‘I will revive the City of Lights’

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After coming out of jail after more than seven years, Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi Chairman Afaq Ahmed has vowed to form an alliance against his rival party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), to restore peace in Karachi and make it the “City of Lights” once again.
In an exclusive interview with Pakistan Today, the Haqiqi chief said that talks are being held with all anti-MQM stakeholders of the city and the province, including Awami National Party (ANP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Dr Zulifqar Mirza, and even with Sindhi nationalists to form an alliance for contesting politically against the Altaf Hussain-led party.
Alleging that Hussain is associated with international spy agencies, Ahmed said the only way of reconciling with him is that he [Altaf Hussain] must surrender his British nationality and apologise to the nation for the genocide of the innocent citizens of Karachi, including Haqiqi workers. “I had parted ways with Hussain due to his policy of terrorism and leaving behind the philosophy of Mohajir community,” he added.
“I will never give up my rights and will continue political activities as a law abiding citizen of Pakistan as the constitution gives equal rights to all citizens for free movement, free speech and politics,” Ahmed maintained, seemingly very cool and unnerved in a very tense atmosphere at his residence in Landhi 6 – the stronghold of MQM.
Criticising the policies of MQM, the Haqiqi chief said the change of name from ‘Mohajir’ to ‘Muttahida’ by the MQM was nothing but hypocrisy, as the party still foments hate among other communities living in Karachi on the basis of ethnicity.
Quoting examples of recent clashes between the Urdu-speaking community and the Baloch and the clashes in Orangi Town, Ahmed said the “Mohajir” slogan of the MQM chief and his party is all a drama. “The Sindhis, Pakhtuns and Punjabis within the ranks of MQM are an aesthetic tool only and are salary-paid jobless people.”
Criticising the government coalition, the Haqiqi chairman said that if democracy derails, it would be due to the acts of the current rulers, who are not obeying the orders of upper judiciary.
Quoting the examples of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case and the “memogate” case, Ahmed said despite the passage of more than one year, the government is not ready to bring criminals, who were granted immunity under NRO, in the courts.
The Haqiqi chief was of the view that President Asif Ali Zardari does not enjoy immunity on civilian and constitutional matters and only has immunity in criminal cases. “[Zardari] should submit his comments before the Supreme Court.”
He added that any commission constituted on the orders of Supreme Court can summon the president and the prime minister also.
“The judiciary and army have shown patience in case of the current government. The rulers are continuously provoking all institutions especially judiciary and army by not accepting and complying with their orders,” he said.
Responding to a question, Ahmed said the government’s argument of allowing them to rule the country for five years according to their mandate is quite shameful, because to elect someone does not mean he is free to do any kind of activities, including corruption, incompetence and killing innocent citizens.

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