Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Husain on Sunday renewed his call for revolution led by the poor and the middle-class to rescue Pakistan from the clutches of feudal lords, corrupt politicians and plunderers of national wealth.

He was addressing a large gathering in Karachi over phone from London in connection with the campaign of MQM’s social welfare Khidmat-e-Khalq organization to provide relief to the flood-hit people in the country. KKF is said to have so far distributed aid worth Rs250 million, it has been reported.

Hussain said feudal lords and corrupt politicians had enriched themselves through various means including waiver of hefty bank loans over the last six decades, built factories and also acquired assets abroad.

He said his critics could not block the looming change. "A revolution is coming and it will be unstoppable," the MQM chief said, urging citizens including people in the armed forces to support such a movement.

Hussain said when people of all provinces were ready for bringing about a revolution, he would ask the MQM Rabita Committee to remove restrictions to allow him to return to the country to join the mass struggle. Altaf holds dual nationality and has been refused Pakistani passport six times, he said in an interview on Geo last week.

His revolutionary statement is drawing strong reactions from rivals, particularly the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). When Hussain first made a call last month for martial law-like steps against feudalism and corruption, the Punjab-based Nawaz party went on overdrive. His unlikely supporters included IMran Khan of PTI, Syed Mushahid Hussain of PMl-Q and the Pir Pagara from Sindh. Most recently, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali threw support behind change while appearing on Front Line on Saturday.

A war of words has been underway between the MQM, a partner in the Pakistan People’s Party-led ruling coalition in Islamabad and in the southern Sindh province, where MQM has wide electoral support in Karachi and other urban centers. Influx of IDPs from Sindh worries MQM, say some political commentators, as it would change the demography and the dynamics of Karachi, Sukkur and Hyderabad politics, they contend.


PML-N leaders accuse the MQM of seeking military intervention, which the latter denies. Meanwhile, PPP remains silent on the issue as its coalition-based government stands on the brink of collapse.

In his usual fiery style, Hussain refuted allegations against him and said the expenses for his stay in London were being borne by the party. "I have not accumulated any wealth and I do not own any properties or palaces like others," he said.

He added that those who were worried with his statements about revolution would be more worried when they hear of his return.

"The government had not prepared an effective solution for the flood crisis," said Altaf.

He also said that, those with influence breached the embankments and caused harm to the locals, and called upon the judiciary to take action against the people responsible for breaching the dykes (bundh) for personal benefits.

He told the office bearers of MQM not to make new clothes for themselves instead provide clothes to the children of flood-stricken people on this year’s upcoming Eid.

“I desire no presidency, premiership or any other seat of power for myself, all I want is that the downtrodden section of the society must get its rights,” Altaf Hussain reiterated.

Altaf suggested two weeks back that “patriotic generals” should step in to lead the country in such a crisis, a reminder that he could cause the government to collapse if he chose to pull out of the coalition.” PPP refuses to be drawn into the argument saying the matter should remain only a debate while they concentrate on flood relief efforts.

Pakistani officials, diplomats and aid workers warn that while civil unrest has so far been averted, the aftermath of the worst-ever flooding in Pakistan could destabilize the country in the months to come and aggravate the already deep regional, sectarian and class fissures, the New York Times reported today.