The pendulum oscillates uncertainly


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Zaheer Bhatti

WHILE it appears to be curtains for the genie and his Party created by Ziaul Haq in a bid to contain the PPP, the present Government seems hell-bent on giving currency to the traitor and his followers by not decisively and promptly outlawing the so-called London based Rabita Committee despite Farooq Sattar disavowing allegiance to Altaf Hussain and his cronies around him. In fact any one still speaking for the condemned man or his faction must also be declared as traitor and his Pakistani citizenship stripped up. The joke has already gone too far with successive Governments unduly pampering genie and unable to put internal House in order, leave alone coming to grips with external enemies.
It was PML(N) during whose Rule in 1992, the MQM despite being its partner in Government had started to become a nuisance in parts of Sindh which prompted the Army Operation against it under Gen. Asif Nawaz who died a mysterious death attributed to a sudden stroke for an otherwise healthy and robust soldier. But it was actually the swoop by PPP’s Interior Minister Gen (R) Naseerullah Baber against MQM in 1994 mainly in Karachi unearthing its torcher cells, smashing no-go areas and matching body bags with body bags, which forced the militant leadership of the Party and its fugitive leader along with some cronies to flee the country and seek political asylum in Britain. It was at that time that the political outfit ought to have been scrutinized forthwith.
Instead, it was let off and was having a ballin Sindh under Musharraf’s patronage during his rule eliminating hundreds of marked Police men allegedly involved in the operations against the Party, with the MQM Chief allowed to operate and remote control the Party from London. But Providence has its own system of justice as the monster which the Commando reared with such gay abandon eventually fell foul of his own power-drunk stupidity spilling the beans and revealing his inner-self as a paid Indian Agent; so much for the political acumen and services of the mainstream Political Parties as well as Military leadership of both Gen Ziaul Haq in first throwing up an ethnic-based political Party namely MQM in Sindh in a crude attempt to contain PPP after hanging Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and subsequently umbrella provided to it by Musharraf, strayed commando to wreak havoc in Urban Sindh.
Notwithstanding the political expediencies of the past regimes, with the true face of the Altaf brand MQM now thoroughly exposed thanks first to Imran Khan’s courage and initiative against Altaf Hussain with the British authorities at a time when no one dared utter a single word against him in or outside the country. The other person to take credit has to be MQM’s breakaway group of once all powerful Rabita Committee members, spearheaded by its former popular Mayor of Karachi Mustafa Kamal together with Anees Qaimkhani another veteran, who after pulling a retreat from the Party in the face of high-headedness and increasing dubious conduct of their exiled Chief, had re-appeared on the scene after hibernating for a few years, only to pluck courage first to make their own confessions of going along with their former leader’s unholy exploits, and then reconfirming RAW funding and anti-Pakistan operations by the Party besides its militant wing’s criminal activities in Pakistan, while launching their own political party under the banner of ‘Pak Sarzameen Party.’
Looked upon with suspicion in the beginning as allegedly launched by the Establishment against MQM, as Ashfaq Ahmad’s Haqiqi in the past, Pak Sarzameen Party gained gradual momentum with more notable Party members joining their ranks and Farooq Sattar ferociously defending his London mentor while gunning for Mustafa Kamal and company. He was eventually made to eat his words following Altaf Hussain’s own incessantly mounting diatribe against the State of Pakistan asking for Indian, Israeli and American intervention in Pakistan; confirming something that had thus far only been a speculation. With more desertions from the party this time some of the patriotic members of Parliament disillusioned with their Party Chief’s anti-State posture and the issue having been nailed beyond doubt, Farooq Sattar has been landed between the devil and the deep sea.
Though MQM is registered as a political party with the Election Commission of Pakistan under the signatures of its Deputy Convener Farooq Sattar and technically speaking, the London faction cannot stake claim to the outfit, it does however give the Londoners an opportunity to create deliberate confusion within the Party whose Constitution submitted to the ECP bars any member to disobey the edict of their Chief, thus disallowing any faction to amend the Constitution and unilaterally strike out the name of the founder of the Party without consensus within the Rabita Committee. Since that was now impossible as the party stands fragmented, the only course left to Farooq Sattar is to resign from the Altaf Hussain-mandated Parliamentary seats of his Party and seek fresh mandate under a new banner.
With the pendulum oscillating uncertainly for the Party followers, a needless tussle between Altaf Hussain led Nadeem Nusrat’s London clan, and Farooq Sattar at the Head of the Rabita Committee of MQM in Pakistan both outlawing each other, has been allowed to brew and create a situation which the Government of the day and the Election Commission of Pakistan needed to have pre-empted. With documentary evidence besides witnesses, Altaf Hussain’s MQM ought to have been disbanded by now and cleared the deck for the Pakistan based leadership led by Farooq Sattar and their law abiding patriotic followers, to launch a fresh Party and get it registered with the Election Commission. The media in this scenario is also adding to the confusion by giving currency to Londoners like Nadeem Nusrat, Wasay Jalil and Co, with undue exposure.
—The writer is a media professional, member of Pioneering team of PTV and a veteran former Director of programmes.