Altaf Hussain, leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), has warned that Pakistan will “break into pieces” after August 14, the nation’s 71st Independence Day. The provinces of Pakistan, Hussain said, should celebrate August 14 not as “Independence Day” but as a day of “captivity under Pakistani Army”.
In a 45-minute audio address on YouTube, which has garnered thousands of views since it was uploaded on Friday, Hussain also lashed out at the Pakistan Army. He accused the Pakistani Army of carrying out extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances of Muhajir youth in Pakistan. He even went as far as to say that the Army orchestrated the ouster of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Hussain, who has been living in exile in London since 1992, added, “There are songs being sung on TV. Chant all the slogans of ‘Long Live Pakistan’ for the next three days! After that, this slogan will only be raised in Punjab province. After that, it will be Long Live Balochistan, Long Live Sindh, Long Live Saraiki, Long Live Gilgit-Baltistan, Long Live Kashmir, Long Live FATA, Long Live Pakhtunistan, Long Live Muhajiristan and Long Live Sindhudesh!)
Taking on the army, he said, “Democratically elected Prime Ministers have been removed by the army, either by a coup or through the Supreme Court. Once again, a sitting PM was removed. People of smaller provinces should wonder why no military operations were done in Pakistan. They were done only in smaller, poorer provinces. Pakistani Army Generals are the most corrupt people in the country.”
He asked why there no questions were raised against the “extrajudicial killings” of Muhajirs. “The Army has carried out extrajudicial killings of 22,000 Muhajir youths. Over 300 of them are currently missing. Muahjirs, whose relatives are living abroad, are being arrested. Give me the army, I will fire at innocent people in Punjab, arrest Punjabi women like you have arrested our women and let me see if the graveyard-like silence also persists in Punjab. Crimes happen in both Karachi and Lahore. And yet, there has never been any major military operation in Lahore.”
Addressing Muhajirs and Balochis, two ethnic groups fighting for a separate homeland within Pakistan, Hussain said, “Baloch and Muhajir people, I am with you but on one condition. This year, as Pakistan turns 70, you will not celebrate August 14 as Independence Day but mark it as a day of occupation and captivity under the Pakistani Army.”