The ultimate has happened: Lines are now finally drawn between MQMs of Pakistan and London

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Salahuddin Haider

WHAT was feared or anticipated from the beginning,has finally happened. Lines have now been clearly drawn between the MQMs of Pakistan and London. Gainer or loser is lesser issue, but even if picked for arguments’ sake now, the Pakistani segment, being far more stronger, and powerful than the other, is the sole beneficiary. Rightly so. Cannot be disputed Those in London, looked power-drunk from the beginning, Their sagacity, and wisdom, or to be even more specific, sheer good luck, they remained protected from the onslaught or vagaries of the time as long as they kept silent or preferred a policy of least interference on the decisions of those on the ground in Pakistan, but the moment they lost patience, and blurted out sentences, derogatory or ill-timed so to say, they had to pay the price—a very heavy one.
Sacking of Nadeem Nusrat, head of the policy making Coordination Committtee, and three other front rankers like Wasey Jalil, Mustafa AzizAbadi,, and Qasim Ali Raza, was the end of the story. Whatever hope that had kept rekindling for rapprochement or rehabilitation ended the moment London made the statement that minus Altaf, MQM was nothing, and that MQM was Altaf and Altaf was MQM, he was the founder leader, and that he had raised the voice for Muhajir emancipation, even if true, should have been left unsaid.
That it was relayed all over, and hit the TV news bulletins, adorned their sticker lines, curtains had to fall. It fell sadly on a personality and figure, who rose from the phoenix to the highest stature of leadership, suddenly found himself faded. True, Altaf stood isolated since his contemptuous speech of August 22 in Karachi. He was down but not out. A flicker of hope remained alive somewhere, waiting for a fine morning sunrise to help him revive and restore. Wisdom, therefore, demanded that he should have exercised maximum restrain after a massive blunder. He should have maintained a low profile and waited for the time to be the healer. That he chose to do otherwise, has now practically eliminated him from the scene—whether forever—hard to say. But for a considerably long time to come, his career seems to have been sealed. That is a bitter fact.
Those portraying Altaf as some kind of Demi-God , are not entirely incorrect. For millions of his workers, supporters and sympathisers, he still remains molded solidly in that role. But the cherished principle that every rise has a fall, has to be seen in historical perspective. Not acknowledging it will be unwise. Altaf was different as founder of Muhajir Qoumi Movement, and he was not alone in his missionary zeal to work for the Muhajir Community of his. There were others too like Dr Iman Farooq, and Azeem Ahmad Tariq( bot no more among us now ). They too had tremendous contribution in building a party which within the twinkle of an eye soared high into the sky, fame greeting it like Gift from the God.
But hardly had the jubilation dried up on their astounding success in the 1987 municipal or the post-Zia parliamentary polls of 1988, Altaf and colleagues, resorted to fascist methods of threatening newspapers to demand important front page spaces for their gospels and pictures in newspapers, they even burnt newspapers, Dawn and Jang alike, and tore their pages on the streets, disallowed their distribution in some areas for days together. These were obviously fascist tendencies, and were though accepted under fear, these were never liked by anyone.
Such contemptuous acts stick like a black spot on the face of a political party, and MQM was no exception. It is still paying the price for its initial mistakes till it was tutored to be prudent and behave like good boys.
All praise to Dr Farooq Sattar, and the entire MQM in Pakistan for delinking themselves from the Pakistan Murdabad slogan of Altaf Hussain, or the raid under his orders on the media channels by his supporters, ladies particularly. Unpardonable acts, But Credit goes to Farooq Sattar, Nasreen Jalil Amir Khan, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi and thousands other unnamed soldiers for detaching themselves from a wrong and condemnable policy.
While Sattar was still struggling to consolidate his gains, and the administration was repeatedly being appealed to allow them space for discharging their duties as political party, duly registered with the election commission of Pakistan. Their demand to de-seal the principal office of Khursheed Memorial Hall, is a genuine one and must be heeded to.
Under no law or constituition, rules or procedure, can a political party, fulfilling the legal conditions, and having proper registration can be denied the right to operate itself independently, and pursue its philosophies and perceptions, or deliver its message to the electorate or the general public. That is the inherent, inalienable right of every Pakistani—cannot be denied under any circumstance or on any pretext.
That Sattar, after prolonged meeting in Karachi Tuesday night, announced removing Nadeem Nusrat from the party’s post of convener, and removing Wasey Jalil, Mustafa Azizabad, and Qasim Ali Raza from the coordination committee was a natural outcome for London is now in minority, and cannot dictate terms to majority which the right to take decisions and enforce these.
Sattar and collegues have done exactly what they were supposed to do. No two opinions on that. Their decisions should be respected by those in London. Otherwise MQM will not only split, but in sheer confusion at workers level, will either disintegrate or unleash an energy that will be disastrous for everyone.