Why MQM wants to enter in Punjab ?
By Nadia Khan
Last evening while having dinner together, when one of my British colleague, who is also engaged with a famous media group in London and actively writes about Pakistani politics, has inquired as ‘why Altaf Hussain wants to enter in Punjab politics?’ I became curious as I have no idea that any British journalist could get involved in Pakistani politics especially politics of Karachi or Muhajirs upto that level where a local leader is trying to portray his party in another province of Pakistan !
With a blank face, I nodded as ‘what do you think!’
She said, ‘his slogan is quite appealing; representation of 98% oppressed class and in Punjab there are number of opportunities for MQM!’
‘What opportunities?’ I inquired in an exclamation
She has started revealing her last two months activities in Karachi, ‘I spend last two months in Karachi, trying to know what exactly MQM had achieved so as they think that now Punjab ground is ready for them to enter.’
‘Basically MQM has failed to achieve their targets originally set forth by them, especially Altaf Hussain such as abolishing the quota system in Sind for Karachi residents, repatriation of Beharis (people who claim to be Pakistanis during 1971 war) living in refugee camps in Bangladesh, and equal rights for the Urban population of Sind, especially in Karachi, Hyderabad, Nawabshah, and Meerpurkhas. These three were the foundation stones for Muhajir Qoumi Movement formation and none of them has achieved in last 20 years!’ She continued her conversation
I was shocked with the in depth of knowledge of a British girl who only spends 60 days in a city and knows much about its ethnic politics. I was enjoying and I inquired further to provoke her for more information gain!
‘What have you learnt is those 60 days politically out of Karachi politics?’ I had thrown another question
‘Something, with that I could write a detailed report. Such as the history of MQM since 1988 elections as under what circumstances they had won the municipal elections and then successive local bodies or national elections and their entry in Islamabad . The way, they had bargained with PPP or IJI in 80s or 90s, the blood bath of Karachi and MQM role in it, 1992 Army Operation against the MQM criminal elements who were trying to seek outside help, the way they had planted their own ‘men’ in all education & local bodies departments in Sind side by side with Sindhis to help MQM in election process. The way, they take control of vicinities through their sector in charges and powerful personalities, not brought to light for common Muhajirs.’ She added
‘You know, what are sector in charges?’ I asked vehemently as I felt that she knew less about the deep inside of MQM operational process!!!
‘Yes dear, I know more than many. They are the most powerful men in MQM and directly answerable to Altaf Hussain or MQM UK ’s team without any intermediate authority. They are the one who run MQM as per the orders of UK office.’ She answered categorically
‘Ok, what’s MQM motive in Punjab or sometime they voiced their concerned about entering Kashmir politics too!’ I brought back my first question
‘Simple – all have to understand. MQM has no more activity left in Karachi . They won the elections, they are in power corridors since long even it is a military dictator or a democratic President or a democratic dictator all the time you would find MQM in power corridors. MQM main motive wasn’t the three points I highlighted before. They want to be in ruling class sitting next to landlords of Sind , even though they call themselves as the representatives of depressed classes. None of the member of provincial or national assembly could speak on his or her own behalf. All have been given strict guidelines to speak and mostly very few are allowed to speak with press.’ She continued her sermon like speech and I was enjoying
‘Have you noticed the fate of Aamir Liquat Hussain, how he is kicked out of the party & ministerial portfolio when he had disagreement with Altaf Hussain over Salman Rushdi issue. He was hardcore and diehard member of MQM since Daily Percham days.’ She added and I was amazed over her insight know how about MQM.
‘I met with Aamir Liquat but he didn’t open up his mind. Probably, the fear inside as what could happen with him if he speaks out openly. That's how MQM treats their MNAs or MPAs.’ Do you know this she inquired?
‘By keeping this status, MQM has no other agenda to divert the Muhajir community from the original issues. That’s how they crafted another “subject” entering into Punjab politics where they have no roots and ground to stand. That’s how, if you had noticed those they have been hired in Punjab to hoist MQM flag have no clean record. And they would be protected from Karachi or London by press releases or political slogans as ‘MQM workers are been targeted in Lahore & other parts of Punjab by Sharif government.’’ She replied
‘There’s no substance in MQM political agenda for common Punjabi population; Altaf Hussain’s past is full of terrorist activities, right from daily strikes during late Benazir first term till 1992 operation beginning moments then killing of Azeem Ahmed Tariq, the Chairman of MQM and you couldn’t find any statement from MQM for the apprehension of those who had committed this killing. Then Afaq Ahmed & Aamir Khan’s dissident moments and killing of hundreds of Muhajir youngsters between the Mutahhida and Muhajir Qoumi Movement splinter groups inter-fighting and killing each other workers. Hope you remember the moments when Altaf Hussain became the “Peer of Karachi” under the influence of interior Sind landlords and peers. That’s MQM past. Is he going to offer same to the poor people of Punjab ?’ she became little emotional
‘Yes, he would try to broaden the gap between the Northern & Southern Punjab. Sarieki belt is quite unhappy with their Lahori brethren and politicians like Altaf Hussain might gain ground by fuelling the emotions of hatred among them in Punjab using the name of rights for Sariakei people. Also Punjab might become the battle ground for ethnic groups and MQM Punjab workers could take refuge among them for any inter-group fighting by leveraging most out of it in Karachi .’ She explained and I couldn’t believe this now
‘You could find Altaf Hussain raising his voice in favour of Pakistan Army nowdays against Taliban. Do you know his press releases in 1992 when the same Army was conducting the operation against the criminal elements of MQM in Sindh, he was totally against of Pak Army and Pakistan itself. Do you know how an army major (Major Kaleem) was abused in Karachi?’ She mentioned and I have no other option to say yes!
By that time, we were able to finish our meal and I said to her ‘thank you for nice dinner’ and we departed. On way home, I was just in deep thoughts, what if the ‘fears’ of a foreigner could come true about MQM and Altaf Hussain then Punjab would be facing another blood bath through the hands of MQM and Lahore will have same fate like Karachi in 1992!!!!