KARACHI: In what appeared to be a veiled reference to the scrapping of the new contempt of court law by the Supreme Court, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain said on Monday that if making laws was not the business of parliament then the parliamentary system should be wrapped up.
Speaking on phone from London at an Iftar-dinner hosted by the MQM at the Jinnah Ground, Mr Hussain said that it was yet to be decided in Pakistan whether the judiciary was important or parliament.
He said he would like to know whether lawmaking was the job of parliament or the judiciary. “If making laws is not the job of parliament then perhaps the parliamentary system should be wound up altogether. If parliament has no right to legislate then a judicial system should be imposed in the country instead of wasting millions of rupees on parliament,” he said.
He said that a confrontation between the judiciary and parliament would harm the country. He urged both the institutions to end their differences and respect each other’s domain.
The MQM chief expressed grave concern over lawlessness in Karachi and increasing incidents of killing of innocent people, extorting money from traders and businessmen.
He criticised the intelligence agencies and paramilitary Rangers for their failure to maintain peace in the city.
He called upon the people of Karachi, particularly the business community, to take measures for protecting themselves and assured them that the MQM would fully support them.
He said that 100,000 MQM workers were ready to protect businessmen if they paid an allowance to them.
Mr Hussain said the apex court had sent home a prime minister but did not take any action to provide protection to businessmen in Karachi. The chief justice removed a prime minister but did not take any action against elements involved in dumping bodies in Balochistan, he added.
The MQM chief said he had discussed with the president and the prime minister and also with the chief of army staff and the director-general of ISI the issue of law and order in Karachi.
Referring to the recent Lyari operation, he said the operation against the extortion mafia was about to succeed but the Rangers had refused to act. “The operation was postponed for 48 hours but 48 days have passed and the operation has not been completed.”
Mr Hussain said he had repeatedly said that the MQM did not want a division of Sindh. “But have the slogans for the division of Sindh not been raised by nationalist forces in Sindh? The nationalist forces must stop spewing venom, otherwise I will not be able to stop people.”
Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Khuhro, diplomats, businessmen, industrialists and MQM leaders attended the Iftar-dinner.