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Large number of activists of Mutahida Qaumi Movement participating in a gathering held in connection with the 27 foundation day of MQM at Jinnah Ground near 9-Zore on Friday. – Online Photo/ Hamid Hussain

KARACHI: In what appears to be a major policy shift, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain has invited the Taliban to join hands with their fellow countrymen, instead of disassociating themselves from Pakistan.

“I ask the Taliban leaders that this country came into being as a result of great sacrifices. Come and join Pakistanis…do not disassociate yourselves from Pakistan,” he said in a telephonic address at the 27th foundation day of the MQM on Friday.

The day was celebrated across Pakistan and Mr Hussain’s address was simultaneously relayed to 34 places in the country. Carrying MQM’s tri-coloured flags and portraits of Mr Hussain, a large number of people attended the main rally at Karachi’s Jinnah Ground.

Condemning the United States for drone attacks in tribal areas, Mr Hussain said that the US was violating Pakistan’s sovereignty and killing innocent people, adding that drone attacks were being carried out in clear violation of the UN charter.

He assured the government and the armed forces that every Pakistani would support them if they took ‘meaningful steps’ with courage and bravery to stop drone strikes and part ways with the carrot-and-stick game of superpowers. —Staff Reporter