Daily The News: MQM to join Qadri’s long march
KARACHI: MQM chief Altaf Hussain addressed a charged crowd of workers at Nine-Zero late on Sunday night and appealed to them to collect funds to enable the party to participate in Minhaj-ul-Quran’s long march to Islamabad.
He urged the armed forces, the government and all other forces to support him and Tahirul Qadri in their bid to save Pakistan.
He asked supporters to be ready for the march and said he had never raised the slogan of separation despite the killing of his party workers.
Earlier, deputy convener of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Dr. Farooq Sattar had announced that the MQM will take part in Minhaj-ul-Quran’s march to Islamabad on January 14.
“After deliberating over the invitation received from Minhaj-ul-Quran chief Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri, the coordination committee of the MQM in Karachi and London has decided to accept the invitation of the long march to be held on January 14,” he told an urgently called press conference at MQM’s head office Nine-Zero.
“There is no better time to reform the corrupt system as general elections are nearing and the present government is completing its term,” he added.
Sattar said that the electoral reforms proposed by Dr. Qadri will pave the way for real democracy and insisted that the MQM does not want to postpone the elections.
“Dr. Qadri’s call to reform the partial, feudal and corrupt system will only pave the way for real democracy and it’s the vision that the MQM chief Altaf Hussain has fought to instill in his 33 years of political struggle,”
When asked if his party’s decision to endorse Qadri’s long march will affect its relationship with the ruling PPP, Sattar said that as a coalition partner, the MQM reserves the right to express its stand on various issues, which it is doing.
“We are a separate party and we have the right to take a stand on what we feel is right,” he said.
Sattar was of the view that before the interim set-up is installed all the stakeholders should be consulted and taken on board.
“If the big parties decide to ignore other voices in the country, then the interim set-up will run the risk of being tagged as ‘fixed’ so it’s essential that the major political parties participating in the next elections should listen to all stakeholder,” he said.
Sattar was of the view that the MQM has always been against the corrupt system that makes room for a small coterie of families to take part in the election and decide the fate of the nation.
“This is the opportunity to carry out drastic reforms in the system that allows the common man to take part in politics and contest elections,” he said.
He further said that Dr. Qadri’s vision of electoral reforms of the system, which requires millions of rupees to contest elections, is akin to MQM chief Altaf Husain’s manifesto.
“As our record shows, the MQM has sent members of the middle-class and lower middle-class to parliament which never happened in the country in the past. When we tried to spread the revolution across the country we were subjected to military operations in the past.”