London – 29 January 2001

Mr Altaf Hussain addressing
the gathering of Sindhi intellectuals
at the Hyderabad Press Club

Mr Altaf Hussain, Founder and Leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), has stated that he has no desire to become the president, prime minister or a member of parliament.  He said that he has been struggling for the past 22 years for the rights of downtrodden people.  He appealed to the Sindhi intellectuals to come forward and form a committee or a forum to struggle for the rights of Sindh province and include him as a worker in their leadership.  It is a fact that Sindh province is not autonomous but merely a colony of the Punjabi Establishment.  He said that there are two sons of the motherland of Sindh – one is called Sindhi and the other is called Mohajir or the Urdu Speaking Sindhis.  He was addressing a huge gathering of Sindhi intellectuals, journalists, writers, poets and others at the Hyderabad Press Club from London over the telephone today.

Explaining in detail the conspiracy of the Punjabi Establishment, Mr Hussain said that in 1973 Linguistic Riots were engineered and the Quota System was imposed in Sindh, southern Pakistan.  A Bill was presented in the Sindh Assembly to make Sindhi as the official language of the province, whereas, such Bill was not presented in any other province.  He said that other provinces also comprise of villages and rural areas but the Quota System was not introduced in those provinces.  Why the Quota System was only imposed in Sindh province only?  After the break-up of Pakistan in 1971, a conspiracy to divide and rule Sindh was hatched by the Establishment.  Such policies were imposed on Sindh province that resulted in a permanent stand off between the citizens of the province to deprive them of their fundamental rights.

Mr Aftab Ahmed Sheikh, Deputy Convenor of MQM Coordination Committee,
along with other Members of MQM Coordination Committee, the Zonal Incharge
of MQM Hyderabad Zone and the Zonal Committee listening to the speech of
Quaid-e-Tehrik Altaf Hussain

Mr Hussain said that we do not want the division of Sindh, we consider Sindh as our motherland and would never allow anyone to partition our motherland.  He said that he is being labelled as “enemy of Pakistan” and an “Indian Agent” for speaking the truth.  He said that he is neither an enemy of the country nor is he an Indian Agent, however, he feels proud to call himself as the Agent of Sindh, the motherland of Shah Lateef.  He stated that Pakistan couldn’t survive for five days without Sindh.  The Sindh province contributes seventy percent revenue to the Federation.  If we are allowed to keep this then we would not only become self sufficient but would also be in a position to donate this money to other provinces.  He said that it is deplorable that such a province is deprived of its due share of water supply and the NFC Award.  This province demands employment for the unemployed as its citizens are being compelled to commit suicides in desperation.  He said that despite the fact that several prime ministers of the country belonged to Sindh province and the majority party of the province ruled the country for many years but were they able to provide Sindh its due share? Were they able to make Sindh prosperous? Were they able to solve the problems of the common-man of Sindh?

Mr. Altaf Hussain Founder and Leader of MQM (Muttahida Quami Movement)Addressing the intellectuals of the Sindh, Mr Hussain emphasised that the time has come to decide whether we want to continue dwelling in the past and confront against each other or move ahead, unite and struggle for the rights of the Sindh province with all our strength.  It is time that we should jointly demand for the complete provincial autonomy according to the spirit of the 1940 Resolution.  He said that we want to clarify that we do not want independent States, in fact, we want autonomous provinces.  The Federation could keep the subjects of Defence, Foreign Affairs and Currency.  According to the spirit of the 1940 Resolution, a new Constitution should be formulated.  The Pakistan Army should be reconstituted so that every province has equal representation, thereby, assuring that the institution of army portrays the image of a national army instead of being a Punjabi army.  He said that the people of Sindh province are capable to run the affairs of their own province and we do not need the imported bureaucracy or Administration from Punjab.  He said that if someone is confused over the 1940 Resolution then they should see the example of the States in the United States of America.  The Federation does not weaken by granting autonomous status to the provinces, it strengthens the Federation.  We want to save the Federation.  Mujeeb Ur Rehman was also labelled as the enemy of the State and despite being victorious in the General Election; the power was not handed over to the Awami League.  The slogan was raised that Idhar Hum Udhar Tum (We rule here and you rule there).  He asked why such slogan was raised?

Mr Hussain said that after the publication of the Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report, all those, responsible for the Fall of Dhaka, belonging to the Punjab, have remorselessly refused to ask for forgiveness.  Mr Hussain said that the 1973 Constitution has served as the protector of the Army and the Punjabi Establishment.  If this Constitution had been the protector of the country, then Z A Bhutto, who framed this Constitution, would have been hanged?  The Constitution could not save its creator, i.e. Z A Bhutto.  One of his sons died in suspicious circumstances, the other was brutally murdered, his daughter is running around helplessly with her children while her husband is languishing in prison.  On the other hand, Zia Ul Haq, who scrapped the Constitution, ruled the country for 11 years and now his sons are billionaires.  Nawaz Sharif belonging to Punjab, despite being sentenced by the courts is given a red carpet treatment and is allowed to go to Saudi Arabia where he is welcomed with full honours as the Prime Minister.  He said that we have differences with Benazir Bhutto.  During her regime, MQM workers were massacred and she even called us as having bad blood.  However, despite the derogatory terms used by her, we being the sons of Sindh and considering her as a daughter of Sindh, would never use such derogatory terms for her.  He said that we are also for Federation but not the kind of Federation that saved the life of Nawaz Sharif but did not save the life of the Prime Minister from Sindh province. He reiterated that being the son of the land of Shah Lateef, he offers his unconditional services for the people of Sindh.  He clarified that he did not want to see Sindh as an independent State but a province with full provincial autonomy.  He warned, “today the people are only demanding provincial autonomy, however, if the act of oppression and bloodshed is not stopped immediately then the sons of motherland Sindh would not hesitate even to sacrifice their lives.”  He informed that our peaceful approach should not be taken as a weakness.  If the bloodshed of innocent people is not stopped immediately then we would be compelled to use our right of self-defence and would certainly defend our land. He said that he is ready to struggle to free Sindh province from the slavery of the Punjabi Establishment.

Mr Sheikh Liaquat Hussain, Deputy Convenor of MQM Coordination Committee,
Members of the MQM Coordination Committee listening to the address
of Quaid-e-Tehrik over the telephone in Karachi

A large section of the office bearers and workers of Nine Zero, the MQM
Head Office in Karachi also listening to the address of Quaid-e-Tehrik

He asserted that for the past 53 years we have confronted each other.  If provincial autonomy is not granted then every child of Sindh may raise the slogan for independence.  He said that we do not want the break-up of Pakistan, in fact, it was the Pakistan Army and the Punjabi Establishment who were responsible for the disintegration of the country in the past and if God forbid the country further disintegrates in the future then again they would once again be responsible for it.  In the end he said that he has no desire to become the president, prime minister or to hold any public office, instead he wants to become the soldier of the land of Shah Lateef and serve Sindh.  He appealed to the intellectuals to come forward and form a committee or a forum and include him as a worker in their leadership.