MQM will boycott Pakistan's 2018 elections, confirms exiled leader Altaf Hussain
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder and exiled leader Altaf Hussain on Saturday announced his resolution to boycott the upcoming 2018 Pakistan General Elections, scheduled to be held on July 25, citing incidents of injustice meted out to the party workers at the hands of the Pakistan Army.
This came after the MQM on Friday announced a conditional boycott of the elections and the application for the same was forwarded to Hussain.
With the announcement of boycott, Hussain also appealed to the Mohajirs and MQM workers to stay at home on the day of polling and not be a part of the election proceedings.
Hussain made this announcement in an address from London. He cited incidents of various state-sponsored injustices like arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial killings of Mohajirs and MQM workers, the embargo against him, and closure of his party headquarters Nine Zero in Karachi as the reasons behind his decision.
He also mentioned that the party offices that have not been destroyed were occupied by the Pakistani military establishment, and in an attempt to eliminate the movement, thousands of MQM workers have been arrested and given life imprisonment.
While accusing the Pakistani military of suppressing the rights of the minority groups including Balochs, Pashtoons, and Mohajirs, Hussain said "MQM on participating in the country`s politics also accounts for the boycott as when the movement is allowed to do politics in Pakistan then how would it be possible for them to appoint candidates."
He also accused the army of assassinating Pakistan`s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah and conducting atrocities on the women, as he said, "More than 250 women factory workers were kidnapped and had not been returned back to their families.
"Instead of repeated requests put forward by the Mohajirs to look into the incidents of disappearances of women, the Pakistani government, police, media, and the military remained silent on the issue, as claimed by Hussain.
Further, Hussain blamed former Pakistan`s military chief Ayub Khan for sending troops to kill numerous unarmed and innocent Mohajirs, and to rape women.
He then took on the government of former Pakistani president late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for massacring Mohajirs and imposing biased quota system to suppress the minority and support the Sindhi community.
For the time being, Pakistan is governed by an interim government headed by former Pakistan Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk.