MQM demonstrates strength on Foundation Day
           
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By Azfar-ul-Ashfaque | 3/19/2016 12:00:00 AM
KARACHI: Putting to rest speculations about his `death` in London, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain spoke on Friday to participants in his party`s Foundation Day events in Karachi and Hyderabad through video-conferencing and urged Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif to embrace Mohajirs for the sake of progress and prosperity of the country.

Accompanied by senior MQM leaders, Mr Hussain was seen walking into the MQM of fices and responding to the full-throated slogans of party workers and supporters who were watching him live in London, Karachi and several other cities of the country in con-KARACHI: Putting to rest speculations about his `death` in London, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain spoke on Friday to participants in his party`s Foundation Day events in Karachi and Hyderabad through video-conferencing and urged Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif to embrace Mohajirs for the sake of progress and prosperity of the country.

Accompanied by senior MQM leaders, Mr Hussain was seen walking into the MQM of fices and responding to the full-throated slogans of party workers and supporters who were watching him live in London, Karachi and several other cities of the country in con-nection with the MQM`s 32nd Foundation Day celebrations.

And when he began his speech, he showed his detractors that he still enjoyed full control over his followers as there was pin-drop silence in the packed-to-capacity Karachi`s Jinnah Ground as soon as he counted up to three.

It was MQM`s massive show of strength against the backdrop of recent rebellion in the party by a group of dissidents headed by former Karachi nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal and Anis Kaimkhani.

All roads leading to the venue were packed with MQM workers and supporters who were shouting slogans in favour of their leader. A large number of women also attended the meeting.

Although Mr Hussain did not name any individual who had heaped scorn on him after parting ways with his party, he strongly criticised a plot to break up his party.

He said that while the army was carrying out the operation Zarb-i-Azb, `known terrorists` were being patronised and given refuge in the Defence area. He said that such attempts had been made by certain quarters in the past, but it did not affect the MQM. He urged the army leadership to turn the page and embrace Mohajirs.

`We want our rights...we want elimination offeudal system and we want more province,` he said, adding that Mohajirs were looking at the army chief for the fulfilment of these `just demands`.

He strongly condemned attacks on Rangers` checkpoints in Karachi and told the Rangers chief and other senior officers that no MQM worker was involved in these acts.

`This is not the policy of the MQM. But if you have evidence [regarding MQM workers` involvement] then you can give them whatever punishment in accordance with the law and the constitution,` he added.

Mr Hussain said broadcast of his speeches had been banned but there was no ban on the media to air the programmes of his party. He appealed to the media to give due coverage tohis party.

Earlier, MQM`s senior leader Dr Farooq Sattar presented three resolutions demanding lif ting of the ban on telecasting Mr Hussain`s speeches, holding of transparent population census and creating over 20 new provinces which were unanimously adopted by the crowd.

Dr Sattar rejected allegations that the MQM had links with India or received funding from its intelligence agency RAW. `Allegations have been levelled in the media so we are responding and rejecting them in the media. We will surely approach courts if such allegations are levelled in courts.

He also called for devolution of powers to local government institutions in the true spirit of Article 140-A of the Constitution.
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