KARACHI: Founder and leader of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain has asked the business community in Karachi to make arrangements for protecting themselves from the extortion mafia. He assured them that the MQM would stand by them and support them. He asked the Coordination Committee to work with the business community and form a forum for their protection.
Hussain said that the circumstances in the country were critical. “Mr Rehman Malik says that the situation is normal and I have always differed with him. People are becoming increasingly restive.”
“If legislation is not the business of parliament then perhaps the parliamentary system should be wound up altogether. If parliament has not the right to legislate, then the judicial system should be imposed in the country instead of wasting millions of rupees on parliament.
“I have talked to the Chief of the Army Staff and the Director General of the ISI on the issue of law and order situation in Karachi.“When I had asked the people to buy licensed weapons for self-protection by selling TVs and fridge, I was ridiculed and reviled. I ask them today if it was wrong to talk about getting licensed weapons for self-protection.”
He said: “When the agencies responsible for maintaining the law and order fail to deliver, how many people can shift their businesses to Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Dubai and other Middle East countries? The time to think has come.”
“The only way left to eliminate extortion from the city was taking the problem by the horns. How can I trust the Rangers and police when my people are being killed and kidnapped? They are left with no money to give to the extortion mafia in Karachi. Their businesses are already suffering because of prolong loadshedding of electricity and natural gas. If the wheel of economy of a country comes to stop, it cannot be defended.”
The MQM chief said: “If the agencies responsible for maintaining law and order situation in the country continue to take the law-breakers and move with them openly, it will foment terrorism. I ask the members of the business community to do something if they have to do business in Karachi. They should get arms licenses even if they have to go to any extent for it.”
“The MQM does not want the division of Sindh province and I have repeated this on a number of occasions in my speeches. But have not the slogans for division of Sindh been raised by the nationalist forces in Sindh. The nationalist forces in Sindh must stop spewing venom otherwise I will not be able to stop my people.”
“No one is an enemy of Pakistan. If you kill people in broad daylight in Shershah market, then don’t expect that they would raise the slogan ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. It is the government, the defence agencies and other powers that produce enemies of the country.”
“In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan the MQM workers who were subjected to inhuman torture were forced to swallow urine. How can you expect the people to remain loyal when you will resort to such abhorrent acts?”
“The business community is being relentlessly targeted by the extortion mafia but they have not been arrested so far. The inaction on the part of the government against the extortion mafia is destroying the economy of the country. The extremist elements are killing soldiers in the name of the religion. We should stand up and defend Pakistan and get rid of the elements working against the country.”
“Pakistan was obtained after immense sacrifices. It was not achieved easily. Governor Sindh Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah should work for removing the differences between the permanent residents of Sindh. We do not want to break Pakistan or divide Sindh but the country was broken because of international intrigues in 1971. If we do not mend our ways, the remaining Pakistan may also disappear from the map of the world.”
“The wounds of the Baloch people would have to be healed if they have to be pulled back in Pakistan. Calling them enemies would not bring Balochistan back to Pakistan. If innocent people will be picked up in broad daylight and their bodies dumped, the situation will not improve.”