KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Sunday staged a massive rally at Jinnah Park to express solidarity with Pakistan Army in the backdrop of the ongoing military operation in restive North Waziristan.
Representative delegations from various political and religious parties attended the gathering. Prominent among them were Nehal Hashmi, Saleem Zia, Ilahi Bakhsh Soomro from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Sheikh Rasheed from Awami Muslim League (AML) and Ahmed Raza Kasoori from All Pakistan Muslim League (APML).
In his telephonic address from London, key speaker and MQM chief Altaf Hussain criticised singling out former military president Pervaiz Musharraf saying if you want to prosecute Musharraf under Article 6, you should also prosecute all his abettors.
Altaf that entire nation is behind the army in the Zarb-e-Azb operation in North Waziristan to weed out terrorists. MQM has staged a fabulous gathering to express solidarity with Pak Army as everyone can witness that large number of people have gathered here to express their love with the country`s soldiers, he added.
“Well done Pakistan Army, well done our soldiers, we all are united to support you! I want to congratulate Pakistan Army and its personnel including generals, core commanders and Jawans and want them to see that the whole nation not only loves you but is also praying for your victory.” He said the enemies sowed seeds of sectarianism in the country. Terrorists want to impose "Kalashnikov Shariah" in the country, he added.
The MQM chief asked the gathering to stand up and salute Pakistan Army for their endeavours. “We offered our unconditional support to armed forces in the past and we offer our support again,” he said. The armed forces gave terrorists ample time to comply with the country’s laws, and now they are defeating enemies on every front while showing extreme restraint and patience.
Unveiling his party’s future line of action, he said, terrorism would be eliminated in the first phase and then accountability process against the feudal lords will be launched. Altaf said many people have looted money from national exchequer and stashed it abroad. “Looted money will be brought back to the country.”
Calling for the abolition of discriminatory educational system in the country, Altaf Hussain said that currently there are a large number of ghost educational institutes in country. “I will task AML chief Sheikh Rasheed to take action against the people involved in such practices,” he added.
Talking about the Pervaiz Musharraf treason trial, MQM chief said “if you want to prosecute Musharraf under Article 6, you should also prosecute all his abettors”. Criticising the government for ‘misuse’ of the Article 6 of the constitution in Musharraf case, he said, Article 6 also has 6a, 6b and 6c sub sections, as he demanded that Musharraf’s successor General Kayani should be locked next to Musharraf’s house.
Altaf said his party wanted to establish a society where all Pakistanis irrespective of their creed and sect could have equal rights and no one should be allowed to terrorise citizens. Once MQM comes into power, it would introduce a policy of national integration which would become an example for the rest of the world, he added. He said that MQM would resolve the power and water shortage in the country.
Talking about the judicial system in the country, MQM chief said his party would introduce a justice system wherein poor would also be able to knock at the door of Supreme Court. MQM, he said, wanted to bring true democratic system in the country where there will be no political victimisation and no sectarian or other violence.
Earlier, MQM leader Faisal Sabzwari in his address said “our elders established Pakistan after giving great scarifies and we will save our motherland. We will not take rest until the elimination of the terrorists”. He said the entire nation stands behind the soldiers of Pakistan’s armed forces who are sacrificing their lives for stamping out terrorism. He said the terrorists spared no one and killed people belonging to every ethnicity. They did not even spare mosques, religious seminaries, shrines and the army installations, he added.
Sindh minister Rubina Qaimkhani lauded MQM for holding Pak Army solidarity rally and said “we all are one unit when Pakistan is in trouble”. She said political forces would pull the country out of crises. “Pakistan army is fighting against Taliban in North Waziristan while we had always been with armed forces and would remain so,” she stated.
Addressing the rally, AML chief Sheikh Rasheed called for an immediate release of Rs17 billion for the internally displaced persons (IDPs). He lamented that PML-N led federal government was spending a whopping amount of Rs50 billions on the project of metro busses while billions of rupees were allocated for laptops schemes and Benazir Bhutto Income Support Program (BISP) but only Rs1 billion was spent on IDPs. Rasheed said that winning hearts of IDPs was key to success in the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan.
AML chief said Pakistan Army was fighting an undeclared war and there was no threat to Pakistan from across the borders. He was of the view that Pak Army was fighting this war with a strategy and it is important to show unity at this critical juncture. “Pakistan army is the largest army in the Islamic world. In Libya and Iraq, army was weakened first.” Every conspiracy against Pakistan Army would be foiled, he commented.
Arrangements for Iftar were made at the rally venue. MQM deputy convener said that more than 1.5 million lunch boxes were prepared for it. He said that MQM is not holding this gathering to make any Iftar record but “we have contacted the people to ensure their maximum participation in the solidarity rally as it is a crucial time, and the nation should pay tribute to Pak Army and uplift their moral”.
On the occasion, heavy contingents police and rangers were deputed in and around the Jinnah Park, which is adjacent to Mazar-e-Quaid. Walkthrough gates were placed at the entrance points. 16 snipers were also deputed at the high rises in the surrounding area. Earlier, the BDS after hours long inspection of the site gave clearance and handed over the charge to civil administration while rescue service department including fire brigade, KKF, Edhi and others were present to cope with any untoward situation.