HAPPIER DAYS FOR MQM

Salahuddin Haider

Tuesday, November 03, 2015 – YES, sir. Happier days should be insight now, as growing indications are now availabletowards that. A bridge has been established between the urban-based party from Sindh, and the army leadership of the province.

Contacts made so far between Muttehada Qoumi Movement, and commander,5th corps, Lt-General Naveed , as also the Director-General of Rangers Maj-General Bilal, have yielded positive results.

A healthy development indeed, made possible after realization that confronting the army, would be an exercise in futility. Arapport, instead, could be much more productive. Initiatives in that direction hasa helped achieve that objective to a substantial extent, knowledgeable sources here confirmed.

Situation took a turn for the worse when the party supremo, Altaf Hussain, perhaps under tension or falling prey to hyper habits, was accused of using abusive language for the military or the para-military leadership.

Such tendencies, naturally, was bound to reflect heavily on anyone, confronting the army. Cases were filed against Hussain, and warrants were issued for his arrests, and even convictions were announced from courts.

A ban was placed on publication in print media, and relaying on TV channels of his speech or its contents. A complete black out was in force since last couple of month on the Pakistani media. One of the two judges of The Lahore High Court, however, felt that the ban was a violation of freedom of speech, guaranteed by the Constitution.

Eminent lawyer, and human rights activist Asma Jahangir, appeared for Altaf Hussain, earning annoyance from some of the hard-liners of her prorfessional colleagues, but she remained firm in her stand, and managed to secure partial relief for the MQM leader.

The case is to be heard tomorrow in Lahore, and from indication available so far, Asma may clinch the issue.

From the MQM side also, a goodwill gesture has been shown. Altaf Hussain’s apology for his remarks against the military, was submitted before the court.

Yet another reason for believing in rapprochement between MQM and the government, was available when Dr Farooq Sattar, the front-rank leader of the party, signed an agreement, with finance minister Ishaq Dar agreeing the withdraw resignations from the parliament and the provincial assemblies, which was pending decision since mid-May this year. The senate members of the MQM have returned to their seats, and on Nov 6, when the National Assembly meets, MNA s of the party, too will be back on their seats.

This cribe, just for a reminder, would like to recall that he had already submitted in regular coloumns that army, as such was, not even not opposed to MQM or its Urdu-speaking followers. Neither was a vast majority of the people in the Punjab, were opposed to either of the two. In fact MQm was respected because of its philosophy and ideology or providing middle class, and lower middle class leadership to the country. Urdu speaking people in fact, were respected in the Punjab for their cultural and academic background.

The problem was only Altaf Hussain, and that too, because of his uncontrolled utterance against the military leadership. That feeling, to a great extent, is beginning to disappear, once that MQM leadership tried to clarify their position to the Sindh corps commander, and the DG rangers. This are beginning to show better results, and hopefully the unhappy relationship between the two would soon vanish, but goodwill need to be given permanence from both sides, these sources said.

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