He urged the business community of Karachi to make arrangements for protecting themselves from the extortion mafia. He assured them that the MQM would stand by them and support them and asked the Co-ordination Committee to work with the business community and form a forum for their protection.
Addressing the Iftar-dinner reception of MQM, attended by Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad, Sindh Assembly speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Federal Minister Syed Khursheed Shah, foreign diplomats, federal and Sindh government ministers, intellectuals, clerics, business community, journalist community and notables of the metropolis.
Altaf said that the circumstances in the country were critical. “Rehman Malik said that the situation was normal about and I have always differed with him. People are becoming increasingly restive.”
“I have talked to the Chief of Army Staff and the Director General of the ISI on the issue of law and order situation in Karachi but the situation of the metropolis was not improved.”
Altaf said that the agencies, responsible for maintaining law and order, had failed to deliver and people were shifting their businesses to Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Dubai and other Middle East countries. The time to ponder has arrived. “The only way left to eliminate extortion from the city was catching the problem by horns.”
How can I trust the Army, the Rangers and the 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.” “If the agencies responsible for maintaining law and order situation in the country will 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.”
“When I had asked the people to buy licensed weapons for self-protection by selling TV and fridge, I was ridiculed and reviled. I ask them today if it was wrong to talk about getting licensed weapons for self-protection.”
“If legislation is not the business of the parliament then perhaps the parliamentary system should be wound up altogether. If the parliament has not right to legislate then the judicial system should be imposed in the country instead of wasting millions of rupees on the parliament,” he said.
“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.” Altaf vowed that the MQM does not want 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 people.
“No one is an enemy of Pakistan. If you kill people in broad daylight in Sher Shah 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,” he added.
In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the MQM workers who were subjected to face inhuman torture. How can you expect the people to remain loyal when you will resort to such abhorrent acts? he questioned.
Altaf said that Pakistan was founded after immense sacrifices. It was not achieved easily. Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad and Sindh Chief Minister 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 be defaced from the map of the world.
Commenting over the present situation of Balochistan, he said that the wounds of the Baloch people should be healed now 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 being dumped, the situation will not improve.