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Struggle for new provinces MQM's right, says Aitzaz Ahsan

28 October, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People's Party (PPP)'s Senator Aitzaz Ahsan on Monday said it is the right of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain to wage a constitutional and legal struggle for creation of new provinces.

Talking to media representatives here, Aitzaz said there is a constitutional modus operandi for the formation of new provinces in the country. "I only request him (Altaf Hussain) not to adopt any such approach for which he has to take the blame," he said. Countering allegations of blasphemy by the MQM, Ahsan claimed the former allied party was trying to incite people's emotions by raising the issue. The Pakistan People's Party landed in a controversy with the MQM earlier this month when opposition leader in the National Assembly, Syed Khursheed Shah remarked that 'the use of word muhajir was an insult'.

The controversial statement was not taken lightly by the MQM, which called October 17 the "most unfortunate day in the history of Pakistan" over Shah's statement. On Sunday, the MQM hoisted black flags at all party offices across the country and observed a "black day" in protest against the statement of Shah, who had already apologised and retracted his words after facing criticism. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Aitzaz said the PPP believed parties like MQM and Awami National Party (ANP) were against all sorts of extremism and would never use religion as a tool to achieve their 'negative goals'.

"MQM used the issue to incite people's emotions," the PPP leader said. "This was least expected from MQM because we have been in government with them, but what they did [on Sunday] left all the rational segments of the society in surprise," he said. Ahsan also said that it was unfair on anyone's part to consider themselves as equals to the migrants of Makkah who accompanied the Holy Prophet (PBUH) on his migration to Madina. The PPP leader also slammed the alleged use of "foul language" by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) against young PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Speaking on PTI's Gujrat power show, Aitzaz lamented by saying: "We are peaceful and tolerant. It is open to everyone the way PPP had been rounded up with criticism during its government. Yet we had set an example of tolerance. We have always taught this and will continue doing so," the PPP leader said, adding that their workers may not remain tolerant all the time if the "use of foul language" against his party did not stop.


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