KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Sunday warned against imposing a judicial martial law in the country and asserted that the MQM cannot be eliminated through state operation or conspiracies.
While addressing a party convention at the Jinnah Ground, Altaf also rejected the remarks of a Supreme Court judge pertaining to fresh delimitation of electoral constituencies in Karachi and termed it an affront to 20 million people of the city. “The remarks of the honourable judge of the Supreme Court about fresh delimitation of electoral constituencies in Karachi so that no party has a monopoly are an affront to 20 million people of Karachi,” he said.
He asked people in the audience to raise their hands if they rejected what he termed prejudicial remarks of the judge of the Supreme Court. The crowd raised their hands in unison in response to the call. The MQM supremo said that the chief justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, must take suo motu notice of the remarks of the said judge, as the right to give majority to any political party to take back the mandate rests with the people and not with any judge.
“I want to make it clear that the people of the country would not allow anyone to rob their democratic right. The remarks of the honourable judge of the Supreme Court are discriminatory, prejudicial, malicious and in contravention of the law and constitution of the country,” he said. Altaf said the premise that the law and order situation in Karachi would improve by fresh delimitation of constituencies is misleading. Law and order and electoral constituencies are two completely different things, he argued.
“Election issues should better be left to the Election Commission of Pakistan as it was their domain and do not fall within the purview of any court. Undue interference in the work of the Election Commission would compound the problem even more even if it is done with the best of intentions.” He said, “The Delimitation Act of 1974 makes census as the basic requirement for new delimitations. The Supreme Court has ordered for carrying out new delimitations of constituencies in Karachi alone without holding census which is totally against Section 9 of the Delimitation Act of 1974.”
“The Delimitation Act does not speak about monopoly of any political party. The word monopoly is not present in any clause of the act. How far is it justified to term the popular support and mandate of any political party as monopoly? No court has the right to direct the Election Commission to change electoral constituencies in way that no party has a monopoly,” he opined. Referring to the judgment of the Lahore High Court on Kalabagh Dam, Altaf asked if the courts would now decide about the construction of dams. “The people of Sindh have rejected Kalabagh Dam and hence the LHC must take back its order.