Of Altaf sagacity and French reception
Half baked stories had begun to be churned out on Tv screens that Zardari’s phone call to Altaf in London had proved a turning point in their strained relationship and that Dr Ishratul Ebad, now nurshing his ailing wife in Dubai, would return to his place in the governor’s house in Karachi.
Following MQM decision to quit the party last month, Dr Ishratul Ebad, the longest serving governor of a Pakistani province, had resigned his post as the constitutional head of the southern province after holding the position for over 8 years and headed straight London hours after submitting his resignation to the President. He had to be off loaded in Dubai because of wife’s health and since then is in Dubai,
Reports, unconfirmed still, make us believe that he was keen to come back but Altaf Hussain was against that. The matter ended there.
Altaf’s decision to remain in opposition and support government’ positive steps, and oppose those against public interest, showed his wisdom and hold on issues confronting the country. He has been in astute politician, a great human being, and a staunch supporter of democracy and on principles of State governance.
The Tv stickers, on the screen since Friday afternoon, had started generating rumours of all kinds. Many experts believed that MQM’ decision to rejoin the government, may prove costly to the party. It would lose credibility not only in Karachi and Hyderabad, where it has been holding sweeping majority since 1988, but also in the Punjab, and Azad Kashmir where it has succeeded in having impact on local politics.
This success had come after great hard work and labour and had to be retained. Joining the government for few ministries may have cost it heavily. But Friday night, Altaf Hussain statement that he will stick to his decision of being in the opposition now and let his party play a positive role in the parliament, was indeed praiseworthy
Issues can be raised as to why in 24 hours, 20 people lost their lives and over 40 vehicles were torched following Zulfikar Mirza’s was outburst against MQM.
Two things need to be kept in mind. He could say as politician anything about his friends or foes, but he had no right to blame the entire Urdu speaking migrants from India who had helped create Pakistan on the map of the world after enormous struggle and sacrifices. By branding them and beggars, and settling down in Sindh, he has inflamed the feelings of the migrants from India. Even Zulfikar Mirza himself, was a migrant, belongs to taimurians and his ancestors had links with Moguls, Babar, and all his colleagues.
Jamalis came from Iraq, and Durranis from Afghanistan. History is replete with such instances. Second thing, Migratory population has always been a laborious and had helped the country where they moved to after leaving their original homes. Even Memoon, Gujratis and Parsis who on the appeal of the Quaid-e-Azam had come to Pakistan and set up industries and business here to let the new country flourish on economic front, felt ashamed by Mirza’s outbursts.
At the time of partition of the subcontinent, there was only one textile mill in Sindh. Memons and Gujratis set up nex textile mills, jute mills and Banks etc. Their expertise and money helped the country grow and had nationalisation not been done by late Mr Bhutto’s government in the 70s, Pakistan’s corporate sector would have been far, far ahead of India’s today.
The violent reaction was not of MQM doing. It was spontaneous reaction from the people of Karachi, Hyderabad and many other areas. Even people in the Punjab hung their heads in shame of whhat Zulfikar Mirza said on TV during a dinner held by the local ANP leader in Karachi.
On the lighter side, the city was agog with parties, fun and frolick, although the street killings had lowered the peoples spirits. Yet Karachi is known for its evenings and social life style. The french Consul General Mr Francis held a grand reception at the French cultural centre in Clifton, known as the Alliance francaise, to celebrate his country’s national day. It was a great gathering. The acting governor Nisar Khuhro delivered a tremendous speech, spoke extempore in english and spoke beautifully. So did the French consul general who is indeed a real representative of his country. He is elegant, courteous and a delightful personality. He has already make his impact on the city’s social of by his inspirational movements.
The reception was attended by the Americanconsul general William martin, and his aides at the Karachi mission, Andrea De Arment,Robert Palmer, his wedded wife, Jennifer. They were tied in nuptial not last month, and spent their honeymoon in Tanzania, a lovely place in east africa. Then there were the Swiss Consul General Didier Boschung, the german consul general Dr Christian Brecht who now is going to Ottawa in Canada on his new assignment. He was a loveable personality and people in Karachi would surely miss him a lot. Then the Indonesian consul general Rossalis R Adenan, and the acting consul general of the Russian federation Konstantin Znagiev, the Kuwait consul general Muttairi were all there.
The party was warm and enormous in size, coming soon after the US 235th national day of July 4th, but celebrated in Karachi two days earlier than scheduled date.