds. Minds cannot be won through torture, he added. Finally, he praised the Members of MQM Co-ordination Committee who worked day and night to organise this mammoth rally. He also complimented all the workers, office bearers, parliamentarians and members of the public who joined the rally despite all the hurdles by the State. He offered his bouquet of love to everyone.