Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Pakistan has demonstrated its public support by holding a well-attended public meeting in Nishtar Park on Friday.
It was first big show of strength since Farooq Sattar-led group disassociated itself from party founder Altaf Hussain.
“Karachiites have arrived,” was the message of what the MQM-P called it Muttahida Solidarity Gathering where MQM officials announced next mammoth public meeting would be held in Hyderabad next month. Focus of the speakers was grievances relating to the government, elections 2018 and chief ministerial slot for Karachi-based aspirant.
Although participation was not as huge as MQM public meetings had in the past, the workers were jubilant and emotionally charged meetings and continued to responded to the slogans raised by the speakers on the stage. “Nishtar Park mammoth public meeting vindicated out position that we took on August 23,” said Dr Farooq Sattar, chief of the MQM-P speaking to the supporters.
He said that the public meeting would have an impact on the results of the 2018 general elections as well because Karachiites hade proved their unity by making this show of mass support successful. “Local councils system is beauty of democracy but that lack power.
We shall opt a movement for 20 administrative units within Pakistan if local bodies department is not empowered forthwith,” he threatened the Sindh and Federal Governments. He asserted that would be last option of the MQM.
He demanded that Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), Karachi Master Plan, Sindh Building Control Authority (SCBA) and Solid Waste Management Board (SWMB) should be given under Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC). Hr also demanded that fresh census and house count in the province should be carried out to determine the urban population of the province.
“We should not be asked to present certificate of patriotism time and again as Muhajirs are children of founders of Pakistan,” Farooq said. He surged Muhajirs to remain vigilant during fresh house count and census. He said if fair census is carried the next chief minister would be from Karachi.
He said MQM had given a message of peace and love to all without discrimination of cast, colour and creed. “Where there is taxation there is representation. Karachi pays 60 percent tax to federal government and 90 percent to the province,” he said.
Senior Deputy Convenor of MQM Pakistan Amir Khan termed the year 2017 as an year of unity, love and commitment. “We shall not migrate again and continue to stay in Pakistan”, he said, adding that he would not be part of the MQM’s co-ordination committee by 2018 in order to encourage a new leadership from grass root level.
“We have committed mistakes. We accept it but now we want to move forward,” Amir said, urging the powerful authorities to respect the loyalty of Muhajir community. He called the MQM London a group of sycophants saying that Wasay Jalil and Babar Ghauri were coward who escaped Pakistan in difficult time.
Amir Khan said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was the project of country’s development. “Karachi must be given a due share in CPEC”, he demanded. Mayor Karachi Syed Waseem Akhtar said this public meeting proved that ‘Haq Parast people’ are united under the banner of MQM Pakistan.
He said MQM was now stronger than 1986. “Our party’s mandate shall be proved in the general elections in which we shall win more seats,” he said, vowing to continue struggle with dedication and sincerity.
Akhtar said that the local government was the nursery of democracy. He urged prime minister to strengthen the local government system in the country.
He reiterated his demand for development package and uplift schemes for Karachi. “City-related issues cannot be resolved without powers and finances,” he said alerting the powerful quarters that MQM would have to resort to the politics of agitation against them to receive due rights of Karachiites.
Deputy Convenor of MQM Pakistan Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that Karachiites do not count chairs but they hit the chairs. He said no one could divide MQM and it would remain a distant dream of conspirators. MPA Rauf Siddiqui congratulated the party’s co-ordination committee on organising what he said ‘impressive show’ at Nishtar Park.
Opposition leader in Sindh Assembly Khuwaja Izharul Hassan challenged the opponent political parties to fill the grounds and parks of Karachi with activists like MQM did at Nishtar Park.
“We have managed this public gathering with the financial assistance of party workers,” he said. Khushbakht Shujaat urged the prime minister to empower the city’s mayor for the better future of Pakistan. Senator Mian Ateeq, Faisal Sabzwari and others also spoke.