KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leaders urged the Pakistan Peoples Party to hold rallies, promising to defeat the ruling party everywhere.
Lambasting the PPP at a joint MQM-P rally at Liaquatabad’s Tanki Ground in Karachi, where the PPP held its own rally a week ago, MQM-P PIB leader Dr Farooq Sattar said the party had “challenged us in our homes”.
Criticising the PPP, Sattar said the people of Sindh were trapped in a vicious “wheel of cruelty”. “It is not just the Muhajirs, or the Urdu-speaking. It is the people of Sindh, everyone is trapped in this wheel of cruelty and [quota system].”
He added that “seeds of hate” were sowed against the people of Sindh. “The defeated [labourers] are still living the life they were living decades ago,” he said, and called on the masses to reject the feudal system and the landlords.
Sattar said that despite the hardships and differences, MQM-P vote bank remained the same.
“No matter the hardships, struggles, differences, our vote bank and our support base will stay the same. MQM-P vote bank was one yesterday, and it is one today,” he asserted.
Sattar told the crowd that he would not declare those who left the party “traitors” and that more would return to the party than those who left it.
He said he took the reins of the party on August 23, 2016. “I promised to build the party on non-violence. I promised we will make an educated party.”
MQM-P Bahadurabad leader Khalid Maqbool thanked the participants and said the people of Liaquatabad had “once again saved the MQM” and that Liaquatabad remains the centre of struggle against dictatorship.
“We [MQM-P] are united.. [we have] one vision, one direction,” he asserted.
“Today, I want to question all [four] pillars of the state, what are Muhajirs getting punished for?” he questioned.
Slamming the PPP, Maqbool said the opponent party only spread hate in its rally last week.
“We are Mustaqil Qaumi Musibat for you, [but] we are Mustaqil Qaumi Mohabbatfor the [helpless],” he added.
He further pointed out that the MQM-P rally is not meant to announce any manifesto tonight. “Today’s rally is to express our emotions,” he said.
MQM-P member and Karachi mayor Waseem Akhtar, aiming directly at the PPP, said the party has ruined Sindh during its decades-long rule and is now out to destroy Karachi as well.
“Bilawal is still learning, he doesn’t know the facts,” Akhtar said about the PPP chairman.
“He [Bilawal] is being fed dreams of becoming a future minister,” the mayor continued.
MQM-P’s Amir Khan said he is a Muhajir and will always be a Muhajir. “Sindhi, Balochi, Pakhtuns, all are present today at the rally,” he said.
MQM-P leader Farooq Sattar earlier today said that his party never had competition with any political party, rather it had always been “competing against propaganda.”
Sattar, who heads the PIB faction, was speaking to reporters ahead of leaving for the rally. He also denied the party had any link to pamphlets spreading hatred on the basis of ethnicity.
“Our rally tonight is very important. We have united as one setting aside all our differences,” Sattar said, adding that they have to work towards betterment and self-accountability in the party.
He said that the rally would also be a protest against water and power shortage in Karachi.
MQM-P’s Kamran Tessori and Ali Raza Abidi reached the venue of the rally ahead of Sattar. In an informal conversation with reporters, Tessori said he was honoured to be with his party members, while Abidi called on the Bahadurabad faction to accept Tessori.
Earlier today, Amir Khan along with other party leaders visited Tanki Ground to review preparations. “PPP will get their reply today,” Khan told the media.
“Today, the people will let us know if PPP will ever hold a rally at Tanki Ground or not,” he said, maintaining, “The popularity of MQM has not decreased.”