Altaf Hussain, Leader MQM

Date: 9/26/2000


Partition a big blunder, says Altaf Hussain,

LONDON: The division of the Indian sub-continent was the biggest blunder in the history of mankind, Altaf Hussain, leader of Pakistan's Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), said on Sunday. The dramatic statement is the first by a leader of the Mohajirs, who worked the most for the Partition and migrated to Pakistan.

The statement was backed by Sindh, Baluch and Pakhtoon leaders, all gathered at a meeting here to signal a united opposition to Punjabi "dominance" within Pakistan.

"The Titanic of the Islamic ummah (community) is now sinking," Hussain said. "It's time for everyone to play their role." Hussain took the Titanic analogy further. "Do you know the sinking process of the Titanic? Did you see that film? The Titanic did not sink suddenly. It sank slowly. They shot off distress flares. But nobody came. In the end it sank. And this is not a film, it is a fact."

For the first time, Hussain attacked Pakistan's founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Dismissing suggestions that the Mohajirs were carving out a province for themselves to be called "Jinnahpur", Hussain said: "If we break the country, we will never name it after Jinnah." (NB: The Hindu counterpart of Jinnah was Mr. MK Gandhi, the true "Father of Pakistan"!)

Hussain told the packed hall here that there are more Muslims in India than in Pakistan. "So far, I have been writing to Pakistan leaders. My next letter will be to Indian Muslims. I will tell them what is happening to us in Pakistan, come and see."

The MQM leader said that "We did not want to hear the truth in 1971 (when Bangladesh won independence), and Pakistan broke. Now if you want to treat us like slaves, a time will come when we will get independence, and you will be without slaves."

Hussain recited the first line of "Saare jahaan se achha Hindustan hamaara," twice. He sang it while narrating an interview with journalists from the Jang newspaper, who asked him to name his favourite poet. The song by Mohammed Iqbal, was Hussain's reply.

Hussain said, "None of us wants to dismember Pakistan; we want to strengthen Pakistan and make a prosperous Pakistan. But there cannot be a Pakistan where Punjabis are considered faithful and Sindhis, Mohajirs, Baluchis and Pakhtoons are considered traitors."

He said, "If Pakistan breaks, then it is not Sindhis, Baluchis and Pakhtoons who will be the losers; the loser will be Punjab."

The meeting was also addressed by Sardar Attaullah Mengal, convener of the Pakistan Oppressed Nations Movement (PONM) and also president of the Baluchistan National Party, Mahmood Khan Achakzai, chairman of the Pakhtoon Khwa Milli Awami Party, and by Sindh leader Syed Imdad Mohammed Shah. "This assembly is a warning to those committing crimes against humanity with brute state force," Hussain said.(IANS)

-Courtesy, The Times of India, Sep 19, 2000.