Founder and Leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Mr Altaf Hussain has said that it was the democratic right of the opposition to disagree and protest with the policies of the government, but the opposition must not take any action that could undermine the democratic process. He said this in a meeting with the Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik in London. Members of the MQM Co-ordination Committee in London Saleem Shahzad, Tariq Mir, Asif Siddiqui and Mustafa Azizabadi were also present in the meeting.
Mr Rehman Malik gave a letter to Mr Hussain containing good will message from President Asif Ali Zardari. He thanked Mr Hussain for his co-operation in strengthening the democratic process in the country. Mr Hussain welcomed the good-will message of the president and expressed his best wishes for him.
Mr Hussain said that the establishment of the rule of law, system of justice, eradication of nepotism, and taking decisions on merit had always been the foremost priorities of the MQM. The MQM believes that the key to the progress and prosperity of the country lies in democracy. He declared that the MQM would continue to work with the PPP and its allied parties for continuation of democracy. The MQM would not grudge any sacrifice for this purpose.
Mr Hussain appealed to the political parties to desist from such protests that could threaten democracy as it would not only derail the democratic process, but also it would bring a bad name to the country internationally. The opposition parties must wait for their turn and contest the scheduled elections vigorously.
Mr Hussain emphasized upon the government to constitute an Election Commission that enjoyed the trust of all political parties. The election commission should take every possible step for holding free and fair elections in the country.
Mr Hussain also stressed upon effective actions to improve the performance of national institutions and for relieving problems of load shedding and shortage of natural gas. The government should also work sincerely for bringing down inflation and solving other basic problems of the common people.
Mr Hussain praised Mr Malik for his active role in countering terrorism and for bringing peace.
Mr Malik said that the role of Mr Hussain was vital for the promotion of democracy, strengthening of democratic institutions and for bringing peace and tranquillity in Karachi. He said that the PPP government valued the role of the MQM for its role in establishing peace in Karachi.
Mr Malik said that the alliance between the MQM and the PPP was natural. Efforts were made to sabotage this alliance but the foresight of Mr Hussain and President Zardari had foiled all conspiracies.
Mr Malik said that he personally wanted to thank Mr Hussain for his full support to the government for the targeted operation in Karachi against the criminal elements. He said that Mr Hussain had always asked for across the board action against the criminal elements irrespective of their party affiliations and that no political pressure should be tolerated in this regard in order to restore peace in Karachi.
Fateha was offered for the soul of Mrs Nusrat Bhutto and her services for democracy in the country were richly praised.