Altaf Hussain - now an admirer of Taliban founders!
By Nadia Khan
While Altaf Hussain was admiring the only woman Prime Minister of Pakistan – late Benazir Bhutto during his rally, I was recalling his interview given to Rediff, Mumbai (during his India trip) to its Senior Editor Sheela Bhatt, published on 18th November 2004, responding to her question: "Like you, Benazir Bhutto is also in exile. Do you meet her? Have you overcome your differences?" Mr Hussain said: "Please don't compare me to her. She is a feudal lady. Her politics is to gain power, power, power. She raised the Taleban. And lives only for power." (http://in.rediff.com/news/2004/nov/18inter.htm)
On 27th April 2002, Mr Hussain had said about PPP leader, Benazir Bhutto, "In 1988, Sindh unconditionally supported Benazir Bhutto for the premiership. However, she did not fulfill even a single promise and none of the issues of Sindh were resolved. When Benazir became Prime Minister for the second time, thousands of our workers were extrajudicially murdered in fake police encounters to please the establishment. The Government gave the murderous police officers medals and rewards, and the same police officers committed the heinous murder of her brother, Mir Murtaza Bhutto, in broad daylight. Why doesn't she inform the people of Sindh who killed Mir Murtaza Bhutto? Today she is saying that if she is made the Prime Minister, she would be ready to accept General Musharraf as President for five years." (Ref Christain Post 27th April 2002, http://www.westerndefense.org/articles/Pakistan/may02.htm)
The worst moment came on August 12th 2005, while addressing the public meetings simultaneously at Thatta, Dadu, Badin and Shikarpur on telephone from London, Mr Hussain again blasted the PPP leader Benazir Bhutto, "Despite coming into power twice Benazir Bhutto never tried to set up a commission to investigate the case, PPP merely raised the slogan of Jeay Bhutto instead of finding out and making public the circumstances that led to Mr Bhutto's hanging." He recalled that one of Mr Bhutto's two sons, Shahnawaz, was murdered in France and Murtaza was killed in Karachi, but Benazir Bhutto despite being in power, never disclosed the names of those involved in the murder of Murtaza Bhutto.
Till 9th October 2007, Altaf Hussain was worst critic of Benazir Bhutto and ready to hinder Benazir's arrival on 18th Oct 2007 in Karachi , which he controls from London . He was advised by British authorities and finally took assurance from Altaf Hussain that, "he & his Karachi-based party will not hinder Benazir's return." This was "because the MQM leadership is based in London the British are taking the lead and the Americans are working with them," The Independent quoted a western diplomat, as saying. (http://www.britainnews.net/story/289203)
I could draw few conclusions out of Mr Hussain's approach in 2002, 2004, and 2005:
1. He doesn't like Benazir Bhutto at all – not even willing to get compared
2. He feels that Benazir Bhutto is only a power hungry politician
3. He charged Benazir as the founder of Taliban
4. He charged Benazir as killer of her own brother and purposely ignorant about killers
5. He feels that Benazir, a politician who had done nothing for Sind
And in 2009, same Mr Hussain is:
1. Die-hard lover of Benazir, rallying in her favour
2. Delivering 2 hours long speech, attributing her charismatic character
3. Fully ready to ignore her "Taliban Founder" character
4. Since last few months warning PPP-led provincial govt against resurgence of Taliban in Karachi
With this state of Mr Hussain's unclear philosophy, Muhajir community, MQM and PPP workers are all confused; even Nafees Siddiqui has resigned from PPP Sind secretary general position and many of MQM stalwarts are finding ways to distance themselves from Mr Hussain's unstable approaches!