KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain has strongly supported a demand for more provinces and said that if the Hazara or Seraiki or other people want provinces of their own they should get them.
Addressing a large public meeting attended by people of different ethnic communities and groups — Qaumi Yekjehti Jalsa — at the Jinnah Ground here on Sunday, he said people had the right to demand a province of their own. He called for a referendum to determine people`s will and said that more provinces would not weaken the country, but would rather strengthen it.
The gathering of people belonging to various communities — Punjabi, Sindhi, Pakhtoon, Baloch, Seraiki and others — was the first of its kind organised by the MQM. Except for Mr Hussain, most of the speakers addressed the meeting in their own languages. Urdu-speaking people, the MQM claimed, did not attend the meeting.
Mr Hussain asked the army and law-enforcement agencies to support the masses in bringing about a revolution in the country. Otherwise, he said, they would have to face the wrath of the oppressed
“A revolution has become the country`s destiny and people will welcome those personnel of the army, Rangers and police who will take off their uniform and support them to end injustices and eliminate the menace of corruption,” he said.
Mr Hussain referred to mass movements in Tunisia and Egypt and said the large gathering of people belonging to all ethnic and cultural groups in Karachi was `a revolution in itself`.
He said no other party had managed in the history of the country to gather so many people belonging to different segments of society.
He said the MQM did not want a violent revolution, but those who threw innocent people into furnaces would be dragged into streets. But their palaces and huge mansions would not be burnt down but would be used for education, health and public welfare.Mr Hussain said verdicts of the Supreme Court must be implemented in letter and spirit and corruption must be curbed.
He urged the government to reduce its expenditures and trim the number of ministers in order to prop up the tottering economy since any more borrowing from the central bank would result in even higher inflation.
He appealed to the government to stop action in Balochistan, to recover all missing persons and release all people who were in custody.
He asked the Sindh government to curb incidents of kidnapping for ransom and extortion.
Otherwise, he said, “a revolution would take its own course”.
Mr Hussain said his party did not want any conflict with anyone and stood for peace and amity.
“Although Urdu-speaking people are not attending this huge meeting, my message to them is that you should not retaliate even if your houses are attacked.”
He criticised those who called the MQM an ethnic party and asked them to witness “the mammoth public meeting and see for themselves if the multitude of people present here could be brought by force or at gunpoint”.
About the US national arrested for killing three people in Lahore, he said the US government was demanding the release of Raymond Davis, but it should first speak about the release of Pakistani citizen Dr Aafia Siddiqui.