PPP and PML-N leaders flay Altaf’s statement

Pakistan Muslim League-N and Pakistan Peoples Party leaders have strongly condemned the statement of Altaf Hussain regarding the imposition of martial law.
Federal Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira has said that Altaf Hussain’s statement is against the constitution of the country. He added that the statement is also against the sentiments of the masses. He reiterated that a number of sacrifices have been made for restoring democracy in the country.

Opposition leader in National Assembly (NA) Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan expressed anguish over the comments made by Altaf Hussain.
Nisar was of the view that MQM chairman Altaf Hussain made a highly irresponsible statement in the prevailing situation adding the Supreme Court should take suo motu notice of such statement.
The Election Commission and the Supreme Court should take notice of the irresponsible comments made by Altaf Hussain, Nisar said.
Nisar alleged that despite the fact that powers from the presidency have been transferred to the Prime Minister but the decisions are still being taken by the President.
It is pertinent to mention that Altaf Hussain on Sunday demanded of patriotic Pakistan Army generals to take action against corrupt politicians.

20 responses to “PPP and PML-N leaders flay Altaf’s statement”

  1. Hypocrisy and Double Talk of Imran Khan on Martial Law – ISLAMABAD: After MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s statement regarding support for martial law-like steps, the chief of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan said his faction would back military rule for ‘stability’ of the country, ARY NEWS reports. Ref Imran Khan backs army rule, too Updated:Monday August 23 , 2010 9:55:03 PM http://www.arynews.tv/english/newsdetail.asp?nid=36706

    but read

    Today’s News [Thursday, August 26, 2010 Ramzan 15, 1431 A.H.]
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/26-08-2010/Top-Story/171.htm ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday said that MQM Quaid Altaf Hussain’s statement to incite the Army to take over could in no way be condoned.In a statement here, the PTI chairman, however, said that the MQM leader’s statement was a clear admission of the failure of the ruling coalition. He contended that instead of seeking the Army’s intervention, the MQM should have left the government and pressed for the mid-term polls.He was of the view that it was time to go for fresh elections under the aegis of the judiciary. Imran noted that it was not the military’s mandate to interfere in politics and their meddling had already cost the nation dearly.Imran lauded the Army’s role in the ongoing flood relief operations and said there was no logic in dragging it into political mopping up operations.

  2. What a Fun that arch Rivals i.e. Mr Altaf Hussain and Sir. Imran Khan share common “Goal:) lets have a look at Imran Khan’s earlier support for Musharraf Martial Law [MQM was an Ally] Imran Khan’s Support: Then Musharraf Now Taliban! DETAILS: http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/12/imran-khans-support-then-musharraf-now.html

    Imran Khan says his party would support “a Revolution” like this [read Martial Law] and guess what JANG/GEO Group are also supporting the upcoming Martial Law: Similarities between Shaheen Sehbai & Asghar Khan Letters. DETAILS: http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/11/similarities-between-shaheen-sehbai.html

    Imran supported “General Musharraf” Revolution in 1999 by supporting PCO Judiciary! Imran Khan hailed PCOed Judiciary! DETAILS: http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/08/imran-khan-hailed-pcoed-judiciary.html

  3. MQM may be thinking that martial law is more suitable to them as they have enjoyed 9 years with Musharaf. People have right to ask why MQM did not ask ex-dictator to end land lordship and punish corrupt politicians. They had backed Musharaf in each and every of his decision. Corrupt people are in every institution, why only politicians are blamed. The statement was made with ill-intent. Altaf Hussain had signed the 18th Amendment, yet now he is favouring imposition of martial law in the country. Such statements could negatively impact the democratic process.

  4. And the Lord god said “Let there be a Civilian Government and there was Civilian Government:)

    US says civilian setup is best form of govt

    WASHINGTON (updated on: August 27, 2010, 19:41 PST): The United States, in a reaffirmation of its support for democratic process following MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s proposal on martial law-like setup, has said civilian setup is the best form of government for Pakistan. “Pakistan has a civilian government and we think it is the best form of government to take,” Philip J Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, said.

    The spokesman was asked at the daily briefing to comment on Altaf Hussain’s statement that he would favour martial law if it could help resolve some of the problems facing the country currently. The United States has been supportive of democratic progress in Pakistan since 2008 elections, which saw the return of democratically elected government and parliament in the country.

  5. Quick somersault of Imran Khan [earlier supported Martial Law] ISLAMABAD: After MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s statement regarding support for martial law-like steps, the chief of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan said his faction would back military rule for ‘stability’ of the country, ARY NEWS reports. Ref Imran Khan backs army rule, too Updated:Monday August 23 , 2010 9:55:03 PM

    but read Today’s News [Thursday, August 26, 2010 Ramzan 15, 1431 A.H.] http://www.thenews.com.pk/26-08-2010/Top-Story/171.htm

    Imran reacts to Altaf’s remarks Published: August 26, 2010 http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/26-Aug-2010/Imran-reacts-to-Altafs-remarks

    Let us wait for Pir Pagara’s rebuttal on Supporting Martial Law:)

    Lets wait for Shaheen Sehbai [Group Editor The News International – presently in exile in USA:)]’s rebuttal on his earlier “columns” he wrote in The News and Jang in support of Martial Law and Military Intervention:) here is the evidence: MQM sticks to Altaf’s demand Tuesday, August 24, 2010 Shaheen Sehbai http://www.thenews.com.pk/24-08-2010/Top-Story/105.htm

    Read the “Racist and Pro Martial Law Editorial of The News” – It has been suggested that these demands are linked to the influx of ‘Sindhis’ into Karachi as a result of the floods. It is impossible to forecast what will happen in the coming days, and what will now unfold is still more uncertainty. Altaf’s call to the army Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    More Evidence of Shaheen Sehbai “inciting” Civil War in Pakistan Page 3: Monday, August 23, 2010, Ramzan 12, 1431 A.H http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/aug2010-daily/23-08-2010/main3.htm Shaheen Sehbai is a fool to the hilt who doesn’t even know that Thori Bund has nothing to do with Khursheed Shah:)

    Even More evidence of Shaheen Sehbai [Group Editor The News in Exile]’s brazen support for Martial Law and what a Shame the GEO TV owned by the same group talk of Law, Judiciary and Constitution Ad nauseam Similarities between Shaheen Sehbai & Asghar Khan Letters.

    Mr. Shaheen Sehbai, Group Editor, The News International, should have been ashamed of himself before quoting a wiretap/bug in his so-called analysis above, indeed it is shameful for an editor of one of the “leading” daily to quote Intelligence Agency Transcript. More shameful is that he is committing a treason [violating article 6 of 1973 Constitution of Pakistan] by inviting a Pakistan Army into politics. Read in his own words: Shaheen Sehbai [Jang Group] Invites Martial Law in Pakistan !

  6. Another quick somersault by Mr Altaf Hussain :))))

    Civilian govt is the best for Pakistan: US By Our Correspondent Saturday, 28 Aug, 2010 http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/civilian-govt-is-the-best-for-pakistan-us-880

    I do not favour martial law: Altaf Saturday, August 28, 2010 http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/28-Aug-2010/I-do-not-favour-martial-law-Altaf

    Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain retracting on his previous statement has said that he is against the imposition of Martial Law and if it was imposed he would oppose it strongly. In an interview to a private TV channel, MQM Chief said that by targeting few persons for accountability has deteriorated the situation and targeting only President Asif Ali Zardari is not fair at all. Government should conist of honest and sincere professionals. There is a need for the public to rebel and bring revolution in the country.” I am striving hard for democracy in the country since 32 years and how can I support traitors and undemocratic governments. I never ever favored the dictatorial government and would never do so in the future”, said Altaf Hussain. He criticised direct or indirect involvement of the army or ISI in governmental affairs.

    Responding to a question he said that in his speech he did not talk about the imposition of martial law. However, he urged that patriotic army generals should take martial law like steps against the corrupt to transform the luck of the country. Altaf Hussain said that he is not a coward and he would not back out from his statement. He said MQM is a democratic party than how can we invite martial law. He said history is witness to the fact that the country situation deteriorated further during martial law regimes it dismembered the country and the situation in Balochistan further deteriorated.

    Altaf says opposed to martial law Saturday, August 28, 2010 Ramzan 17, 1431 A.H http://www.thenews.com.pk/latest-news/408.htm

    LONDON: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain said he was absolutely opposed to marital law and his party would buck it, in case it came, News reported Saturday.

    Talking to Geo News in an interview with senior journalists Sohail Warriach, he said specific accountability served to exacerbate the circumstances in the country and it was wrong to exclusively target President Asif Ali Zardari. Stressing on the formation of government comprising honest and professional people, Altaf urged people to rise and bring about a revolution, saying, ‘I am straining for the democracy for 32 years and have never backed up military governments and undemocratic process.’

    The MQM chief said he was critical of Pak Army and the ISI taking part in politics—directly or indirectly.

    Responding a question, Altaf noted he did not refer in his speech to the imposition of martial law; instead, he mentioned patriotic generals to take martial law-like action to effect a change in the country’s fate. Refusing to back down on his statement, Altaf Hussain said, ‘How could I court martial law despite the fact that the MQM is a democratic party and never supports the military rule; instead, it would challenge it.’ In martial law eras, the overall conditions of the country went from bad to worse, as the country split in martial law and Balochistan state aggravated under army rule, he remarked.

  7. VIEW: Altaf Hussain’s martial law balloon —Imtiaz Alam
    Sunday, August 29, 2010 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20108\29\story_29-8-2010_pg3_4

    Building upon his ethnic appeal among the Urdu-speakers of Sindh, Altaf Hussain created a subservient power structure, backed by his armed loyalists, who are under orders to kill those who dare to defy the leader

    The martial law balloon floated by Mr Altaf Hussain, the MQM chief, has burst before it could even take off, thanks to an overwhelming reaction against it across all political divides, except for a media group and a bunch of beneficiaries-in-waiting. Among all democrats, Mian Nawaz Sharif and his PML-N deserve laurels for standing firm in defence of democracy and against any kind of military intervention. Quite curiously, the call for a military intervention was not addressed to the army chief, who is a professional Potohari soldier and not worthy of being “patriotic” in Mr Hussain’s eyes. The statement is tantamount to treason for fomenting a split in the army leadership and subverting the constitution. What is behind Altaf Hussain’s martial law balloon?

    Mr Altaf Hussain’s provocative call to “patriotic generals” to clean up corruption and in fact pack up the democratically elected incumbents his party is in conflictual partnership with, and Mr Nawaz Sharif’s tougher rejoinder to his mimicry in defence of democracy, however flawed it may be, brings into sharp contrast the opposite pulls of our power structure and polity. This country has seen such insidious calls for martial law, and always on the pretext of getting rid of “corrupt and inefficient” politicians, with and without the blessings of the khakis in the past — some actually materialising in one after another takeover by the military rulers that always ended in greater disasters than whatever good they had promised as our ‘messiah’.

    The urge for a messiah is as old as the helplessness rooted in the hopeless serf-feudal relationship that Mr Hussain is so fond of ‘fighting’ against while, ironically, reproducing it politically the way he lords over his political bandwagon as a feudal estate. Interestingly, Mr Hussian is himself a prototype messiah, whose political birth was midwifed by Amir-ul-Momineen General Ziaul Haq to create a countervailing urban force from among the Urdu-speaking settlers against the ‘feudal’ Bhutto’s PPP, which has to its credit that it fought against all military rulers for the restoration of democracy. Despite being a secular party and standing against religious terrorism, the MQM’s rabblerousing to “hang all the corrupt by any means” plays into the hands of the Islamic extremists who vow a bloody cleansing in a Taliban/Khomeini-style move. Even quite knowledgeable people are carried away by the fascist notion of taking a reprehensible course of mass-killing, much like the lumpen proletariat had performed on the streets of Paris during the French Revolution or the Taliban have done in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    The MQM was created on the aggressive chauvinist appeal to Urdu-speakers to maintain the privileges of the salariat and frustrate the aspirations of the growing middle strata from among the deprived nationalities—Sindhis, Pashtuns and Baloch — while overcoming its rootlessness. Quite opportunistically, it became an appendage to successive military regimes to consolidate its ethnic power base in urban Sindh against the ‘feudal’ (read rural) Sindhis. It manipulated one party/ethnic group against the other to grab a greater share at the cost of the Sindhis and joined those feudal cliques who have had always sold the interests of the Sindhis. Building upon his ethnic appeal among the Urdu-speakers of Sindh, Altaf Hussain created a subservient power structure, backed by his armed loyalists, who are under orders to kill those who dare to defy the leader (Quaid ka jo ghadar hai, maut ka haqdar hai).

    The MQM has remained in power by hook or crook for most of the time of its existence, especially during the martial laws of General Zia and General Musharraf (both quite ‘patriotic’?). The gravest worry for the MQM is that its so-called numerical ethnic majority in Karachi is under serious threat with radical demographic changes in the ethnic composition of urban Sindh. Most of the rural-to-urban migration is taking place towards Karachi. The outflow of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Pakhtunkhwa is mainly directed towards Karachi, resulting in ethnic tension between the Urdu-speakers and the Pakhtuns. Previous and recent target killings are in fact a battle for turf between the Mohajir and Pashtun mafias in Karachi, on the one hand, and to frustrate Pakhtun migration towards Karachi, on the other.

    The havoc that the floods continue to cause, especially in Sindh now, has forced hundreds of thousands of Sindhi people from upper Sindh, including the poor and bonded labourers the MQM wants to emancipate from the yoke of the feudal landlords, to migrate towards Karachi for shelter. After Mohajirs have turned into a minority in Karachi, the MQM has become intolerant of any migration from anywhere, except fellow Biharis from Bangladesh. It has taken a “principled” stand against the migration of native Sindhis towards Karachi after having been uprooted from their native places, and has demanded the registration of the “homeless in their home”. Karachi has been part of Sindh since 1795, and our Mohajir friends are asking the natives for their permit. This has brought the Sindhi, Pakhtun and Mohajir coalition partners into an ominous conflict.

    The call to the “patriotic generals” is to pressurise the PPP to stop the influx of Sindhis into Karachi, which will further reduce the numerical strength of Urdu-speakers. (It needs to be clarified that not all Mohajirs are in the MQM, not all Sindhis are in the PPP and not all Pakthuns are in the ANP). The fissures among the three coalition partners may lead to either the PPP bowing before the MQM’s demand to keep a new wave of Sindhis out of Karachi and lose its Sindhi constituency or the MQM going to any length to keep Karachi as its exclusive forte. But as the rural-to-urban migration grows and over a million Sindhis uprooted by the floods may prefer to settle in Karachi as their birthright, the Urdu-speakers may have to either contend with being a minority or make hell for whoever overtakes them. And obviously, the MQM will go to any extent to keep Karachi as its fief.

    The bottom-line is that the MQM wants to retain its most privileged position that it had consolidated with the patronage of General Musharraf for nine long years. During the reign of Chief Minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim, the MQM was the most dominant player in Sindh at the cost of the Sindhis and the PPP. It suited the MQM to have pseudo-Sindhi partners than a majority-PPP. Over half a dozen times, the MQM has threatened to quit the PPP-led coalition on one demand or the other and the PPP had to beat a retreat to keep its reconciliation policy going. When Hyderabad was reverted to its erstwhile status by the PPP, the MQM forced it to revive three districts that were created by General Musharraf to give a majority to the MQM in Hyderabad. Similarly, it kept the posts of governor, chief secretary and DCOs in Karachi in its kitty and did not let the PPP-led government have any say in the affairs of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation.

    But, perhaps, the room to make adjustments is getting too cramped. The PPP cannot abandon the poor Sindhis from seeking refuge in Karachi, nor should have the MQM — as a matter of principle — opposed it. But politics is all about constituencies and the MQM is no exception. On this issue, the MQM’s salvo has backfired and did not get any takers among both the internal and external establishments the MQM is quite embedded with. It would not like to bet its assets at the wrong time and on a wrong issue. The PPP, in the meanwhile, should cover its flanks and extend an olive branch towards Mr Sharif, who is talking sense and behaving well.

    Imtiaz Alam is Editor of South Asian Journal. He can be reached at imtiazalampak@yahoo.com

  8. A snapshot of Pakistani politicians Sunday, August 29, 2010 S Iftikhar Murshed http://www.thenews.com.pk/29-08-2010/opinion/1905.htm

    The MQM supremo, Altaf Hussain, whose histrionic outbursts from far away London mesmerise his supporters as much as they provide comic relief to others may have crossed the red line on Aug 22 by appealing to “patriotic generals” to take action against corrupt politicians. He also assured them that the MQM would “openly support” such a move. The army had toppled “political and democratic governments” in the past and “they should bring a similar martial law to weed out these corrupt political leaders.”

    The MQM’s own track record is tainted and it would have been more appropriate for Altaf Hussain to heed the timeless biblical command, “physician, heal thyself.” His appeal is confined only to unnamed “patriotic generals” and the inescapable insinuation is that loyalty to the country of the others is in doubt.

    The MQM chief has stirred a hornet’s nest and there have been accusations that he has violated article 6 of the constitution which states: “(1) Any person who abrogates or attempts to abrogate, subverts or attempts or conspires to subvert the Constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason. (2) Any person aiding or abetting the acts mentioned in clause (1) shall likewise be guilty of high treason.”

    Was Altaf Hussain merely “inebriated by the exuberance of his own verbosity” as the nineteenth century British statesman, Benjamin Disraeli, once described his archrival, William Gladstone, or was he aware of the implications? Despite his broadside, the MQM continues to be a member of the ruling coalition at the centre as well as in Sindh. The PPP has just 126 members in the National Assembly and was only able to cobble together a government by roping in the MQM, the ANP, the JUI (F) and independents. The coalition would collapse like a house of cards without the support of the 25 MQM parliamentarians.

    Altaf Hussain’s call for army intervention and the imposition of martial law is, therefore, inexplicable. Furthermore, such a move will not be validated by the Supreme Court which stated in its Jan 26, 2010 judgment on review petitions against its verdict of July 31, 2009 declaring the Nov 3, 2007 emergency illegal: “The July 31 verdict provides much needed redress as it will render considerable help in blocking the way of adventurers and dictators to creep in easily by taking supra-constitutional steps endorsed, supported, and upheld under the garb of the principle of necessity in the past which will never happen again.”

    Unfortunately, there is a burgeoning disenchantment with politicians and the democratic process in the country. A survey conducted in the major cities of Pakistan by a private television channel on Aug 23 showed that most people would accept an army takeover because the civilian government had failed miserably. In the ongoing flood disaster it was the military that had come to their help through organised relief and rescue operations. In contrast, they cited the callous indifference of the political leadership. They cannot be faulted for believing what they have seen in the print and electronic media in the last three weeks.

  9. Millions of Pound Sterling were demanded through Ms. Nasreen Jaleel and Farooq Sattar to vote for Wasim Sajjad and against Farooq Laghari – Siddiqul Farooq – PML-N Sopkesman: Updated at: 1710 Sunday, August 29, 2010, Ramzan 18, 1431 A.H http://www.jang.com.pk/jang/aug2010-daily/29-08-2010/u43878.htm

    MQM’s politics marked with gun, fear and terror: PML-N
    Saturday, August 28, 2010 Ramzan 17, 1431 A.H http://www.thenews.com.pk/latest-news/430.htm

    ISLAMABAD: Taking the controversy stirred by Altaf Hussain’s remarks to another level, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Ch. Nisar Ali Khan said MQM’s entire political history is predominantly marked with gun, fear and terror and warned it to mend its ways other wise their activities would be exposed in the National Assembly.

    The PML-N leader was addressing a press conference here at Punjab House. Nisar was very critical of MQM’s participation in General Musarraf regime and PPP’s NRO-affected government saying now the party talking about corruption in a democratic setup. He asked MQM to disclose how come a man of Altaf Hussain’s background can own an office/residence worth tens of billions of pounds in UK. Ch Nisar offered to withdraw privilege motion if MQM retracted Altaf’s statement.

  10. Mr Altaf Hussain said that “Honest Generals” should make alliance with the “People of Pakistan” for Revolution in Pakistan.

    Glimpse of “Honest Generals” and their Policies are as under: [Start from a Former Ally of MQM]

    Court orders confiscation of Musharraf’s assets By Rashid Javed Friday, 14 May, 2010 http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/04-court-musharraf-assets-missing-qs-16 ABBOTTABAD: District and Sessions Judge Abbottabad Abdul Mateen on Friday declared former president Pervez Musharraf as absconder and directed the local police to confiscate his property and submit a compliance report by May 17. Earlier on Thursday, the Peshawar High Court’s Abbottabad circuit bench, comprising of Justice Abdus Samad Khan and Justice Miftahuddin, upheld the October 30, 2009 decision of the lower court in which Pervez Musharraf was nominated as main accused in the case of a missing person from Abbottabad. The court also rejected the writ filed by the provincial government which contested that the police was unable to act against Musharraf under Sections 87 and 88. SHC issues orders to declare Musharraf a PO Tuesday, 10 Aug, 2010 http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/12-shc+issues+orders+to+declare+musharraf+a+po–bi-07

    SHC declares Musharraf an ‘absconder’ http://tribune.com.pk/story/37891/shc-declares-musharraf-an-absconder/ KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has declared former president Pervez Musharraf an absconder for not appearing in court on several notices. The verdict was given on a petition filed by Maulvi Iqbal Haider. Haider maintained that Musharraf had misused his authority and imposed the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) in the country. He requested the court to register a case of treason against Musharraf for violating the constitution. The SHC issued various notices to the former president, but when he failed to appear, declared him an absconder.

    1 – Pakistan: Madrasas, Extremism and the Military Asia Report N°3629 Jul 2002 http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-asia/pakistan/036-pakistan-madrasas-extremism-and-the-military.aspx

    1 – Elections, Democracy and Stability in Pakistan, Asia Report N°137, 31 Jul 2007 President Musharraf faces the most serious challenge to almost eight years of military rule. http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-asia/pakistan/137-elections-democracy-and-stability-in-pakistan.aspx

    2 – Pakistan: The Mullahs and the Military Asia Report N°4920 Mar 2003

    Do explain the “Guarantee of Pakistan Army” in the light of this: Do read these reports and you would be amazed to know the “reality of official capacity mean guarantee of your armed forces”

    1 – Pakistan: The Forgotten Conflict in Balochistan, Asia Briefing N°69, 22 Oct 2007http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-asia/pakistan/B069-pakistan-the-forgotten-conflict-in-balochistan.aspx

    2 – Winding Back Martial Law in Pakistan Asia Briefing N°70 12 Nov 2007

    3 – Pakistan: Karachi’s Madrasas and Violent Extremism Asia Report N°13029 Mar 2007 http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-asia/pakistan/130-pakistan-karachis-madrasas-and-violent-extremism.aspx

    4 – Pakistan: The Worsening Conflict in Balochistan, Asia Report N°119, 14 Sep 2006 – President Pervez Musharraf and the military are responsible for the worsening of the conflict in Balochistan.

    5 – The State of Sectarianism in Pakistan Asia Report Nº9518 Apr 2005

    Please explain in view of this: Soiled Hands: The Pakistan Army’s Repression of the Punjab Farmers’ Movement JULY 20, 2004 Download this report (PDF, 545.65 KB) http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2004/07/20/soiled-hands-pakistan-army-s-repression-punjab-farmers-movement-0

    Here is a glimpse of what you have demanded: General Musharraf’s Bureaucracy under PCOed Judiciary. http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2010/05/general-musharrafs-bureaucracy-under.html

  11. ANALYSIS: Dubious call to the military —Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi Sunday, August 29, 2010 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20108\29\story_29-8-2010_pg3_2

    It is easy for Altaf Hussain to raise the spectre of feudal domination because, in Sindh, the divide between feudal and non-feudal more or less synchronises with the Sindhi and Urdu-speaking divide

    The worst floods in the country’s history have hit the people of Pakistan hard but the political leaders are engaged in a self-destructive war of words. The latest round of confrontation was initiated by the chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Altaf Hussain, on August 22 by making a highly controversial statement that negated the letter and spirit of the constitution and reflected his disrespect for the democratic institutions and processes.

    All political parties and civil society groups condemned this statement. The print and electronic media took exception to this statement in varying degrees. Senior MQM leaders not only defended Altaf Hussain’s statement but also resorted to name-calling other political parties and leaders that questioned his statement. The disposition of the senior MQM leaders might have satisfied the MQM’s key organisational principle, i.e. total loyalty to the party chief, but it adversely affected the MQM’s reputation outside its strongholds in urban Sindh and generated unnecessary bitterness in politics at a time when harmony and cooperation were needed for addressing the humanitarian disaster caused by the floods.

    Altaf Hussain’s contentious statement reads: “The MQM will openly support the patriotic generals if they take any martial law-type action against corrupt politicians and feudal lords.” He also said, “If these generals can topple political and democratic governments they can also take steps to weed out corrupt politicians and feudal lords.” Defending these statements, Farooq Sattar, a senior MQM leader, said that “the country [was] in the ICU (intensive care unit) and needs surgery.”

    Altaf Hussain’s statement is objectionable for three major reasons. First, there is no provision in the constitution that allows the military to take ‘martial law-type’ action to purge what he calls corrupt politicians and feudal lords.

    Second, the MQM is part of the coalition government at the federal level and in the province of Sindh. It should have used its influence with the ruling partners to deal with these issues. The MQM could have moved a resolution in both houses of parliament and in the Sindh Assembly in support of its demand. Alternatively, the MQM could have moved a bill in the National Assembly for making laws to strip the feudal class of their land. Instead, it has bypassed parliament and its coalition partners and made a direct appeal to the military for an intervention in the political domain. This weakens constitutionalism and democracy.

    Third, why should Altaf Hussain think that he could use the military to fulfil his party agenda? The military in Pakistan does not play any political party’s game. It has its own view of politics and on politics. Whenever it assumed power it pursued its own agenda. It often tried to win over some political support to cope with the legitimacy crisis of the military regime or for civilianisation of military rule. General Pervez Musharraf used both methods and the MQM joined him in the 2002 civilianisation of his military rule.

    An objective analysis of the present National Assembly will show that the big landed aristocracy does not dominate it. Neither do they dominate all political parties. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Awami National Party (ANP) and the MQM are not controlled by feudal elements. Non-feudal elements have a significant strength in the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

    It is easy for Altaf Hussain to raise the spectre of feudal domination because, in Sindh, the divide between feudal and non-feudal more or less synchronises with the Sindhi and Urdu-speaking divide. As almost all the feudal aristocracy is Sindhi-speaking, Altaf Hussain finds it convenient to raise this issue and build pressure on his political adversaries. There is no such linguistic divide in Punjab or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

    Altaf Hussain has also cautioned his political adversaries, including the PPP, who are perceived by the MQM as challenging its monopoly on Karachi politics. The ANP is more active in Karachi now than was the case three years ago. The Sunni Tehrik is also making inroads into Karachi. Further, militant/sectarian groups are beyond the control of the MQM. The same can be said about various gangs that engage in land grabbing and other criminal activities. Consequently, the MQM finds it hard to sustain its capacity to control reward and punishment in Karachi. The MQM’s anger is building not only against the ANP but also against the PPP. The latter is viewed as being unhelpful. The perception is that the PPP may either be encouraging some of these elements or it may be trying to strengthen itself.

    In this fight for domination in Karachi, Altaf Hussain’s statement is a subtle message to the political rivals, including the PPP, that the MQM could invoke the military as its trump card.

    Another possible explanation is that Altaf Hussain must have come to believe the latest speculative reports that the PPP federal government is going to be set aside soon in view of the mismanagement of the floods, either by the Supreme Court or under military pressure or both. If President Asif Ali Zardari and the PPP government are on the way out (far from settled), then the MQM may be thinking of pre-positioning itself for the post-PPP era.

    The MQM leaders are wrong to assume that if the military can fight terrorism and manage rescue and relief work for the flood-affected people, it can also weed out feudal and corrupt politicians. These are two different domains requiring different strategies. For fighting terrorism or relief work the military relies on its organisational skills, discipline and technical know-how. However, the military cannot fulfil the MQM wish list without violating the constitution and parliament.

    The experience of four military governments in Pakistan shows that the military cannot implement far reaching socio-economic changes and address the problem of fragility of political institutions. Military rule causes the atrophy of civilian institutions and processes and the military ends up spending more energy in sustaining its rule rather than changing the socio-economic and political status quo.

    The military has restored its image by staying on the sidelines and letting the political process unfold. Its counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency work has won respect within and outside Pakistan. The flood relief work is the latest example of its positive role. These achievements will be neutralised if the military steps directly into politics on the assumption that some political leaders would support its expanded role. The top brass should not entertain political ambitions because it will trap the military in a no-win situation.

    Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi is a political and defence analyst

  12. EDITORIAL: Altaf Hussain’s ‘clarification’ Monday, August 30, 2010 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20108\30\story_30-8-2010_pg3_1

    MQM chief Altaf Hussain has felt compelled by the storm of criticism on his statement regarding a military intervention in the country’s affairs to ‘clarify’ what he meant in a television interview. It is debatable however whether the ‘clarification’ has helped or only made confusion worse confounded. In the long, rambling interaction, Altaf Hussain said he never wanted martial law but a “martial law-like intervention” to change the country’s fate. Not content with appealing to “patriotic generals” (are there any of the other kind?), the MQM chief also dragged the Supreme court (SC) into his ‘revolutionary’ ramblings, referring to the power of the SC to order the army under Article 190 of the constitution to clean up the system. Altaf wants an ‘honest’ government of patriotic generals, retired judges, bureaucrats, intellectuals and journalists, i.e. what he calls a modified Bangladesh model. Regarding his fulminations against feudal landowners, some of whom have displayed their penchant for considering themselves above the law by carrying out illegal breaches of bunds to save their lands in the ongoing floods, the suspicion cannot be wished away that it is his anti-Sindhi bias that informs his seemingly ‘revolutionary’ diatribe against feudalism. Currently, what worries the MQM above all else is the influx of Sindhi displaced persons into Karachi and the other cities of Sindh, thereby threatening the ethnically-based hegemony of the MQM in Sindh’s urban areas.

    Pakistan is no stranger to military or authoritarian dispensations. Whether the military has ruled directly (for more than half of our history) or indirectly (through imposed ‘technocratic’ regimes), each time the result has been an unmitigated disaster. Why then would anyone in their right mind now propose something that has brought so much grief to our people? There may, however, be method in this madness. The whiff of conspiracy is once again in the air. Altaf’s proposed ‘coalition’ of the army, judiciary, sections of the media and others fits neatly into the current divide in the country’s polity. Altaf holds that those who rely on a continuation of the political process and repeated elections in order to weed out the bad and usher in the better in the system are bound to be disappointed. His impatience with that protracted process thus expresses itself in one more version of a military-led anti-democratic ‘coup’.

    However, all is not dark on the horizon. It is heartening to note that most of the political forces across the spectrum and enlightened opinion have been harshly critical of the MQM chief’s plan. Whereas there is truth in Altaf’s assertion that most of the political leaders in our history have been the products of martial law (conveniently deleting his own and the MQM’s name from that list), the sea change discernible in our political culture is that whereas the overwhelming majority of those with some such taint in their past have moved on the basis of experience towards a recognition of the necessity of a continuing political process through democratic means, Altaf Hussain has gone into reverse gear in touting a return to autocracy.

    There has been much air time and column space devoted in recent days to the contrast between the efficient response of the military and the laggardly functioning of the civilian governments to the flood emergency. What is forgotten in this misguided glorification of the men in uniform is that they have, as in the past, risen to the challenge in support of the civil administration and, given their capacity, delivered in fine fashion. That is to be expected of a disciplined and organised force doing its duty. The scale of the disaster would have put any government against the wall. On balance, despite flaws and gaps, the flood relief effort seems to have geared up, albeit in a delayed fashion. The real challenges of course lie ahead. The last thing required right now is the cat among the pigeons Altaf has unleashed to cast doubts about the democratic dispensation’s future. *

  13. ROVER’S DIARY: Extra-constitutional politics —Babar Ayaz
    Tuesday, August 31, 2010 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20108\31\story_31-8-2010_pg3_4

    If the MQM wants to fight against the remnants of feudalism, it should first join hands with the Left in rural areas and demand land reforms, minimum wages for the agriculture labour and return of agriculture land allotted to the generals to the landless peasants

    Writing on the politics of floods in my article ‘Politics of floods and meeting the challenge’ last week (Daily Times, August 24, 2010), I had concluded, “Let us hope when the monsoon clouds thin out, the Pakistani phoenix proves me wrong and it rises from the rivers of the country. Amen!” But before I could finish my four letters ‘Amen’, Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM’s) supreme leader dashed my hope and threw in a highly controversial statement taking the politics of the floods several notches up.

    First let us recap the main points raised in his speech before analysing them. He declared: “We will support any such move made by the patriotic generals of the army on the pattern of martial law to abolish the oppressive feudal and tribal political system of the country and rid the country of corrupt politicians.”

    Speaking about foreign policy, Altaf Hussain said that the foreign policy of the country was not independent. We formulate our foreign policy by taking dictation from foreign powers. In contrast to this, our neighbour has a sound and effective foreign policy free from the taint of foreign influences.

    He praised the army as an institution that has always been sacrificing for the country but also criticised it for sacking democratic governments at the whims of a few generals. He asked: “If they can dismiss elected governments to extend their rule and that of corrupt politicians, then why can they not take any action to root out the menace of corruption and abolish the oppressive feudal system from the country?”

    Now let us discuss these three major points of Mr Altaf Hussain’s speech. The strong reaction against the suggestion of any ‘pattern of martial law’ has been outrightly rejected by all political parties and the media. Only the MQM website poll shows overwhelming support of the idea, but then it is not surprising because most of the participants in this poll are likely to be party workers, who visit the site every day. The good thing is that all other political parties in parliament and outside did not support the invitation to the army. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N’s) Saad Rafiq was honest enough to admit in a TV discussion that though like the MQM his party had supported military takeovers in the past, they have learnt from their mistake and would resist any move to impose military rule. Unfortunately, the MQM, which has a strong middle-class base in Urdu-speaking Sindhis, has perhaps not learnt any lesson from the history of this country. In the past, naïve — or should we say conniving — politicians have played into the hands of the army to destabilise an elected government and then to invite the so-called ‘saviours’.

    Political issues should be settled within the framework of a constitution. The MQM has a right to leave the ruling coalition, gather support of the opposition and other smaller parties in parliament and submit a no-confidence motion. But it has no right to call for extra-parliamentary measures by an army that is supposed to be an institution working under the Ministry of Defence. Unless we reduce it to an arm of the government and cut out its rule, the country would not be able to develop as a democracy.

    Undoubtedly the army has played an important role in the flood relief and rescue efforts, but this is in aid of the elected government because they have been commissioned to assist. The funds for these efforts are not coming from the heavens to the army, but are being billed to the government. But the credit for building an image that the army is doing relief and rescue work goes to its excellently managed public relations team lead by Major General Athar Abbas. And also to a great extent to our TV channels journalists who are embedded with the army. On the other hand, the civilian federal and provincial governments have not been able to take the credit where it is due. Instead of projecting the relief work that has already been done, their untrained public relations teams only project the visits of the VVIPs and VIPs to the relief camps.

    So if Altaf Hussain has an impression that this is the time to attack feudal and corrupt politicians and invite the army because the image of the army is once more at its peak, he has misread the situation on the ground. I am saying this because the poor MQM leaders in the country, who have to justify an inappropriate statement of their leader, say that the statement was in reaction to the pain of the flood affected people being felt by their supreme leader.

    The slogan that the feudal and corrupt leaders should be removed may sound attractive to the people who do not think of the long-term consequences of inviting the third force. What Altaf bhai needs to study is Ayesha Siddiqa’s Military Inc. to refresh his memory that post-independence day army generals who have been allotted agriculture land are feudals. They are a shoe-in to the true definition of feudal because the land was allotted to them in return for providing their services to the armed forces. Was that not one of the major factors in the creation of feudalism?

    There is no denying the fact that there is a quasi-feudal system in southern Punjab and Sindh. But it is losing its feudal social grip not because any military ruler has contributed in the weakening of the feudal system. It is the Left in Pakistan that created the anti-feudal movement since the inception of Pakistan, and a feudal leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto amplified the message interestingly. So if the MQM wants to fight against the remnants of feudalism, it should first join hands with the Left in rural areas and demand land reforms, minimum wages for the agriculture labour and return of agriculture land allotted to the generals to the landless peasants.

    On the issue of corruption, it should be remembered that all the generals who ruled this wretched country came in the name of weeding out corruption, and all left us with a new set of corrupt officials and politicians. Interestingly, the middle-class corrupt bureaucracy who guides the politicians is seldom called to the deck.

    Lastly, the cack-handed statement blaming the political government for foreign policy was a surprise, as it came from a leader who knows well that all important foreign policy and national security decisions are made by the khakis he is inviting to take over. Can the rank and file of the MQM advise their leader to cool it please?! Such statements only damage the image of the party among saner people and make the task of defending him difficult by the party leaders on the ground. It also makes conspiracy theorists wonder whether he is market-testing for an army takeover.

    And lastly to an ‘ahlay zuban’ Altaf bhai, may I remind you of Mir Taqi Mir’s:

    “Mir kya saada hain beemar howay jis kay sabab;

    Usi attar kay londay say dawa mangtey hain.”

    (You are a simpleton Mir, the apothecary who made you ill;

    You seek remedy from his son.)

    The writer can be reached at ayazbabar@gmail.com

  14. Imran Farooq’s murder linked to rows within MQM party- by Farhad Jarral 27 September 2010 http://criticalppp.com/archives/24436

    Imran Farooq’s Murder: Altaf may not return to lead the ‘revolution’ By Shiraz Paracha 19 September 2010 http://criticalppp.com/archives/23094

    MQM leader Imran Farooq assassinated in London 16 September 2010 http://criticalppp.com/archives/22940

    BBC Hard Talk : MQM Muhammad Anwar Part 1

    BBC Hard Talk : Part 2 MQM Muhammad Anwar

    Altaf accuses foreign powers of plotting to eliminate him
    By Azfar-ul-Ashfaque Monday, 27 Sep, 2010 http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/altaf-accuses-foreign-powers-of-plotting-to-eliminate-him-790

    Mr Hussain said the murder of Dr Imran Farooq was a link in the chain and news analysis and columns published in the international press gave a clear indication about which party and personality were being targeted. He referred to the BBC programme “Hard Talk” in which the host asked coordination committee member Mohammad Anwar why the MQM leader (Mr Hussain) had not been removed.
    “This has implications for the situation… what was the purpose of this question?”

    Saleem Shahzad expelled from MQM Rabita Committee Saturday, February 14, 2009 [The News and Jang] http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:daTZSTmCaXgJ:www.thenews.com.pk/print3.asp%3Fid%3D20309+aleem+Shahzad+expelled+from+MQM+Rabita+Committee&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=pk

    KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has expelled Saleem Shahzad from its Rabita Committee on account of his personal and secret activities and contacts. Besides, MQM activists have been asked not to contact another Rabita Committee member, Muhammad Anwar, on any issue.

    According to a press release issued by the MQM on Friday, anyone found contacting Saleem Shahzad would be expelled from the party. Similarly, the MQM activists have been directed instead of contacting Muhammad Anwar they may contact the Rabita Committee in Karachi or the party’s international secretariat. The party took the decision on the basis of Anwar’s suspicious activities and his disinterest in the affairs of the party, the statement said.

    Meanwhile, MQM’s senior member and in-charge of its Labour Division Anees Ahmed Khan, advocate, has voluntarily resigned from the basic membership of the MQM, the statement said.

    Another MQM statement said on the grounds of serious violation of organisational discipline and involvement in activities outside the organisation, the Rabita Committee had suspended the following activists of the All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation (APMSO) for an indefinite period: Ejaz Qureshi and Mohsin Shahab (University of Karachi unit); and Mohsin Ahsanul Haq (NED unit). When contacted, MQM spokesman Faisal Sabazwari offered no comments, saying: “Whatever the MQM has to say in this regard, it has stated in the press release.”

    Saleem Shahzad expelled from MQM By Our Staff Reporter
    February 14, 2009 http://www.dawn.com/2009/02/14/nat3.htm

    KARACHI, Feb 13: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement expelled on Friday its senior leader Syed Saleem Shahzad from the party for his alleged ‘mysterious’ activities. The decision was taken at an emergency meeting of the party’s coordination committee. A statement issued from the MQM’s London secretariat said any party member found in contact with Mr Shahzad would lose his membership.

    A former MNA and London-based MQM leader, Anis Ahmed Advocate, resigned from the party and stated that in future he would have nothing to do with the views and actions of the MQM, the statement said. Meanwhile, the MQM directed its workers not to contact Mohammad Anwar, another senior London-based member of the coordination committee.

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