KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement flexes its political muscles with a massive show in Liquatabad on Saturday in connection with NA-246 by-polls.

In his telephonic address to the big gathering, MQM chief Altaf Hussain said political analysts on various TV shows are narrating the stories about the party and have stated that popularity graph of the party has gone down. “Participation of thousands of people is a loud announcement that MQM’s graph has risen,” Altaf said. He urged the rally participants to display exemplary discipline to tell the world that the people still love Altaf Hussain. He said Karachiites had rejected the Taliban-apologist parties by joining the MQM public rally in a large number.

Criticising the main parties contesting the by-election, he said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is a political wing of Taliban and Jamaat-e-Islami represents Al-Qaeda while Muttahida is a liberal and progressive party. He said the citizens of Karachi do not need rule of Taliban in the city.

“Our forefathers sacrificed their lives for the establishment of the country, stop calling us traitors,” asserted the MQM chief. “In the past, Urdu-speaking people were part of MQM, but today people from all walks of life are present in this massive public gathering. I had predicted that all the past records will be broken at today’s public gathering and my prediction has come true,” he added.

Congratulating MQM candidate Kanwar Naveed Jamil in advance for his victory on April 23, the MQM chief asked the Establishment to halt doubting the loyalty of Urdu-speaking people. If you forgive us, we shall forgive your mistakes,” he added.

On the occasion, Altaf alleged ANI chief Tariq Mehboob was tortured to death in Rangers’ custody. He prayed for the departed soul of Tariq Mehbood and condoled with his family. He urged Rangers to conduct fair trail of suspects instead of torching them. The rulers should consider the issues of Sindh cities, including Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and others. “I also urge them to solve the problems of the nation and give the people of South Punjab their rights while the Foreign Ministry should look into the Kashmir issue more seriously,” said Altaf.

Denouncing sectarianism in the country, the MQM chief said it is strictly prohibited in Islam to kill anyone in the name of religion, cast or creed. “We need trade, not war. If Europe can form Europe Union after the Second World War, why Asian countries cannot create a similar body for the development of Aisa,” he questioned.

“The performance of the MQM city nazim is not hidden from the people; his services were even recognised at the international level,” he said. The MQM would continue sending middle-class talented people to the parliament for the betterment of Pakistan, he said.

Earlier, addressing the rally, MQM senior leader Dr Farooq Sattar said the masses would reject all allegations against the party by supporting Kanwar Naveed Jamil and he would emerge victorious.

Faisal Sabzwari said NA-246 is stronghold of the party and the people thinking to defeat it are living in fools’ paradise. Terming PTI the enemy of Karachi, Faisal Sabzwari said PTI wants to imprison the Karachiites by raising the slogans of liberating Karachi.

“We are the loyal followers of Altaf Hussain and nothing can eliminate our love for him,” said MQM Coordination Committee member Haider Abbas Rizvi. He said the MQM, being a liberal party, has been working for the middle-class people. He was confident that Kanwar Naveed Jamil would emerge victorious on the polling day.