Malik fails to persuade Altaf against joining march
KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain has declined to give an assurance to President Asif Ali Zardari’s pointman, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, about not taking part in Jan 14 march on Islamabad in support of the electoral reforms agenda of Tehrik-i-Mihajul Quran’s patron-in-chief Dr Tahirul Qadri.
But he dispelled a perception that his party was going to quit the PPP-led coalition government at the centre and in Sindh.
Mr Malik had left for London on Tuesday to meet the MQM chief in a bid to persuade him to dissociate himself from the march.
According to an MQM statement issued on Wednesday, the interior minister discussed with Mr Hussain the political situation in the country with a particular reference to the long march.
He requested the MQM chief to reconsider his decision to join the march, but Mr Hussain proposed that a high-powered PPP delegation should meet Dr Qadri and ask him what were his grievances and what sort of reforms he wanted.
The MQM chief alleged that the elements spreading rumours that his party was joining the long march because it wanted to quit the government and get the elections postponed were trying to mislead the people.
He said he himself and Dr Qadri had denied such rumours on several occasions.
Mr Hussain said there were points of common interest in the manifestoes of different political parties and these brought them closer.
There should be no ill-will among parties with common interests.
He said he and Dr Qadri had invited all political and religious parties, including the PPP, to join the ‘journey for revolution’ for national security and integrity.
According to the statement, Mr Malik condemned the Tuesday’s bomb blast in Karachi and assured Mr Hussain that terrorists
behind it would be brought to book.