HYDERABAD - Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has said that Sindhi intellectuals should come forward to blur the line between old and new Sindhis in the province.

He was addressing a large gathering via telephone at Bagh-e-Mustafa Ground in Hyderabad on the 28th anniversary of the foundation of MQM. Altaf also appealed for equal rights to all provinces of the country. “My only fault was to give a place to the poor people among rich industrialists and I am the only leader who refused to be sold,” he said.

Speaking about Balochistan, he said Baloch people must be given the same rights enjoyed by the people of other provinces. Altaf said, “MQM wants to eliminate the decaying system of feudalism from the country. People should not vote for landlords in the next general elections”.

The MQM chief congratulated President Zardari on his fifth address to the parliament. He vowed to eliminate the word ‘minority’ after coming into power. Altaf Hussain also urged Sindhis to join MQM. The MQM chief said that Sindhi intellectuals should play their due role to efface the line between old and new residences of the province.

About the ‘Mehrangate’ scandal, Altaf said he was the only politician who refused to accept bribe from intelligence agencies, which was evident from the statement of Younis Habib and others who said that he had to suffer due to his refusal. Altaf said the primitive feudal system no more existed in any other part of the world except Pakistan.

“People of Pakistan also want an end to the slavery and poor peasants should also be considered human beings,” he added.

Altaf said he had been living in exile for all these years because he had committed just one sin of preferring poor people over rich industrialists. “Former chief of Mehran Bank, Younis Habib and other central characters of Mehrangate are on record to say that I was also offered money which I turned down,” he said. He stressed that it was only through forging unity that the province of Sindh could be put on a path to progress.

Altaf announced a special fund of Rs1.5 million for journalists of Hyderabad.

The MQM chief congratulated President Zardari upon his fifth address to the parliament. He vowed to eliminate the word of “minority” if it will come to power. Altaf Hussain also urged Sindhis to join MQM.

A big and beautiful stage was set up for Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) public meeting to mark the 28th Foundation Day of the party at Hyderabad. The rally was also addressed by other party leaders. Large portraits of MQM chief have been placed on surrounding areas and buildings around the venue.

MQM’s workers and supporters took out rallies in various areas and parts of Hyderabad earlier to mobilise people for the rally. The Deputy Convenor of MQM’s Liaison Committee Anees Ahmad Qaimkhani was incharge of this campaign.

About 2,000 police officials, including ladies police along with hundreds of MQM workers had been deployed for security duties.