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.”