Altaf reiterates call for more provinces

Updated 18 Sep 2014

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Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain.   — Photo courtesy of MQM website
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain. — Photo courtesy of MQM website

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain has once again said that more administrative units and provinces should be created for strengthening the country.

Speaking from London via video link to a large number of MQM workers and supporters who gathered at the Jinnah ground to celebrate his 61st birthday here on Wednesday, he asked the government to accept ‘legitimate demands’ of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek to end the political impasse.

He said that during its tenure, the PPP had tabled a resolution in the National Assembly and the Punjab Assembly for creation of a south Punjab province, but today its leadership was opposing the creation of more provinces and administrative units.

“Don’t talk about things you don’t know...you are [too] young, go bring your dad here,” Altaf Hussain said sarcastically. Without naming Asif Ali Zardari, he said that since the “father does not have the courage to speak for himself, he uses his son (Bilawal) to air his views”.

The Muttahida chief said the so-called Sindhi nationalists wanted to pit Urdu and Sindhi speaking people against each other. “Seeing their opposition [for more provinces] it seems that they want to create a Mohajir province,” he added.

He said that no democratic government had ever held local government elections during its tenure. Without elected local governments democracy was worse than dictatorship, he said.

While Mr Hussain was speaking to his followers, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari made a comment on Twitter, apparently in response to Mr Hussain’s demand for more provinces. “Marsoon Marsoon, Sindh na Daisun [we will die but not surrender Sindh].”

When the MQM chief was told about the tweet, he said the PPP chairman had tweeted before he finished his speech.

He said that Mr Bilawal did not know about the importance of more administrative units or the local government system in spite of having acquired education in Britain.

“Don’t talk about things you don’t know...you are [too] young, go bring your dad here,” he said sarcastically. Without naming Asif Ali Zardari, he said that since the “father does not have the courage to speak for himself, he uses his son (Bilawal) to air his views”.

He said that new provinces, including Seraiki and Hazara provinces, would soon be created regardless of opposition from anyone.

He demanded that all army generals who aided and abetted former military dictator retired Gen Pervez Musharraf be tried under Article 6 of the Constitution. If this was not possible, Gen Musharraf should be released unconditionally, he added. Altaf Hussain asked youths to stand up to the “VIP culture”.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2014