Hyderabad – 20 January 2001
Neither have we surrendered to the Establishment in the past nor will we surrender in the future. Today we are demanding our rights, however, if we are denied of our rights then the time will come when the Urdu Speaking Sindhis and the Sindhi Speaking Sindhis would take their rights through united struggle. Mr Altaf Hussain, Founder and Leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) stated this while addressing a women’s gathering over the telephone in Hyderabad from London.
Mr Hussain said that no one in this world wilfully migrates from his home, his area, his city or even his country. Human beings perform this act of migration for their survival. Migration from a home, city or the country could be because of economic reasons or the people of a country are compelled to migrate to save their lives because of the deteriorating state of affairs. If within a country, a particular community is oppressed because of their ideology, philosophy or even religion and it is made impossible for them to survive then those people are compelled to migrate. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) was born in Mecca, however, when he raised the banner of righteousness the infidels of Mecca treated him degradingly and different methods were adopted to oppress the CompanionsRH of the Prophet (PBUH). When it was made impossible for the Prophet (PBUH) and his CompanionsRH to live in Mecca then they migrated from Mecca. Citing another example of migration, Mr Hussain said that the Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report vividly describes the atrocities committed by Pakistan Army upon Bengali civilians, when in East Pakistan, the army operation was commenced against the Bengalis and their representative political party, the Awami League for demanding their rights and State oppression was unleashed upon the Bengalis and the workers of Awami League then the workers of Awami League were compelled to migrate to India. Mr Hussain said that when despite treating a community degradingly, subjecting to oppression, imprisonment, torture and discrimination because of their ideology, belief or religion, that community does not abandon their ideology, faith or religion the Establishment then commences the act of ethnic cleansing.
Why the State Operation was launched against the MQM? He said that more than 15000 innocent MQM workers have been brutally murdered. They were arrested in front of their family members and then murdered in cold blood in the name of “police encounters”. Thousands of our workers have been imprisoned and thousands have been forced to live in exile. Mr Hussain said, “several attempts were made to assassinate me, even with the use of hand grenades. After that my companions advised me that there is a serious threat to my life and that I should now leave the country and lead the Movement from abroad.” Mr Hussain said that he has continued to work and struggle day and night for his mission since coming to London. He asked the women participants, “The way I have run the Movement and remained in contact with the workers and the people, has any other exiled leader done so?” Every participant replied, “no”. Mr Hussain said that you could ascertain the righteousness of your Altaf Bhai by the fact that those who blamed and abused him for opting for exile, the nature has made them eat their own words. He said that Benazir used to say that Altaf Hussain is a coward, rat, scared, has ran away leaving his followers behind and that he should face the courts. However, the nature took its course and now she herself is living in exile. Similarly, those belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League used to say that if Altaf Hussain is brave then he should return and face the courts. Nawaz Sharif claimed that his symbol is lion; he is not scared and would never leave the country. However, the entire world witnessed that the “lion” turned out to be a paper lion. To crush the MQM, Nawaz Sharif appeared on the national television and by falsely nominating Mr Zulfiquar Haider, Member of Sindh Provincial Assembly belonging to the MQM, accused the MQM of Hakim Saeed’s murder. He (Nawaz Sharif) also accused that the plan to assassinate Hakim Saeed was devised at Nine Zero, the MQM Head Office in Karachi, Pakistan. Mr Hussain reminded that at time, he had addressed Nawaz Sharif and said, “you have falsely accused MQM of murder and terrorism, therefore, the nature would never forgive you and your fate would be dreadful.” Mr Hussain said that the rule of Nawaz Sharif, who had accused him of terrorism, remained not for long and the nature made him witness in this world that those (Nawaz Sharif) who falsely accuse others of terrorism were themselves proclaimed as “terrorists” by the special courts that he had established himself to punish his political opponents. From the same he (Nawaz Sharif) was sentenced to life imprisonment, however, the self proclaimed “lion” could not even bear to stay in prison for one and a half year and ran away from the country overnight with his entire wealth and his family by making a “secret deal” with the military government.
Mr Hussain said that when he was in prison, the government made several offers for his release, however, he refused to accept any offer with the condition that he would not accept release until and unless each and every MQM worker is released from prison. He said, “the world is witness that I did not accept my release until each and every worker was released”. However, Nawaz Sharif left his people in prison and ran away from the country. He said that there is a clear difference between migration and running away. Nawaz Sharif ran away from the country through a secret deal – he has not migrated. The escape of Nawaz Sharif has proved that there is no justice in the country. The justice system always leans in the favour of Punjabi elite. There is a dual justice system in the country, one for those dacoits, robbers and plunderers belonging to Punjab and the other for poor masses and the people of smaller provinces. For the non-Punjabis, there is the punishment of death sentence, imprisonment and torture cells, whereas freedom for the Punjabi dacoits and plunderers, who enjoy exception to the decisions of the Constitution and courts. The act of releasing Nawaz Sharif and his honourable exit abroad through a secret deal is tantamount to a slap in the face of the Constitution and the courts of law.
Mr Hussain said that the State Operation launched on 19 June 1992, to crush the MQM, is continuing even today. He said that thousands of innocent workers have been imprisoned, thousands have been compelled to go into hiding and live away from their homes and many have lost their jobs and are on the verge of starvation. Mr Hussain said, “I salute my loyal companions that despite facing such hardships they did not betrayed the Movement.” Addressing the women workers, Mr Hussain said, “I have informed my companions in advance to be prepared to face any situation and now I am informing you to prepare yourselves as well, mentally and physically because you may have to play the heroic role similar to that played in the history by brave and valiant women.” The women participants replied, “Altaf Bhai, we are prepared and ready to perform with our brothers.” Mr Hussain said that the Establishment has failed to crush us despite unleashing all its State oppression. Neither we have surrendered in front of the Establishment in the past nor will we surrender in the future. Today we are demanding our rights, however, if we are denied of our rights then the time will come when the Urdu Speaking Sindhis and the Sindhi Speaking Sindhis would take their rights through united struggle.