KARACHI - Being perturbed at the prospect of re-elections in Karachi over the poll rigging allegations, MQM chief Altaf Hussain has said if the ‘establishment’ doesn’t like the mandate of his party, it should detach Karachi from the rest of the country.

Almost all the parties have strongly protested over the reported massive rigging by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement activists in Karachi and Hyderabad; some even boycotted the polls while the calls for re-polling on seats won by MQM are growing.

“Separate Karachi (from the rest of the country) if you dislike its people’s mandate,” Altaf Hussain said on Monday while addressing his supporters via telephone at his party’s Headquarters, Nine Zero. Altaf warned the ‘establishment’ that there were playing with fire.

‘Instead of abusing Karachi and its people’, the port city should be separated from rest of the country, he said. “If you didn’t stop playing with fire, it would burn down the entire Pakistan,” he snapped, adding at the same time that he was not issuing any threats to anyone. “The nations which are pushed to the wall often choose to build their separate home (land),” he went on to say.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) staged a set-in Karachi on Monday to protest against the rigging. Altaf Hussain warned the party against alleging the MQM for rigging. Saying that he does not believe in giving threats, the MQM chief issued a threat that his party’s workers can give a lesson to those staging sit-in at the TeenTalwar in Clifton.

“Altaf Hussain should not be blamed if a war breaks out among the people,” he warned, adding whoever attempted to conduct propaganda ‘will face a war’. “We will see how many big shots come out to bully us,” he said. “If MQM carried out rigging (in Karachi) then what made the tsunami disappear in Punjab,” he argued. Interestingly, the PTI also staged a protest in Lahore the same day against rigging in Punjab.

Altaf alleged that hatred was being spread against MQM across the country and regretted that his party ends up facing blames for every wrongdoing that it never commits.

He warned the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to reach a decision with honesty or else “they will not be able to find any shelter”. The MQM Chief dared anyone who is opposing his party to come up with evidence and warned that if opposition was not stopped, he would not take long to let his associates free to act on their own. “How can I control them and for how long,” he added.

The MQM chief alerted Karachiites to get ready to stand up against the bullying and that soon a call will be issued to them in this regard. He said if only one province (Punjab) is considered Pakistan, then the entire country would suffer damage. He said if a member of his party has gone out of line it is because of the latter’s own choice. However, he added, that there was no place for criminals in his party.