From Zeeshan Mirza
KARACHI – Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Sunday said all pro-democratic forces in Pakistan are united to foil all conspiracies to derail the democracy.
Mr Hussain said that the countrymen are united to defend democracy and they support President Asif Ali Zardari. He was addressing the participants of “Istehkam-e-Jamhoriyat Rally” organised by his party from Numaish to Tibet Centre here via telephone from London.
He advised the leaders of PML-N to wait for the election and participate in it and come into power through democratic process. His party will have no objection if the PML-N comes into power through a democratic process, he added.
Altaf also expressed gratitude to the leaders of PPP, PML-Q and PML-F for joining the rally and said they have showed their unity and support through their participation. He observed that the policies of the government be criticised and protest be registered in a sober manner.
He also called upon the leaders of PPP, MQM, PML-Q and ANP to organise another rally with the title of “Peace Rally” in the city. He also proposed that all parties should settle their differences through dialogue because the country is passing through a difficult phase.
He said we have to protect the country and the democracy and we have to eliminate poverty and unemployment to bring prosperity. He also appealed to the government to appoint honest and devoted persons in Pakistan Steel Mill, Railways, PIA and other entities to make the same profit generating units.
Altaf Hussain also directed the office bearers of all units and zones of his party to offer thanks-giving prayers –”Nawafil-e-Shukrana” on successful holding of “Istehkam-e-Jamhoriyat Rally”. During the telephonic address of Altaf, PPP leaders, Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq and Agha Siraj Durrani also talked to him and expressed gratitude for organising the event.
Altaf Hussain also raised the slogans “PPP-MQM Ittehad Zindabad, Pakistan Zindabad and Jamhoriat Zindabad”. Besides small rallies
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taken out from different parts of the city, the MQM leaders, activists and supporters including women and children also reached Karachi from other parts of Sindh to join the event.
Stringent security arrangements were made for the rally by the police, rangers and wardens of City District Government Karachi.
Earlier, Interior Minister Rehman A. Malik, Sindh Home Minister, Manzoor Hussain Wasan also reviewed the security arrangements.
PPP leaders, Ms. Sharmila Farooqi, Agha Siraj Durrani and Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq. Members MQM Rabita Committee, Raza Haroon, Dr. Saghir Ahmed, Gulfaraz Khan Khatak, Yousuf Shahwani, Anees Ahmed Qaimkhani and office bearers of various wings of MQM, party workers and supporters in large number attended the event.Addressing a workers’ convention by phone from London, Mr Hussain said it was the democratic right of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz to lodge a protest against or criticise the policies of President Asif Ali Zardari but while doing so one should demonstrate respect for the office of the president and refrain from using derogatory language. A large number of MQM supporters had gathered in Karachi and 33 other cities and towns across the country to listen to Mr Hussain’s speech.
The MQM chief condemned the PML-N for using objectionable language against the elected president. He assured people that MQM along with the Pakistan People’s Party would safeguard the democratic system.
He said the MQM would hold a rally in Karachi on Sunday in protest against the derogatory language that was used against President Zardari by the PML-N leaders at their public meeting in Lahore on Friday.
He said Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had made a joke of Habib Jalib’s famous poem, as he himself lived in a palace unlike the poet who was the voice of the common man.
“Criticism is the democratic right of the PML-N but they should check their tongue, otherwise we know how to hold others’ tongue,” he warned.
Mr Hussain appealed to the PML-N leadership not to cross the limits for the sake of democracy.