LONDON: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain says elements killing Shia Muslims, after taking them out of buses and verifying their identity, are in fact conspiring to disintegrate Pakistan.
All patriotic Pakistanis must boycott such ruthless elements, he said while speaking to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik on telephone, a MQM press release said on Wednesday.
Hussain said Pakistan was being encircled by threats from all sides and people belonging to Shia community were being killed. He said it was gross injustice and termed it as act of enmity against the country.
He said it was a historical reality that founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah belonged to Khoja Twelver Shia sect and when he died, two separate funeral prayers were offered.
One funeral prayers was offered by Allama Shabbir Ahmed Usmani, and other funeral prayer offered by a Shia cleric. No one could possibly deny these historical facts. Anyone challenging this would be lying, he stated.
The MQM chief said Shias are also Pakistanis. Even Hindus, Sikhs and Christians living in Pakistan were citizens of equal stature. Elements compelling Hindus, Sikhs or other non-Muslims to leave Pakistan were, in fact, doing injustice to Pakistan, and brushing aside teachings of Quaid-i-Azam with contempt.
He said country would be lost in darkness if patriotic Pakistanis did not come forward to put an end to this injustice. All educated, enlightened, moderate Pakistanis should boycott heartless elements killing innocent people.
The press release said agreeing to assertions of Hussain, Prime Minister Ashraf said killing of innocent people on basis of their religious beliefs, whether Shia or any other sect or religion, was height of injustice, utter bestiality.
He said elements involved in such heinous deeds were not doing any good to Pakistan. The prime minister said situation in Pakistan could improve greatly if all leaders began to think like Altaf Hussain. He also exchanged Eid greetings with the MQM chief.
Interior Minister Malik said Pakistan needed unity and solidarity. “We should not think as Shia, Sunni, Hindu, Muslim or any other religion. We should rise above religious belief and think about Pakistan. No citizen of the country should be discriminated against for any reason,” said the minister.
Malik said elements wanting to fan fire the sectarian strife within the country were not friends of Pakistan, and they would be dealt with accordingly.
He exchanged Eid greetings with the MQM chief. Hussain praised steps taken for maintaining law and order on Eid.