Nawaz Welcomes MQM Chief’s Apology

Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, commended the move of the chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Altaf Hussain, for tendering an apology over his remarks against state institutions and the army and went on to say that matters relating to national interest are rather sensitive so special care should be exercised. Reacting to the statement made by Altaf Hussain, Mr. Nawaz said that one should think twice before making any comments. He said that the image of national institutions is tarnished by such irresponsible statements and the general public is also hurt because of them.

According to the PM, safeguarding the integrity of the army is the job of the government because the institution has the responsibility of defending the defense and security of the state. He further asserted that a code of conduct has also been established for the media and they should also abide by it. Mr. Sharif said that media houses should ensure that they don’t broadcast statements that are irresponsible and go against the national interest.

Earlier, Imran Khan, the Chief of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf had commented on the silence of Nawaz Sharif regarding the controversial statement of Altaf Hussain against the military leadership. Major General Asim Bajwa, the Director-General-Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had condemned the statements by the MQM chief in relation to the army on Friday and had said that they would pursue the matter legally.

It is pertinent to mention that only hours after the army had reacted strongly, an apology had been issued by the MQM chief to ‘all patriots’ and ‘national security institutions’ for his call for help to India’s intelligence agency and his comments about the 1971 war. He wanted to make it clear that his remarks seeking assistance from India’s spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) were made ‘satirically’. Hussain also praised the Pakistan army and said he had always had nothing but respect for the armed forces.

The controversial chain of statements had initiated on Thursday when startling claims had been made by SSP Malir Rao Anwar regarding two suspects he had arrested. The two suspects, Mama Junaid and Tahir alias Lamba had belonged to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. Rao Anwar claimed that they were terrorists who had been trained by RAW in the past and that MQM was an anti-state party that was working against the interests of Pakistan. Since then, Mr. Anwar has been suspended.