The ever changing MQM

By A.K.Chisti

MQM is one political party which had been instrumental in not only bringing upon a change but had been in a constant state of introspection throughout her relatively short political years. It was obviously founded as a student reactionary force back in the ever rebellious late 1970’s and later transformed herself into a mainstream political party in 1984 by announcing herself as “Mohajir Qaumi Movement”. Interestingly the momentum to change did not stop as MQM finally went universal in Pakistan by actually changing her party name from Mohajir Qaumi Movement to Muthida Qaumi Movement in 1997.

All in All, the man who had the vision and who over-looked and maneuvered the constant change of direction was none other than the founder of MQM who is known as Quaid-e-Tahreek, Altaf Hussain Bhai or the Leader of the Struggle. A rebellious student of B-Pharm from University of Karachi.

Undoubtedly, Altaf Hussin Bhai is a visionary leader with an excellent organizational and leadership qualities who actually made the right decisions at the right time. I was once told by a friend whose a close relative of late Benazir Bhutto that if Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s speeches could be matched by anyone in Pakistan; it could only be your leader: Mr.Altaf Hussain and coming from a Sindhi Nationalist made me all proud that day. What’s more astonishing is that the leader of MQM who did everything and suffered personally, financially and even physically rejected to step into a public office which is unprecedented by South Asian standards where most of not all are power hungry and political office is considered the mecca or the ultimate destination.

Altaf Hussain’s Vision for Pakistan had always been of a progressive, enlightened and secular Pakistan – a Pakistan free from discrimination, a Pakistan where provincial autonomy is insured as promised in 1940 Pakistan Resolution and by 1973 Constitution and where distribution of wealth is transparent and just.

Unfortunately, the message of Quaid-e-Tahreek of MQM, Altaf Hussain Bhai had been distorted by certain forces who considers even the mention of “equality and empowerment for all ” as Blasphemy and Treasonand they are indeed the real one’s who should be tried under article 6 for actually rejecting the constitutional approach of Altaf Hussain Bhai to resolve issues.

It also makes an interesting observation that whenever MQM actually starts becoming popular in Northern Pakistan something against MQM happened. In 1992 when MQM actually wanted to go-global by changing her name to Muthida Qaumi Movement a “Serb Style Genocide” was conducted where more than 15,000 of MQM workers and voters were brutally murdered in extra-judicial killing.

12th May is not an exception too; it came when MQM was popular in Punjab and NWFP thanks to the great contributions by MQM during the Earthquake Relief Work. MQM by then was getting popular in Punjab and then 12th May happened and MQM had to close her offices thanks to the negative propaganda against MQM although by then MQM did got couple of seats from Azad Kashmir where couple of her member got elected to the Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly where one of her member today is the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly.

Similarly the recent violence is not out of the blue too, MQM after abstaining from the Nizam-e-Adl Legislation (often dubbed as Nizam-e-Jahalat Legislation) won hearts of the people of Pakistan who overwhelmingly were against dealing with those who beheaded our soldiers, flogged our women publicly and molested the dead. The speech of Haider Abbas Rizvi, the deputy parliamentary leader of MQM shall always be remembered in history of the parliament as one of the most brilliant speeches ever by a parliamentarian and which reflected the real sentiments of people of Pakistan but just when there were huge signs of good-will for MQM around the country; the conspirators did what they are good at; and the peace of Karachi got disrupted. Unfortunately MQM against fell victim to the negative propaganda which this time the propaganda didn’t worked out against MQM.

Similarly showing great magnanimity the leader of MQM Mr.Altaf Hussain not only kicked start MQM’s activities and working in Punjab but has actually assured the Punjabi brothers that MQM will stop Talibans coming into Punjab and that MQM will give out unconditional support to the Government and Armed Forces against the Talibans and not only that KKF a brilliant charity organization of MQM was asked by QET, Altaf Hussain Bhai to work for the Internally Displaced People who are migrating from SWAT.

For as long as Pakistan remains an epicenter of terrorism, the future will see MQM remaining active in opposing religious fundamentalism and defending its city. The future is also likely to see a rounded support for MQM from non Urdu speaking societies, as they begin to see MQM in a positive light with regards to its active role in opposing religious fundamentalism. Importantly, a softer image of MQM will emerge as they continue to be the first party to send help to disaster prone areas, as they have done in October 2005 and October 2008. Recruitment of Non Urdu speaking members to MQM will steadily increase due to the recognisation of MQM as the only party that truly represents the ninety eight percent of Pakistan’s middle class and working class and a party that is working for democracy. In the future, it will continue the campaign outside of Sindh to clear the misconception of MQM in the minds of people who had been severely misguided by anti MQM forces.

This article was first published on 14th may 09 @  Chowk here

  1. Thanks for sharing the vision of MQM, I would rather say that MQM is the only party which is following democratic norms. The largest party with vision is PPP but it is also not a democratic but family owned, not running by the vision but by the name of Late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

    No doubt Z.A. Bhutto is one of the best leader we ever had. He had vision and if he would have stayed longer then we would have been living in a different Pakistan. He came from feudal background but was not like the one at present suppressing people and against the development. Would rather have to admit that he is one of the greatest leader of the last century, but look what have we done to him.

    This is the time to seriously think why 98% of the people are being suffered in the hand of less 2% of the feudal and corrupt people. MQM being the party of the middle class and common people have to think and devise a strategy to counter it.
    The media presence of MQM is very poor, they are doing many positive things which are not projected in the media, so have to do a coordinated effort to project the image. The other thing is difference is statement, sometime the different people from MQM are giving different statement to the media which is showing lack of coordination, this area need to be improved.

    As I heard that there is coordination committee of MQM, it need to study the effect before taking any decision, as the 12th May incident. It was a political suicide, the other parties were as guilty as MQM but the negative publicity came to MQM, it could have been avoided if the committee would have studied the affect.
    Another mistake was to support the strike call, the same thing are done by Punjab government but they never acknowledge in the media and showing that they are innocent.
    This is the time to learn from the mistakes and help the people of Karachi and Pakistan to get out of this difficult times.

    We are a nation of 160 million hardworking and intelligent people, Allah have given this region with a lot of natural resources, good climate but look what have we made this country Pakistan.
    We are the only Muslim nation with an Atomic Bomb, if we can make atomic bomb then together we can bring the economy back to track where we do not need to beg to other nations.

    The best part is we do not have lack of visionary only thing is that we need to study them and implement their vision. Kindly learn about the visions of “Allam Iqbal” and the life of “Tipu Sultan”.

    Forgive for mixing a number of things in the same article, long live Pakistan.

  2. Funny how conveniently people forget the torture cells of the 90s? Does that come in the ever-changing face of MQM and the vision of the great leader.

    In addition, someone who is now a British citizen and living in Britain should not claim to understand the people of Pakistan nor claim to be a leader. A leader is one who stands with his people through thick and thin, not hide in London while the people are facing problems.

    In addition, how does one compare Altaf to Allama Iqbal when the dream of Iqbal was so rudely trampled and spat upon by Altaf when he said separation of Pakistan and India was a big blunder?

  3. i am a bit shocked at finding such a piece on this blog. i do have nascent support of the MQM, but this unabashed jingoism is laughably inexcusable. i am sorry, but may 12th did not happen out of the blue as the author claims. it was a challenge to the MQM’s muscle, and it reacted in a childish and ultimately murderous way. perhaps this is the reason the MQM can not mature – instead of taking on challenges it inevitably retreats to its roots of being a militant and angry party.

    instead of courting the pashtun vote – which has not been locked up by the ANP – the MQM demonized them. it was a stupid move. and not one becoming of a large party with national ambitions.

    really a very lame post.

  4. So what’s the alternate?

    If the state want’s to demonize anyone and anything – it can do anything with the PTV Propaganda in the 90’s – things have changed.

    It’s the only political party whose leader are middle class, educated and uncorrupted.

  5. @ KK I am surprised that you are shocked? Ali Chisti is entitled to his own opinion as much as any of the rest of us are? So i do not really get what you are aiming at?

    Or we should not hear him because he is from MQM?
    This blog is a democracy.. if you got something to say mail it to me and i shall put that up as well 🙂

  6. Mr. Altaf Hussain has set marvelous example for the political system he advocates. He did the following things:

    1. He brings leadership from them middle class families.
    2. He has not brought his family members in the politics.

    Look at other parties. They install their relatives in key posts.

  7. Everyones entitled to their own opinion , we cant force someone to believe otherwise. No ones all good specialy wen we talk abt Pakistani politics, khair I love that its a ‘she’ ! ahha ! i kno its totally irrelevant n makes no sense. But yes am a feminist a rather cracked up. But power is mostly associated to a ‘he’ in our patriarchal society. O well m done being random!

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