MQM Chief Altaf Hussain, in a television interview, showed he had no intention of retracting his earlier statement which effectively called for a military takeover in Pakistan. Instead, he insisted that while he wanted Martial Law-like measures, he did not support Martial Law. He also again referred to "patriotic generals and soldiers" to intervene in the political process and suggested that people should seize the land of those feudals who had diverted flood waters to save their own lands, and hang them. Clearly, the MQM Chief was playing on the prevailing sentiments of the mass of the Pakistani public against the corruption within the leadership and the feudal machinations that aggravated the flood misery of the people. However, there is a more dangerous overtone to his calls because while he may deny his support for a military takeover, he is certainly calling for a derailment of the present democratic political process. It is still a mystery as to who will assess which general and soldier is "patriotic" since one assumes the military like all other state institutions is "patriotic" to begin with Effectively, Mr Altaf Hussain is also advocating that citizens, be they civilians, or military personnel, take the law into their own hands - a vigilante-type "justice". In a country where there is already so much violence that has become endemic over the years in society as it has become militarised, such a call for vigilantism is highly dangerous and incendiary. Instead, what the MQM Chief should have demanded was for a legal recourse against those who have diverted flood waters and so on. After all, if he has also expressed support for the judiciary then he should use legal means to deal with injustices prevalent in society - not simply push people into taking the law into their own hands. Already we are seeing the results of this in the target killings in Karachi. It is also a pity that Mr Hussain has not only taken up British nationality but also continues to reside in London and issue edicts for his workers from the safe confines of his foreign base. Instead, as the leader of one of the mainstream political parties, he should be in Pakistan and leading his call for reform and revolution from the front. While all Pakistanis also agree with his condemnation of our ruling elite who maintain palaces and expensive properties abroad, one has to wonder how the MQM Chief manages to finance his residency in the UK. While all concerned Pakistanis share his sentiments about the corrupt political elite, his party has been part of that elite for some time now. Why have his party's elected representatives gone with the tide of corruption rather than seeking to change the system from within given how they have held power and been in government? One cannot help but be suspicious not only as to the timing, but also the intent of the MQM Chief's statement, which will further weaken an already weak and corrupt political facade of democracy in Pakistan.