HYDERABAD, Jan 6: Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain on Friday reiterated the MQM’s opposition to the Kalabagh dam and called for an immediate end to the military action in Balochistan saying the matter should be resolved through negotiations. He was addressing MQM’s general workers belonging to 16 districts of Sindh by telephone from London.
He asked the party ministers and parliamentarians to seek guidance from the party’s ideology or leave the party if they feared uncertainty about the MQM’s future in case it decided to quit power on the Kalabagh dam issue.
Supporting repatriation of the stranded Pakistanis, the MQM leader said they should be settled in Islamabad or allowed to build homes in Punjab.
He criticized those fuelling differences between Urdu- and Sindhi-speaking people like the ’70s when nationalists at the ‘instance’ of establishment had created a rift between the two communities.
Mr Hussain said the constitution had failed to protect his party’s 15,000 workers who were allegedly killed in fake police encounters and added that 28 workers still remained missing.
He said that neither the Kalabagh dam would be built nor would he let the MQM or Urdu-speaking people support this project. He pointed out that the A.N.G. Abbasi report had called for building reservoirs and supported Bhasha and other dams.
Responding to reporters’ questions on the occasion, the MQM leader said that if the reservations of people of Sindh were removed and a majority of people supported the Kalabagh dam then his party would respect their aspirations.
He said there was deep distrust between smaller provinces and federation and called upon the centre to respect the feelings of smaller provinces. “We must decide whether we have to save Pakistan or allow a repeat of the 1971 tragedy.”
In reply to a question why the MQM was supporting a uniformed president while condemning the 1992 army operation, he said that after the Quaid-i-Azam and Liaquat Ali Khan Pakistan had never been free from generals and MQM was struggling for a democratic order while being part of the system.
Condemning the military operation in Balochistan, he said that solution to the problem lay in negotiations. He asked whether any operation was launched in Rawalpindi following attempts on the lives of President Gen Pervez Musharraf’s and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.
He advised party workers not to pressure local body representatives for transfer and posting of policemen or other officials.
He said that initiatives should be taken for ensuring cleanliness during Eidul Azha.
Mr Hussain disputed the theory that Allama Iqbal had a dream of Pakistan because in his 1930 Allahbad address he had not even used the word of Pakistan. He said that people of Pakistan were being taught distorted history.