With Musharraf on his mind, Altaf calls for a separate province | Pakistan Today

With Musharraf on his mind, Altaf calls for a separate province

In a no holds barred attack on his party’s former coalition partners, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Friday said if their demands are unacceptable to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) then Urdu speaking Sindhis should be given a separate province.
Speaking to party workers in Hyderabad in the wake of upcoming local government polls, he demanded equal rights for Urdu and Sindhi speaking population of Sindh. He also threatened that the demand of a separate province can quickly turn into a demand of a separate country for Urdu speakers of Sindh.
Severally criticising the provincial government regarding new delimitations before the LG elections, the MQM chief alleged that the PPP wants to keep away from the polls. “Torch bearers of democracy had never been able to hold local government elections,” Hussain said sarcastically in an obvious reference to the PPP.
Awarding a legal victory to the MQM, the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Dec 30 ruled all amendments made to the Local Government Ordinance unconstitutional, paving way for the polls to be conducted under previous delimitations.
Altaf Hussain said his party would not tolerate tactics of force in politics and alleged that the PPP was involved in discriminating against the Urdu speaking population. “The Sindh government wants to push half of the province’s population into the Arabian Sea. Despite having an equal representation in Sindh, Urdu speakers are subjected to discrimination,” he said, adding that Urdu speakers will outnumber Sindhi speakers if fresh census is held under the United Nations.
“We are also children of Sindh. If we have lived side by side in Sindh for so long, we can live in separate provinces as well,” he said, adding “We are alike…if you take a step forward to shake our hand, we’ll reciprocate.”
“We didn’t come to Pakistan to become slaves, neither are we here to become masters, we merely want to become equal citizens,” he said.
Altaf Hussain also demanded the immediate suspension of “operation against MQM workers in Karachi”. “We know how to sacrifice lives, we have done that in the past, we can do that again,” the MQM chief said.
He vowed to open Sindh University in Hyderabad if the provincial government doesn’t do it in a month, giving a deadline to the government.
Altaf Hussain then took on the Establishment in the following words: “I am addressing the Establishment; you want to sideline half of the population of Sindh. When will you interfere? When migrants will shout for an independent state, then will you intervene? What do you want? Don’t call me traitor, I am not saying anything, I am merely asking philosophically. What do you want? I am not a constitutional expert, I am merely talking philosophically.”
Talking about Musharraf, the MQM chief said the former dictator was being targeted because he was a Muhajir.
“Article 5 comes before Article 6. Punish Musharraf if you want but also imprison those who acted on the Martial Law orders. Why are they being excused?” he said.
“General (r) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other judges are also complicit in extra judicial acts of the former president,” he said.
Calling upon his party workers to carry on his legacy, Altaf said: “Whatever happens to me doesn’t matter, even if I am killed, do not let my movement die.”
The MQM chief called upon Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to intervene immediately, saying the provincial government has abandoned the Urdu speakers of Sindh.
Meanwhile, PPP’s patron-in-chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s in his latest tweet confronted Hussain by saying “Marsoon Marsoon, Sindh na Ddaisun (We will die but won’t give Sindh [to others]).
Reacting to the comment, Hussain advised Bilawal to behave like a ‘nephew’ if he pretends to be one. He suggested that the issues should be resolved on a negotiating table rather than on social-networking platforms, demanding an equal share for the urban population of the province.

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