KARACHI (October 31, 2010) : Muttahida Muslim League (MML), an alliance of Pakistan Muslim League (PML) factions, has formally invited Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to join the group in the larger interest of the country. Briefing the journalists at Nine Zero, the MQM's Headquarter, Sheikh Rasheed, Chairman, Awami Muslim League (AML) said MML has invited MQM to join the alliance in the greater interest of Pakistan. "MQM is a well-organised, straight forward political party and they have assured us to review proposal in co-ordination committee's meeting for final decision," Sheikh added. "We have formed MML and it is our wish that everyone who wants change in the country should join the alliance, Sheikh said, adding that MQM has power and if they part way with the government then no one can save the coalition set-up." "If we leave the 180 million innocent people, who also pay tax regularly, on mercy of looters and plunders then it would difficult to save the country," Sheikh warned.
Befitting Reply of MQM to Stephen Sackur in BBC HARDtalk Part 1
REFERENCES: Pakistan: Imran Farooq murder linked to rows within MQM Vikram Dodd, crime correspondent guardian.co.uk, Sunday 26 September 2010 20.28 BST http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/26/pakistan-imran-farooq-murder-mqm The Karachi king After a bloody conflict in Karachi, much-feared political boss Altaf Hussain fled to London, but he is no less powerful in Pakistan Mustafa Qadri guardian.co.uk, Monday 6 July 2009 18.00 BST http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jul/06/altaf-hussain-karachi-pakistan-london Pakistan: Information on Mohajir/Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Altaf (MQM-A) http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/publisher,USCIS,,,414fe5aa4,0.html
Befitting Reply of MQM to Stephen Sackur BBC HARDtalk Part 2
REFERENCE: Running Karachi - from London By Isambard Wilkinson in Karachi and Damien McElroy Published: 12:01AM BST 14 May 2007 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1551540/Running-Karachi-from-London.html Running Pakistan's biggest city - from London By Alastair Lawson BBC News, London Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 May 2007, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6658231.stm The Karachi ruling party ‘run like the mafia’ from an office block in London · MQM accused of planning carnage which left 42 dead · Khan calls for leader in UK to face anti-terror charges Declan Walsh in Karachi and Matthew Taylor The Guardian, Saturday 2 June 2007 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/jun/02/uk.pakistan Pakistan: Information on Mohajir/Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Altaf (MQM-A) http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/publisher,USCIS,,,414fe5aa4,0.html
Sheikh said that the accountability of rulers in this government is a joke and drama." "MQM is only political party, which can bring the crises-hit masses on the roads against the government," Sheikh maintained. Coming down heavily on Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Sheikh Rasheed said that Nawaz Sharif is responsible for chaotic circumstances of the country. "There is need of genuine opposition in National Assembly," he said. Pointing towards a group of 25, Sheikh said the politicians want that their children also become politician and rule the country. Calling them such politicians as 'daily wagers,' Sheikh said such politicians are busy in looting the resources of the country and now they have started preparing their children for this wicked job.
Sheikh Rasheed Loses NA 55 - with Hamid Mir in Capital Talk 1
Sheikh Rasheed Loses NA 55 - with Hamid Mir in Capital Talk 2
Sheikh Rasheed Loses NA 55 - with Hamid Mir in Capital Talk 3
Sheikh Rasheed Loses NA 55 - with Hamid Mir in Capital Talk 4
Nasreen Jalil of MQM said that MQM has old relations with Sheikh Rasheed and the AML chief visits Nine Zero time to time in the past. "In meeting, we have discussed various issues pertaining to the country," she said "MQM is the party of lower-middle class and Sheikh Rasheed also belongs to the same socio-economic status, she said" Babar Ghauri, member, MQM Co-ordination Committee thanked AML chief for condemning Sher Shah carnage and current spate of targeted killings in Karachi. MML invites MQM to join alliance RECORDER REPORT KARACHI (October 31, 2010) http://www.brecorder.com/news/general-news/pakistan/1118596:mml-invites-mqm-to-join-alliance.html
In 2005 the then Pakistan's Federal Information Minister Sheikh Rashid had said in an interview that;
"Dr. Abdul Qadeer gave some centrifuges to Iran," the minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "He helped Iran in his personal capacity, and the Pakistan government had nothing to do with it." Ahmed initially made the admission at a seminar in Islamabad (search) organized by a local newspaper group, in which he stuck by Pakistan's insistence that Khan would never be handed over to a third country for prosecution. The scientist is considered a hero by his countrymen for nearly single-handedly producing atomic bombs for Pakistan to counter rival India's nuclear arsenal. "I support the idea that the government should tell the people about these sensitive matters," Ahmed said at the seminar, according to an audiotape obtained by the AP. "I am not a spokesman for a cowardly nation. Yes, we supplied Iran the centrifuge system. Yes, Dr. Qadeer gave Iran this technology. But we are not going to hand over Dr. Qadeer to anyone. We will not." Ahmed later told the AP that Pakistan's government is fully cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. body that is investigating the extent of Khan's illicit sales of nuclear technology to Iran, Libya, North Korea and other countries. REFERENCE: "Pakistan: Khan Gave Nuke Material to Iran Thursday, March 10, 2005 http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,149995,00.html
It's perhaps easier to persuade the militant to eschew violence than to imbibe in him the ethos of popular politics demanding doublespeak and concealment of the unsavoury past. Proof of this was provided at Islamabad's Marriott Hotel at the June 13 inauguration of a photo exhibit. Present were Pakistan PM Shaukat Aziz, information minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, chairperson of the Human Rights Commission Asma Jehangir, who inaugurated the exhibition, and a clutch of Kashmiri leaders. 'The camp was meant to train JKLF cadres and the Sheikh accompanied JKLF leaders, including Malik, to the LoC several times.' And then began speaking JKLF leader Yasin Malik, who had crossed the Line of Control (LoC) in the 1980s to train as a militant and subsequently became a votary of non-violent politics. Yasin Malik said, "(Information minister) Sheikh Rashid has played a great role for Kashmir's liberation. He used to support the frontline jehadis from Kashmir, but few know of his contributions." Perhaps, in the euphoria of reliving the past, or overwhelmed by gratitude (or, indeed, pique), Yasin went on to spell out the Sheikh's role in Kashmir's militant movement: it was at the information minister's farmhouse that some 3,500 Kashmiri jehadis, including Yasin, received training in arms. From the reformed militant leader's perspective, there obviously couldn't have been a better compliment to shower on another Kashmiri before an august audience. But the politician in the irrepressible Sheikh realised that even in these days of Indo-Pak bonhomie, it isn't possible to accept as minister a man who could have trained 3,500 militants. When journalists questioned him, he tersely remarked, "I have no idea about which Sheikh Rashid he (Yasin) is speaking." This prompted the newshounds to turn to Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir, who's known to have close links with the Kashmiri leadership and attained fame for his interview with Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Mir said, "Yes, according to the information I have, Sheikh Rashid's Rawalpindi farmhouse was dubbed Freedom House and used to be a hub of Kashmiri activists belonging to the JKLF. The camp was operational from 1988-90 to train JKLF cadres and Sheikh Rashid accompanied JKLF leaders, including Yasin, to the LoC several times. The camp's existence was known to high officials in Islamabad."
The next day Yasin Malik retracted his statement, claiming the media had misquoted him. The Sheikh issued a statement, insisting it had never been his policy to train militants. "I am a politician, not a militant, and strongly support the Indo-Pak peace process," he added. A retired intelligence official told Outlook that late Ashfaq Majeed Wani was in charge of Freedom House, the Sheikh's 20-acre farmhouse in Fateh Jang, Rawalpindi; and it was the ISI, then under Lt Gen Hamid Gul, which established the facility. But the former official claims the "liberation of Kashmir" may not have been the Sheikh's sole motive. "There were those in the intelligence who believed that he had actually rented out his farmhouse to the ISI for a hefty sum of money. And Yasin, who lived in Rawalpindi's Tinch Bhatta area then, was a frequent visitor to Freedom House," he said.
As journalists dug up the Sheikh's past, the Pakistan People's Party spokesperson Farhatullah Babar confirmed Yasin's statement: Freedom House was a militant training camp. Subsequently, the PPP issued a statement saying, "In 1989, the PPP government had learnt that the ISI, without the government's clearance, had given to then Opposition member Sheikh Rashid hundreds of acres of land in the suburban areas of Rawalpindi. The PPP government had also learnt that this land was given to him to support the Kashmiri groups." He said the PPP government was, however, sceptical about the claim and did not buy this argument. "But, as the military was under the President, there was little the government of the day could do about it constitutionally". Since only 20 acres of land was used to train militants, Babar has alleged that hundreds of acres of land were given to the Sheikh for some "collateral purposes". Claiming that the "training camp story was anything more than a decoy to divert state funds to favoured political leaders to overthrow democracy", the PPP has now demanded an inquiry into the Sheikh's role in training militants.
Confirmation has come from other quarters as well. Hamid Mir, of the Geo Television Network, says he talked to the interior minister of the Benazir government (1988-1990), Aitizaz Ahsan, on June 15, two days after Yasin tossed the bombshell at the Marriott Hotel. Mir quotes Ahsan as saying that Yasin was "100 per cent correct" in claiming that Freedom House used to be a training facility. Sources say the ISI decided to shut Freedom House as the establishment chose to back armed Islamic groups, instead of secular groups like the JKLF. This was when the ISI put its formidable weight behind the Hizbul Mujahideen, the Jamaat-e-Islami's armed wing. Sheikh Rashid did not have good relations with the Jamaat, and Freedom House fell out of favour. Those close to the Sheikh, however, say he has drastically altered his mindset since the Zia days. "There is a hell of a difference between the Sheikh of the early 1980s and the Sheikh of 2005," says a close friend. He says that as a Kashmiri from the Valley, Sheikh Rashid was an ardent supporter of the JKLF which had received an impetus under the military regime of Gen Zia-ul Haq.
The controversy couldn't have been more inopportune: he was planning to travel to India's Kashmir on the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar bus on June 30. There's much speculation here on whether or not the Sheikh will make the journey to Srinagar, from where his family had migrated decades back. Should he decide to not alter his travel plans, the other crucial question is: will the Indian government grant him permit to visit his 'homeland'? Mir, however, feels the Indian government should allow the Sheikh to visit Kashmir. "No doubt the Sheikh believed in liberating Kashmir through an armed struggle. But, today, he believes in resolving the ever-lingering Kashmir dispute through bilateral dialogue." Many here believe the Sheikh has a penchant to change his ideology and political affiliations. Earlier known as Farzand-e-Rawalpindi, or son of Rawalpindi, the Sheikh had served as information minister in the Nawaz Sharif government. He was elected to the National Assembly on the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) ticket in the 2003 election. Subsequently, though, he shifted his allegiance to the ruling PML(Q), and earned the sobriquet of Lota of Rawalpindi. A vessel used for ablution, lota is a derogatory term used for political chameleons. REFERENCE: PAKISTAN Did He Help Train 3,500 Militants? He supported the JKLF, and helped train militants. Thanks to Yasin, Sheikh Rashid's dirty secret is out. AMIR MIR MAGAZINE JUN 27, 2005 http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?227765
10 YEARS AGO "SAME SHEIKH RASHEED AHMED"
ISLAMABAD, April 7: Power politics in the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) will intensify with the conviction of deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as the development poses a question as to who will be the acting president of the party. According to the party constitution, only the president (Nawaz Sharif) can nominate one of the eight vice-presidents as acting president while the central executive council or the general council of the party have no authority to do so. Senior party leaders told NNI that in the present situation, the CEC and parliamentary party would meet on April 9 to pass a resolution demanding of Nawaz Sharif to nominate one of the vice-presidents as the acting president. The vice-presidents are Raja Zafrul Haq, Ejazul Haq, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Lt-Gen (retd) Majid Malik, Khurshid Kasuri, Illahi Bukhsh Soomro, Subedar Khan Mandokhel and Gohar Ayub Khan.
According to party sources Zafrul Haq at the moment enjoys backing of Chaudhry brothers (Shujaat Hussain and Pervaiz Ellahi). Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Lt-Gen (retd) Majeed Malik, Illahi Bukhsh Soomro, and Gohar Ayub Khan have also supported his nomination, the sources said. Ejazul Haq, on the other hand, is a strong contender for the top slot but some party leaders oppose the idea on account of some of his statements after Oct 12 military takeover. He, however, enjoys full support of the so-called dissidents, including Mian Mohammad Azhar, Abida Hussain, Syed Fakhar Imam and Khurshid Kasuri, the sources added. They said that Nawaz Sharif had a soft corner for Raja Zafrul Haq and he had repeatedly thanked him for keeping the party united. However, Syed Fakhar Imam has repeatedly said that the new party president should be elected through secret ballot in a general council meeting.-NNI . REFERENCE: PML to ask Nawaz to nominate party chief DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending: 8 April 2000 Issue : 06/15 http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsia/SAserials/Dawn/2000/apr08.html#pmlt
ISLAMABAD: Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, former railways minister, on Wednesday said the coming parliament would not stay for a long, as there existed little chances that President Musharraf and new assemblies could work together. Addressing a news conference here, he said the government’s failure to handle Lal Masjid issue besides power and gas crises were the causes of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) crushing defeat in Monday’s elections. Rashid, who suffered defeat in NA-55 and NA-56 constituencies of Rawalpindi, said: “I am considering to make my own political party but before taking a decision I will consult Chaudhrys.” He said he had no intention to quit politics. However, he added, he would quit politics at the peak of his political career. He said though President Musharraf was keen to work with the coming parliament, but some politicians did not want to let the system work for a long period. Accepting the PML-Q defeat in the elections, he said the polls were held in a free, fair and transparent manner enabling the nation to bring a change. “We are defeated due to our own deeds like ghee, atta, electricity and gas crises. The Lal Masjid issue is the most important reason behind our defeat,” he conceded.
Capital Talk Sheikh Rasheed Fight With Hamid Mir
Rashid said now its liability of the politicians not to plunge the country into further chaos and crises. “The nation has made right decision. Now the ball is in politicians’ court. They should form a government of national consensus,” he advised. He said the people reacted against the Lal Masjid operation and pro-United States policies in the poll. “Obviously, there is the issue of chief justice, but the real fact behind our defeat is the Lal Masjid operation,” he maintained. Sacked chief justice: When asked, he agreed that the sacked chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry should be released immediately. Rashid, the all time winner in Rawalpindi in the past, said some politicians had played with the sentiments of the people by promising to reinstate the deposed chief justice and make Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan as president of the country. He said Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had no interest in the constitutional amendment to undo the third-terms’ condition for becoming prime minister. “PPP has no interest in it. As far as Nawaz Sharif is concerned he will have to wait for the next parliament,” he told a questioner. ‘Lal Masjid raid was major reason for PML-Q defeat’ * Sheikh Rashid calls for immediate release of sacked chief justice * Says he will form his own party Staff Report Thursday, February 21, 2008 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\02\21\story_21-2-2008_pg7_13
Capital Talk Hamid Mir Exposed by Sheikh Rasheed.
Angry Sheikh Rasheed on ARY One TV with Kashif Abbasi
The opposition victory is so resounding that influential Pakistanis began calling for the president's resignation. "The people of Pakistan have spoken with great vigor and clarity," the Supreme Court Bar Association's president, Aitzaz Ahsan, told NEWSWEEK by phone from his Lahore residence, where he is still under house arrest for opposing Musharraf's efforts to keep power. "Pervez Musharraf has played his innings and should show some grace and bow out." But Musharraf, who has ruled Pakistan with an authoritarian hand since he overthrew the democratically elected Sharif in a bloodless 1999 military coup and who has been hailed by President George Bush as a crucial ally, is unlikely to call it quits anytime soon. Even so, he is badly weakened politically. Although Musharraf as president was not a candidate in the election, his most powerful and vocal supporters were routed. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, the Q party's president, was defeated. So were Musharraf's defense and foreign ministers and his strongest whips in parliament. Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, his former railways minister, lost for the first time in seven elections going back to 1985. He was so shaken that he scrambled for a midnight plane to Spain, as angry crowds gathered outside his residence in Rawalpindi. The End of Musharraf? "Newsweek", 2008-02-19. Retrieved on 2008-02-19 After humiliating election results, the U.S. ally may wield little power in Pakistan. http://www.newsweek.com/2008/02/18/the-end-of-musharraf.html