KARACHI: Former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal said on Sunday that army operations alone will not solve the multiple problems facing the country.
Kamal was addressing crowds at Pak Sarzameen Party’s (PSP) first ever public rally at Bagh-i-Jinnah.
“Army operations alone will not solve the problems facing Pakistan, but will create space for the government to practice good governance,” stated Kamal.
He elaborated and said the space created by military operations needs to be filled by the introduction of good governance, which needs to have a positive impact on the lives of the people, lest evil forces once again fill the space.
Democracy at grass-root level
Referring to democracy in Pakistan, Kamal said, “We do not believe in democracy that only resides in the provincial and federal assemblies.”
He was of the opinion that democracy should start at grass-root level, which will truly benefit the people. Local government bodies need to be introduced to empower the people at large.
“We want the people to be NAB, we want the union councils which are answerable to their neighbourhoods,” said Kamal.
“Ministers spending public funds in the name of development schemes is against the law and constitution of Pakistan, and are used to steal public funds,” stated Kamal.
“Karachi will be again made into a city of lights, where the youth is employed and educated, where the people can live in peace and vote for who they want,” stated Kamal while referring to his hometown, Karachi.
Towards the end of his rather short public address, Kamal said he was grateful to all those who attended and to those who helped in arranging the public address.
Earlier in the day, PSP leader Anis Kaimkhani said the party expected at least half a million attendees at the rally. He added that the party would arrange similar public gathering in Quetta, Peshawar and Lahore to ‘silence their critics’.
Tracks leading to Saddar’s parking plaza from PPP Chowrangi adjacent to the Quaid’s mausoleum and the 45 Congress Crossing were closed to traffic, said a notification issued by the Deputy Inspector General Traffic, which said that MA Jinnah Road was open for traffic from Gurumandir to Tower.
Related: Kamal announces ‘Pak Sarzameen Party’
Prior to the rally, the party held a concert and family festival open to the public at a park near Mazar-i-Quaid on Saturday.
Kamal’s return to country and politics
Earlier in March, Kamal, a former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader unleashed a salvo of bombastic ‘revelations’ against party supremo Altaf Hussain, accusing him of deception, addressing workers while intoxicated and poor running of the MQM.
Since then, the former mayor of Karachi has pulled former MQM heavyweights Advocate Anis, Raza Haroon, Anis Kaimkhani, MPA Dr Sagheer, MPA Iftikhar Alam, Waseem Aftab, ex-senator Mohammad Ali Brohi, and most recently MPA Bilquis Mukhtar, into his party. The latest addition to the PSP was Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Hafeezuddin who joined the party on Friday.
The party’s name was announced on March 23 and the party has opened offices in Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas since then.
Related: Mustafa Kamal decimates MQM chief Altaf, announces new political party
PSP members have slammed Altaf Hussain, saying the MQM chief’s ‘mismanagement’ of the party is the reason why party members are jumping ship. However, the MQM has denied all allegations regarding the ‘minus-Altaf formula’ and claims its workers are being ‘forced to change loyalties’.
Kamal and his colleagues have not specifically denied these allegations or others that suggest the new party is being backed by ‘certain quarters’.
A number of senior MQM members left the country suddenly around the time Kamal returned to Karachi, causing speculation as to the reasons behind their seemingly abrupt departure.