‘Now or never’ for Pakistan to take on terrorism: Altaf

* MQM chief says supporters of Taliban are ‘traitors’
‘Now or never’ for Pakistan to take on terrorism: Altaf

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Sunday warned the government of serious consequences if it did not take a tough stance against terrorism.
“I appeal to the government to waste no more time sitting on the fence. It is now or never,” Altaf told the ‘solidarity rally’, organised by his party to express solidarity with the armed forces.
According to the MQM chief, “One who is friend of Taliban is traitor of Pakistan.” He said that he had warned about Talibanisation in 2004 but people made fun of him.
“I was not only laughed at for ringing alarms bells about this clear and present danger but was also accused of mongering fear for reasons known better to my critics,” said Altaf.
“The MQM and I will always raise voice against terrorism and Taliban,” he added.
The MQM chief made it clear that the “solidarity rally” is for the support of police, Rangers, law enforcing agencies and armed forces.
He said that terrorist attacks are un-Islamic and religion does not allow bloodshed. He said the Taliban and Pakistanis cannot go together as they are opposite of each other. “The Taliban do not respect the constitution of Pakistan and are attacking seminaries, mosques and armed forces,” he added.
He condemned terrorism and said dialogue with the Taliban is useless. Those responsible for endangering the territorial integrity of Pakistan could never be trusted and people are with their armed forces in their struggle against terrorists, he said.
He said Taliban’s unyielding and rigid attitude during the government attempts to ensure peace through talks had established their insincerity. Taliban were hostile towards the country and would not go along with those who respected its integrity, he added.
Appreciating public participation in the rally, the MQM chief said this was a referendum against the Taliban. “People by their participation have expressed their sentiments over the loss of thousands of compatriots and around 5,000 soldiers in the fight against terrorists,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, deputy convener of MQM, said the “solidarity rally” reflected unity among Pakistanis.
The situation demands tough decisions, unity and action and any failure to act in time could prove disastrous for the country and people, he warned.
Dr Siddiqui said public participation in the rally was a strong and clear message for the world that Pakistanis supported their armed forces.
On the occasion, a resolution was passed to condemn terrorism and express solidarity with the armed forces of Pakistan.
The resolution says MQM pays tribute to sacrifices rendered by soldiers and civilians. It urged the government to deal with the terrorists with “iron hands”. It said all the citizens of Pakistan have right to live their lives with freedom and practice their religion and faith. The resolution denounced explosions targeting mosques, shrines, and schools. It also called for the social boycott of the political parties supporting the Taliban.
Leader of Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Faisal Sabzwari, Haider Abbas Rizvi, Dr Saghir Ahmad, Dr Khalid Said, Senator Nasreen Jalil, Gulfaraz Khan Khattak, Yousuf Shahwani and others also spoke on the occasion. They said unity among people was a positive sign.

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