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منگل، 12 اپریل، 2011

Listen MQM on Balochistan

MQM Chief Altaf Hussain has a point in describing the party’s maiden public rally in the provincial headquarters of Punjab as historic, as it was indeed an impressive beginning for a party that was previously considered to be confined to urban areas of Sindh alone. The visionary leader of the MQM is gradually but firmly transforming the character and role of the party by first changing its nomenclature from Mohajir Qaumi Movement to Muttahida Qaumi Movement and now establishing its roots in the largest province of the country.

Formal launching of the MQM in Punjab is a positive and welcome development, which would hopefully have a salutary effect on the overall political environment of the country and especially the provincial horizon. It would not only strengthen MQM’s credentials as a national party but also promote deeper understanding among different communities and promote national cohesion and solidarity. As MQM will have its stakes in Punjab as well, it would exercise extra care to ensure that statements of its leaders and its policies are not to be seen divisive in any way and this would, in turn, strengthen relations among federating units. In his wide-ranging and inspiring address to the participants of the Lahore rally, Altaf Hussain touched upon a number of critical issues of concern to the people of Pakistan in general and people of Punjab in particular. Unlike many others who rely mainly on verbosity, the MQM leader highlighted different aspects of the party’s manifesto as part of the strategy to reach deeper to the hearts of various segments of the society including his plans to end feudalism, make education compulsory and free up to Matric, hold effective accountability and pursue a truly independent foreign policy. However, his emphasis on resolution of the Balochistan problem is a clarion call that must be listened to by all concerned and concrete steps taken to address the issue without loss of further time. His offer to mediate between Baloch people and the Government is quite understandable and welcome one but appeal to the people of Punjab to save Balochistan, which he believed was drifting towards separation, was somewhat confusing. People of Punjab always wanted strengthening of the federation and for this purpose they have been rendering sacrifices for people of the small provinces, as vindicated in the stance taken by the province in the finalisation of the latest NFC award when it surrendered its due rights and share for the sake of smaller provinces and this was once again reflected by the generous attitude adopted by it in the meeting of IRSA where Punjab allowed Sindh to take its share of water to meet its increased water needs. And right now we have a party in power whose Co-Chairman is President of the country and de facto all-in-all and MQM is coalition partner of the PPP and therefore, it is for the Government to take effective and concrete steps to resolve problem of Balochistan. We hope Altaf Hussain would hammer out this idea with Government leaders and people of Punjab would surely extend every possible cooperation in this national endeavour.
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