KARACHI - MQM chief Altaf Hussain has expressed his ‘sadness’ over a statement of additional interior secretary and DG passport regarding his NICOP issue.
In a statement on Monday, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief said the statement of additional secretary that he (Altaf) had not submitted any application yet for obtaining NICOP (National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis) was incorrect.
Altaf Hussain said, “I need to convey federal government and higher authorities of interior ministry that I handed over my application to Nadra officials in front of Pakistan High Commissioner to Britain Wajid Shamsul Hassan and other members of MQM Coordination Committee. Nadra officials told me to get NICOP first then apply for passport, while they took my photos and got my fingerprints to start processing for NICOP after paying the regular fee.”
MQM chief said he provided all the related documents to Nadra officials on April 4, 2014, while Wajid Shamsul Hassan was the witness for it, and interior ministry could enquire about it form him. He said Nadra officials also issued a token, which had a serial no of 2 and Nadra tracking ID # 503601007637, which proved the reality.
Meanwhile, Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasneem Aslam admitted at a press briefing that interior ministry had already received an application for NICOP from MQM chief.
Altaf said he was very disappointed that instead of issuing him the card, Narda officials were creating hurdles for him though he had completed all documental requirements. He said until he gets his NICOP card, how could he apply for the passport, he asked the authorities. He warned the authorities against discriminating against him, or MQM workers would have the right to protest peacefully all around the world.
MQM head said if he is not a Pakistani then nobody else could claim to be so. He said no one could take away his right to be a Pakistani. He said various Pakistani leaders had spent their time in exile, and “I had no wish to leave Pakistan but MQM workers compelled me to do that and wished me to lead the party from abroad because the continuous threat to my life then back in Pakistan... Since my exile, I desperately wanted to go back to my homeland... I kept working for the prosperity of Pakistan and people of Pakistan”. He said that they were still struggling for true democracy and abandonment of feudalism.
On the other hand, MQM coordination committee condemning the behaviour of Nadra authorities and interior ministry officials has demanded President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar to take notice of the issue. Terming it a conspiracy against the MQM chief, the committee demanded strict action against the officials who were creating hurdles for party chief in availing his NICOP. It further warned that in case of ignoring the issue, the party would start a protest drive across the country.