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Altaf Hussain apologised to national security institutions

02 May, 2015

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KARACHI: Hours after a strong reaction from the Army, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain apologised to “national security institutions” and “all patriots” for his remarks about the 1971 war and the call to India’s intelligence agency for help.

The self-exiled MQM leader made it clear in his statement that remarks seeking assistance from India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) had been made just “satirically”.

Mr Hussain was all praise for the armed forces and said he has always had respect for the Pakistan Army.

“My speech last night is being interpreted out of context,” he said, referring to his address to workers at Nine Zero, the MQM’s headquarters, in the small hours of Friday. The speech was broadcast live by many news channels.

“I called for RAW’s help only satirically, but if my remarks have hurt the sentiments of national security institutions and patriotic people, I offer apology from the bottom of my heart. I did not intend to humiliate any institution or the government. My speech was read out of context,” he said.

Hours after SSP Malir Rao Anwar’s press conference on Thursday in which he accused the MQM of being anti-state and working with RAW to destabilise Karachi, Mr Hussain addressed the party leaders and workers and, in an aggressive tone, sought action against the police officer.

The Muttahida chief also made a reference to the 1971 war and asked the youth to get military training.

He also criticised TV anchors and accused them of crossing all limits by levelling what he called false allegations against the MQM. “Time and again, arrested persons are shown on TV and labelled as RAW agents. Feeling depressed and sad over such allegations is natural,” he said in the statement.

“My remarks seeking help from RAW are being criticised, but that particular sentence was said satirically and in reply to frequent allegations against MQM that it is an agent of RAW. My words can be verified by watching my speech again,” he said.

Recalling his statements in favour of the armed forces, Mr Hussain said his party had held the biggest rally in support of the Zarb-i-Azb operation.

“Our ancestors sacrificed two million lives for the creation of Pakistan,” he said, adding: “Despite difficulties and injustice meted out to the descendants of the founders of Pakistan, we have always remained loyal to Pakistan and will remain so.”

He said Muhajirs had no links with any country other than Pakistan.

“They will live and die in this country. For God’s sake don’t doubt the patriotism of Muhajirs,” he said.

“Contemptuous remarks against them must be avoided. All doubts about their patriotism and loyalty to the country must come to an end,” he said.

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