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KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) – Pakistan rallied its forces on Sunday and held a public gathering in Liaquatabad. After suffering numerous desertions from its ranks, the party aimed to consolidate its strength and show the city that it is still a force to be reckoned with.
Taking a jab at the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hasan said for the past year they have been hearing that “wickets would fall”, referring to people jumping ship to join Mustafa Kamal’s party. Likening the MQM to a sea, he said the “wickets of a sea of people cannot fall”. In fact, he bashed the use of the term wicket in reference to people and said, “Wickets are used in cricket, not to describe people.”
“If the MQM was any other party it would have fallen into disrepair by now,” he told a crowd teeming with party workers and supporters. Unmarred by violence or clashes, the event was filled with people eager to let their political leaders soothe their worries about the party’s future. And the leaders delivered. Each high-ranking MQM-Pakistan leader who took the stage reminded the crowd of the party’s strength and dismissed its opponents.
Using an analogy of halwa, Hasan said if the party was so soft and easy to finish it would have been ended by the events of August 22. Hasan said the city of Karachi votes for the kite, the party’s electoral symbol, adding that if Karachi suffers, the whole country suffers.
“Karachi is the heart of Pakistan and we should all work to strengthen it,” he said.
“We give you the stage,” he offered tauntingly to political opponents PSP and MQM-London. “Come show us how you knock down wickets.”
Addressing his opponents directly, Hasan said, “Let me tell you, your house does not become stronger by knocking down wickets”. He challenged them to target workers and leaders in Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. “Don’t knock down the wickets of your own house,” he urged.
“Attempts are being made to weaken our house [party],” he told participants of the rally. He advised party workers to stay true to its manifesto and remain loyal to the MQM.
Senator Nasreen Jalil expressed joy at seeing the massive attendance at the event. She affirmed her support for MQM-Pakistan Convener Dr Farooq Sattar and said the rally was a victory for the party.