Ali Afzal Sahi
Altaf Hussain’s political career has been full of controversies and this is not the first time that he has invited criticism or offended the patriots. He is the same person who said that Pakistan’s creation was biggest mistake in history of mankind and that independence of Pakistan was a foolish step taken by Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Comments such as these help in giving a perspective to recent events. This time he went a little too far by saying “Finishing Pakistan will be a religious deed”. This inflammatory speech was a rude awakening for even MQM clan, and quite a few prominent leaders and workers decided to quit party.
It is nauseating that Mr. Hussain feels at liberty to incite citizenry against the state. One fails to understand how asking one’s followers to get ready for battle against state institutions doesn’t amount to high treason. Does imploring an enemy intelligence agency (that is known to be working against Pakistan’s interests and responsible for terrorist activities in Pakistan) for assistance not amount to high treason as well? Does asking NATO and an enemy country to send their forces to Pakistan not amount to high treason? What about writing a letter to the High Commissioner of India against Pakistan’s intelligence agencies not high treason? Add to that, calling Pakistan an “incurable ulcer”, hurling “Pakistan Murdabad” slogans and asking ones party to destroy Pakistan. It is hard to imagine an act more accurately fitting the definition of treason.
Moreover, complaining about the institutions that are serving in eliminate terrorism within Sindh reflects upon the vile vendetta of the MQM’s spearhead, who wants to get rid of inconveniences for the criminal scums working under him; spreading the very terror rangers were called in to take care of. The security apparatus, therefore, will enjoy his ‘unconditional’ support only if they give him and his miscreants a “safe passage”. It is interesting and ironic to note here that Mr Hussain, back in 2013, had invited military to initiate an operation to snub criminals and promised his full support for ordeal.
It comes as no surprise that electronic, print and social media are holding the party leader’s actions under a magnifying glass, discussing what the future holds for Mr. Hussain. Article 17 of the Constitution explicitly states that any political party responsible for working against the state’s interests can be banned. Also, section 124A of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) has clearly outlined the seditious acts.
After reading the section and analyzing Mr. Hussain’sdiatribe and consequent acts, it is not hard to comprehend that the legal proceedings can and should be initiated against him. Similarly, the West Pakistan Maintenance of Public Ordinance, which stipulates the law of preventive detention vis-à-vis maintenance of public order/safety/interest, is also of relevance and can be used to strengthen a criminal case against the fugleman and talking heads of MQM.
This is not the first sight of Mr. Hussain’s chameleon-like properties wherein he apologized the next day. The blatantly obvious pattern stares back at those who wish to see it. This is also not the first time he has crafted words against Pakistan, like a desolate opera singer, he has merely exercised his vocal ranges and jacked up the pitch. Similarly, in this vein, this is not the first time he has sprayed venom on the media, judiciary and the army. This certainly is not the first time that MQM workers have attacked a media studio or terrorized the art of journalism. They do as their supreme leader’s will dictates. But let’s be fair here, no matter how many times these offences have been repeated, Mr. Hussain has apologized. Hasn’t he?
The past governments have been repeatedly guilty of ignoring serious threats to Pakistan’s security and not taking a strong enough action at the right time. Lets hope that the current regime with its pleasing balance between the civil and military and a history of stern action against anti-state elements, will wake up to the task and realize that in the case of this enemy of the state, it might already be too late.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Lahore.