KARACHI, June 25: MQM chief Altaf Hussain gave a clean chit to Prime Minster Raja Pervez Ashraf on Monday and said he had to take all the blame for the worsening power crisis whereas the fact was that he had been ‘unguided’ and ‘misled’ into taking some decisions as minister of water and power.
Speaking on the occasion of the prime minister’s visit to his party’s Nine Zero headquarters, he said he expected Raja Pervez to learn from mistakes and take bold decisions to solve the problem during his six-month tenure so that people forgot his past and remembered him for his positive achievements.
In another expression of support for the prime minister and his government, Mr Hussain reiterated his stance that state institutions — the armed forces, judiciary and parliament — should work within the constitutional parameters, desist from overstepping their domains and allow democracy to continue to function and attain maturity.
Raja Pervez Ashraf had came to Nine-Zero to express his gratitude to a ‘reliable ally’ for supporting his election to the office of the prime minister.
He had earlier called on Pir Pagara, the chief of PML-F, to thank him for his party’s support.
In the presence of Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and a large number of MQM workers, the prime minister vowed to steer the country out of power crisis. He also pledged to strive to restore peace in Karachi with ‘mutual consultation’. He was accompanied by Interior Affairs Adviser Rehman Malik.
After a rousing welcome by MQM’s workers and supporters, he met members of the party’s coordination committee.
During the closed-door meeting he also spoke to Altaf Hussain on the phone. After the meeting, he addressed MQM workers and listened to a speech by Mr Hussain.
Mr Hussain said he was happy that a member of the middle class had become the country’s chief executive.
He showered praises on President Asif Zardari for spending four years in the presidency during which he demonstrated courageous and exemplary restraint on every judgment of the apex court, whether relating to the disqualification of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani or suspension of the membership of parliament of Senator Rehman Malik and MNA Farahnaz Ispahani.
He drew the attention of the prime minister to the ban on holders of dual nationality from contesting in elections. The MQM chief, who himself holds British and Pakistani citizenship, asked him to table a bill in the National Assembly to amend the Constitution in order to enable holders of dual nationality to contest elections.
Raja Ashraf assured Mr Hussain and MQM workers that he would resolve the chronic issues of law and order and loadshedding in the metropolis.
During the closed-door meeting, Mr Hussain assured the prime minister in the presence of the Sindh Chief Minister that he considered himself as a son of Sindh and was against division of the province, says an MQM press release.