London – 23 March 2004
MQM Founder Leader Mr Altaf Hussain has stated that for the sustenance and security of the country it is vital that injustices against smaller provinces are stopped forthwith, they are provided their due rights and all the ethno-linguistic and religious entities are treated equally.  He was speaking at his book launching ceremony organised at the Arts Council in Karachi attended amongst others by renowned poets, writers, intellectuals, critics, senior journalists.  He said that through his book he has tried to deliver the message of how to save Pakistan.  Citing facts and figures in the East Pakistan with relation to government employment between the Bengalis and non Bengalis, Mr Hussain said that injustices breed hatred not love.  As a result of these injustices, Pakistan was dismembered and unfortunately these injustices continue even today.  Sindh contributes 70 percent in the national exchequer but it is not given its due share in return for development and prosperity, Sindh is deprived of employment and the poor people of Sindh are denied schools and hospitals.  When the people of Sindh demand for their rights they are branded as traitors.

Mr Hussain said that an army must represent the entire country but what is representation of the people of Sindh and Balochistan in Pakistan’s army?  Would this not develop a sense of deprivation?  Pakistan can be saved by providing rights to smaller provinces and ethno-linguistic and religious entities be treated as equal citizens.   He said that despite the fact that Soviet Union had more atom bombs than Pakistan, it was disintegrated because atom bomb does not guarantee survival of nations.

Commenting on the role of so-called mullahs, Mr Hussain said that 70 mullahs have issued a joint statement declaring that to attend or participate in the Namaz-e-Janazah (funeral prayers) of the army personnel killed in Waziristan to be un-Islamic because they attacked the Muslims.  He asked where these mullahs were when the Pakistan Army was massacring innocent Bengalis in former East Pakistan and when they launched operations in Sindh and Balochistan against innocent citizens.  Why they did not issue a religious decree when the siblings of the creators of Pakistan including the great grandson of Maulana Hasrat Mohani were being extra-judicially executed?  He said that today Qazi Hussain Ahmed is saying that the incidents in Waziristan will breed hatred and prejudice and will also prove dangerous for Pakistan. Why did he keep silent when the same was occurring in former East Pakistan?

Commenting on his book, Mr Hussain said that he aims to educate people on scientific basis to assist them to start thinking and analysing, which is key to acquiring information and knowledge.  He said that while explaining the first revelation, i.e. Iqra, the so-called mullahs delude the common people to portray religion away from thinking.  These mullahs translate Iqra as “read”, whereas it has been used to signify “to think, to ponder and to deliberate”.  When the people of Mecca strongly opposed the righteous message and life in Mecca was made impossible to live then through deliberation the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) decided not to fight with the infidels of Mecca but migrate to Medina.  In Medina they entered into Messaq-e-Medina with the Jews and Sulah-e-Hudaibya with the infidels whereby all the terms seemed against the Muslims but eventually proved the basis for Mecca’s victory.  Mr Hussain said that the entire life of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) invites to ponder, to think and to deliberate but the so-called mullah teach us otherwise by classifying it as magical, supernatural and untruthful stories thus distorting the image of Islam.  As a result the Muslims in the western world and American fear from declaring themselves as Muslims.  He said that when in Afghanistan in the name of Islam womenfolk will be shot in broad daylight, acid thrown on their faces, television, VCRs and cameras will be termed un-Islamic and broken; people treated inhumanly in the name of religion then what opinion of Islam will develop amongst the international community.  He argued that how can television, which was not even invented in the Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) era, be termed un-Islamic.  The so-called mullahs say that photographs are un-Islamic – so when Maulana Maudoodi, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and others go on foreign visits, don’t their passports contain their photographs?  He said that on the one hand Qazi Hussain Ahmed preaches that womenfolk must remain confined within boundaries of their homes and perform housework, whereas on the other hand during elections Qazi Hussain Ahmed allows his daughter to contest elections and become the member of assembly?  Today the so-called mullahs correlate the heroine cultivation, women trade and the killing of womenfolk in the name of Karokari (honour killing) with the religion, whereas it is a fact, that these have nothing to do with the religion but are in fact, local social values.  These so-called mullahs God Forbid also confine the Allah Almighty as being the God of Muslims, whereas Allah is the God of entire Universe and provider of the livelihood to all human beings whether Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Jews, Buddhist etc.   He said that we should also love everyone irrespective of their religion, faith or belief.

Mr Hussain said that MQM believes in the philosophy of realism and practicalism.  He said that MQM’s struggle continues in the light of the famous saying/prayer by the St Francis of Assisi (Italy), “where there is hatred, may we bring love; where there is discord, may we bring unity; where there is doubt, may we bring faith; where there is error, may we bring truth; where there is despair, may we bring hope;”.