KARACHI: MQM Founder and Leader Altaf Hussain has decided to begin hunger strike unto death.
In a statement he said, “I had promised the nation that I will not bow my head before tyrants. I will give my life, but I will never trade the interests of Mohajirs and all other oppressed and downtrodden people of Pakistan. I will redeem my promise to begin hunger strike unto death.”
“I have been forced to take this extreme step because the federal and provincial governments, army, rangers and police have started the economic and racial persecution of Mohajirs with the help of black laws.” “Even after the passage of 67 years since independence, the Mohajirs are not considered citizens of equal stature in Pakistan. Thousands of Mohajirs have been killed in a massacre that has been continuing for many years. This includes the first prime minister of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan. Killers of not a single Mohajir have been arrested.”
“The list also includes my 70-year old elder brother Nasir Hussain and 28-year old nephew, Arif Hussain. They were not affiliated with the MQM in any manner. Their killers have also not been arrested.” Hussain said, “Certain political analysts, columnists, journalists and anchor persons vilify MQM, but they never bother to think about genuine complaints of MQM.”
“People accuse MQM of starting linguistic politics in Sindh out of utter prejudice. What would they say about the news report published in the Times of UK which clearly says that Gohar Ayub, son of General Ayub, committed a massacre in Karachi just because the people of Karachi had supported Ms Fatima Jinnah in the presidential elections? Thirty Urdu-speaking people were martyred. Their houses were burnt down, and over two thousand Mohajirs were displaced.”
“There was no MQM when this incident occurred. I was only 12-year old. The intellectuals and writers should answer if this massacre were not based on prejudice. Was MQM responsible for this?” Hussain asked the anchor persons, intellectuals, journalists, columnists and political analysts to answer as to who were responsible for the massacre of Mohajirs during 70s, 80s, and 90s and why they could not be arrested.
“The provincial government of Sindh introduced a language bill and imposed a quota system to drive a wedge between permanent residents of Sindh. Mohajirs, who were protesting peacefully against these, were subjected to terrorism. Hundreds of thousands of Mohajirs were forced to leave their lands, houses, business and properties and displaced from Interior Sindh. Where are the elements responsible for this massacre? What action has been taken against them so far?”
“Peaceful processions of MQM were fired upon on 31st October 1986 in Sohrab Goth area in Karachi and Market Chowk in Hyderabad. Dozens of peaceful MQM workers were martyred, and hundreds were injured.”
“The peaceful Mohajir localities of Qasba and Aligarh were attacked on 14th December 1986. Armed assailants killed several hundred people mercilessly. Mohajir women were abused, and even innocent children were not spared. We have evidence of this bloodshed. Was any operation conducted against the people responsible for this carnage? Was anyone arrested and punished?”
“Armed terrorists entered in Hyderabad on 30th September 1988 and fired indiscriminately on peaceful Mohajirs busy in their daily routine. This massacre continued for over half an hour. Army, Rangers and Police did not arrive to help these Mohajirs, and many were put to death within half an hour. I ask why no operation was conducted to arrest the people responsible for this terrorism. Who were the people responsible for this barbarism”
“Terrorists wearing police uniforms besieged Pukka Qila in Hyderabad on 26th and 27th May 1990. They disconnected water and electricity supply. When women holding Quran on their heads came out against this oppression, the barbaric terrorists opened fire. The massacre continued for two days, and hundreds of Mohajirs mothers, sisters, elders and youth were killed. Even ambulances were not allowed to enter for removing dead bodies. The dead had to be buried inside Pukka Qila Ground.”
Mr Hussain said that there is no Mohajir locality in Karachi, which has not been attacked. “In late 80s the establishment formed a terrorist organization by the name of PPI which carried out massacres of Mohajirs in Green Town, Rafa-e-Aam, Alfalah Society, Jalalabad, Model Colony, Khawaja Ajmer Nagri, and other localities. No one responsible for these massacres has been brought to justice. No action has been taken against them.”
“We tried to stir the world conscience on the organized genocide of Mohajirs. We sent all the details to Amnesty International, Asia Watch, UN Human Rights Commission and rights organisations in Pakistan, but no one took any notice of this barbarism.”
He said: “After a long struggle of 37 years I have reached a final conclusion that the powerful Pakistani establishment, feudal lords and ruling mafia not only harbour intense prejudice against Mohajirs but also they want to eliminate them from Pakistan.”
“This establishment has not accepted Mohajirs even after the passage of 67 years. Nothing can be more painful for Mohajirs that their patriotism is being called into question.”
“Mohajirs have given sacrifices for Pakistan more than two times. They laid down their lives during the Pakistan Movement. Later they stood with the Pakistan Army in East Pakistan during 1971. They supported Pakistan Army and fought along with them. Unfortunately, they are still languishing in Red Cross camps for siding with Pakistan.”
Mr Hussain said that MQM is the foremost political party in Pakistan that preaches peace. “MQM had demanded an impartial and transparent operation against criminals, killers, and terrorists in Karachi. Before the start of the operation the Supreme Court had said that all political parties in Karachi had formed militant groups. When the operation started only the MQM was single out and victimized,” he said.
“Once again people of Karachi have been deceived. They have been made a victim of prejudice once again. Over 4000 MQM workers have been arrested. Raids were conducted at thousands of homes. No resistance was encountered at any place from anyone. What could be the bigger proof of our guiltlessness and peacefulness.”
“I ask if the head office of any other political or religious party has also been raided. Has the central leader of any other party been arrested? Have workers of any other political party killed extrajudicially after being subjected to inhuman torture in custody? Workers of which other political parties have been made to disappear after their arrests? About which political party has the Rangers announced that all of its office-bearers will be arrested.”
“It is the height of injustice that In-charge of Co-ordination Committee Kahfilwara and member Qamar Mansoor were arrested in a raid at Nine Zero on the 29th night of Ramzan. The raid was conducted at the time of Sehri due to which many people had to fast without eating Sehri. Political analysts, columnists, journalists and anchor persons know Qamar Mansoor very well. They should decide for themselves if Qamar Mansoor could be a terrorist.”
Hussain said that the establishment of Pakistan operates about the law and the constitution. “It is unfortunate that no political party in Pakistan is democratic in the true sense of the word. Directly or indirectly they are all agents of the establishment and want to perpetuate the status quo in Pakistan.” “Details of Asghar Khan Case in the Supreme Court of Pakistan are on record. It can be seen as to which political parties received money from the establishment. The list includes the name of the current prime minister and many other senior leaders of leading political parties.”
“The current Defence Minister gave a statement that two former heads of the ISI used Imran Khan for holding the sit-in in Islamabad. Funding was arranged through industrialists. Prominent people were asked to join the PTI and media was forced to cover the sit-in.”
He said: “I have spent my life so that Mohajirs may get a respectable position in Pakistan. I have tried everything to stop the persecution of Mohajirs, but I have not been successful in getting justice for them.”
Altaf said: “I have been left with no other option in these circumstances but to begin a Hunger strike unto death. Arrangements for the hunger strike have started, and I will start it soon after getting permission from the local administration.” Hussain directed the Co-ordination Committee to decide about the MQM after his death. “It will be up to you to continue the movement or announce its end. Whatever decision you take, I bequeath you to remember the families of the martyrs and workers in jail.”