KARACHI: Former city mayor and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) dissident Mustafa Kamal on Wednesday said the venue of his party’s first rally would be Bagh-i-Jinnah near the Quaid-i-Azam’s mausoleum.

Talking to reporters at his DHA residence, Mr Kamal claimed that his party received a tremendous response from across Pakistan and other parts of the world wherever the Pakistani community lived.

He announced that he and his aides would soon be in the streets of Karachi for a direct contact with the people. “Right now, we are meeting people here from different walks of life,” he said. “You are witnessing all this yourself how youngsters, senior citizens, women and professionals are coming here only to welcome us. Not only this, I have also been receiving messages and calls from across the world for which I am thankful to all the people who are contacting us on their own.”

On Tuesday, Mr Kaimkhani had expressed the resolve to take his unnamed party from the confines of its DHA headquarters to all parts of Karachi by the end of March. When asked if the public meeting would be held in Azizabad’s Jinnah Ground, he had said: “We will make any ground of Karachi the Jinnah Ground.”

While the disclosure of the venue by Mr Kamal has brought to an end speculation regarding the venue of the first rally, the date of the planned gathering is yet to be declared.

Instead of announcing the date, Mr Kamal reiterated his stance that he and his aides were here to welcome every segment of society and appeal to the people from all walks of life to shed all fears and come forward for the betterment of the city and the country.

“I am not the kind of a person who would use the type of language they [MQM leaders] are using for me,” he replied to a question about his comments on the MQM reaction over his claims and allegations against their leader Altaf Hussain. “I am extremely hopeful that people will realise and come out of their fears listening to their conscience to join us. Our doors are open to everyone.”

Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2016

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