“Pakistan Army, ISI must shut up shop if they can’t protect people”: Altaf Hussain’s bold stance on Shia genocide

Credit: LUBP

In Pakistan’s entire history, no other mainstream leader has taken more bold and clear stance on Shia genocide than MQM’s leader Altaf Hussain

Minorities under attack: Altaf lines up police, agencies, clerics, judges, army and… fires
By Saba Imtiaz

Karachi: In an impassioned speech that included critiques of clerics and the judiciary, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain asked the Pakistan Army, Inter-Services Intelligence and other agencies to shut up shop if they could not “protect people”.

“Leave them,” Hussain said before turning to his audience, “You have a right to defend yourself by any means.”

Altaf’s speech at an interfaith conference organised by his party in Karachi came after a series of statements by him and other party leaders on the increase in the number of attacks on Shias throughout Pakistan. Several clerics from Karachi as well as other cities of Pakistan such as Quetta, Lahore and Chakwal, were in attendance.

He said his statements had been criticised because he had only supported Shias. “I have also condemned attacks on Sunni clerics. But do tell me of an event where Sunnis have been taken off buses, identified and killed by Shias – I do not believe this has happened.”

Hussain highlighted the alarming trend of uploading footage of such attacks online. In these videos you can clearly hear chants calling Shias non-believers. “I would like to ask the ulema, where is the Inter-Services Intelligence, the Military Intelligence, the Intelligence Bureau, Frontier Constabulary, Rangers, paramilitary forces and law enforcement agencies?” asked Altaf. “If you cannot protect citizens then the country will break into separate parts. Christians will ask for a separate state, then Shias, so will the Barelvis and the Ahle Hadith. What joke is this? Where is the government? Maintaining peace and establishing law and order is the responsibility of the institutions on which billions of rupees and 80% of the budget is spent.”

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Categories: Asia, Pakistan

1 reply

  1. Each who will hear it first time is likely to appreciate it as bold instance. However Altaf Hussain took the same stance in May 2010 when members of Ahmadiyya Community were mass massacred in Lahore. Within couple of days on the pressure of extremist Mullahs he withdrew all his statements and went back to square one. Now again he has made tall claims. As long some political leader is sitting in the lap of Moulvis, nation should not expect any revolutionary things. State art is entirely different to religious clergy art. Current scenario is state failure which has engulfed the Pakistan. Ahmadies, Christians, Hindus and now Shias all are victims of this failure. To me MQM is equally responsible for this failure being an important ally and part of ruling government for last four years. When self vested interests of MQM were endangered, Mr Altaf and his party took really effective instance and got the desired things settled. As for sectarian killing is concerned MQM has no real interest except for votes of affected minorities. His current statement is just a lollipop and an attempt to sympathise with minorities to ensure their votes in forthcoming election. In case he is sincere in his cause and really wants harmony in Pakistani society then why MQM does not table any move to amend/repeal Blasphemy and anti Ahmadiyya laws. Why MQM does not make hue and cry for joint electoral system. It is all political gambit which he and his party is playing and wants selfish gains and benefits.

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