KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain on Saturday made a compassionate appeal to the Taliban to “stop bombings in the name of peace”.
“Stop attacking our officers, soldiers, citizens, public properties and defence installations,” Hussain appealed as he urged the Taliban to consider the talks offer by the government. Delivering a lecture at party’s London secretariat, Hussain did observe that some people were in favour of the dialogue [with the Taliban] while others were averse to this step. But Hussain affirmed “the interest of Pakistan and Pakistanis lies in a peace agreement”.
The MQM chief noted that the negotiations between the government and the Taliban had become the hottest topic these days. But he said, “We should not forget in our discussions and debates that the Taliban problem has been internationalised. And it is no longer a regional problem.”
“It is the need of the hour that we closely monitor all the facts; focus our attention on our nation; pay attention to security and survival of Pakistan; and think about strategies for the protection of our people,” he went on to say.
Hussain further said the situation warranted wisdom and sagacity by the rulers, political and religious leaders.
“We must make sure that outcome of their decisions should be for the better future of Pakistan and the interest of our people.”
Hussain, while making the lecture, ‘National, International Economic, Social and Regional Situations’, also asked his party workers and supporters to confront ongoing operation in Karachi with forbearance and not to respond to provocations. Contending that MQM was a democratic and peace-loving party and there was no place for criminal elements in its folds, he asserted his party had always supported operations against criminals since it was their principled stance that criminal elements present in every party be prosecuted in accordance with the laws.
Hussain was of the view that positive steps should be taken to restore peace in Karachi – his party’s power bastion.
Hussain also made an appeal to intellectuals, columnists, scholars from all schools of thought and people from other fields, especially those related to teaching profession, to make an unprejudiced and impartial analysis of national, international political and economic situation and “advise us how can we make the security of our country impregnable and fight for our survival; and maintain good relations on equal terms with our neighbours”.
Commenting on the rapidly changing international situation, the MQM chief stated it was being said that Syria would be attacked. “Some analysts are saying that the situation in Syria could start off the third world war. Can anyone, researcher or analyst, tell me where did the entire problem vanish all of a sudden,” he questioned.
“The Middle East’s changing situation, emergence of Russia as an international power, the rise of China and India in Central Asia and their growing influence, deteriorating situation in African countries, the departure of American forces from Afghanistan in 2014. What changes will they bring? It would be very difficult for anyone to predict things on the basis of the changing situation,” he further questioned.
On the occasion, Hussain also responded to questions of the attendants of the lecture.