THE November 8 evening, when Farooq Sattar and Mustafa Kamal, bitter adversaries for more than a year, got together to relay a message of hope and promise, and tried to open a window of new opportunities for their followers, was a huge, huge development. The announcement made by them had electrified the atmosphere. It saddened those expecting bigger victories in coming elections, but brought smiles on the faces of those complaining of deliberate injustices, or, usurpation of their legitimate rights.
Wisdom however, refused to dawn on those claiming to be protector of human valued. Extremist, hot-headedness, had always been a minus point among certain elements in MQM ranks. It raised its ugly head in the form of uncalled for extremist, killing the proverbial hen that was about to lay the golden eggs.
A high voltage drama, potentially beneficial for a vast majority of people, coming of usurpation of legitimate rights, was brought to an abrupt end. Curtains were drawn on it even before its first act was about to be over. A seasoned politician, veteran parliamentarian, and carrying the burden of leadership on his frail shoulders since August 22 last year to keep the MQM alive despite all odds, was seen sadly through foggy lenses. Reactions about his unity with the Pak Sarzameen Party, and the tremendous response he got from Mustafa Kamal, and Anis QaimKhani was the beginning of a happier era for a mass of population, ill-treated by those at the helm.
But what could be done with people believing in sycophancy, self-serving, or self-inflicted extremists, or even rabble rousers, who refuse to see reason or logic. Such people are now in considerable strength in MQM, a party founded to liberate the have-nots to elevated position, and contributed immensely to promoting and strengthening or a strong middle class, a backbone for any developing, self-sustaining society, fell in their hands, They rebelled against Farooq Sattar. The list, long and short, is irrelevant, but deputy convenor Kunwar Naveed, former zila nazim of Hyderbad, and Amir Khan, firing the first salvo from the holy land of Saudi Arabia, perhaps Ameenul Haq, and some listed Kishwar Zehra also among them. They all ganged up, ignoring the fact that changes sometime become unavoidable compulsions. Even the party founder, Altaf Hussain had been bringing changed to be in tune with time. But insistence from extremists within the ranks and file of rabita committee and others against Farooq Sattar overturned the apple cart.
Kunwar Naveed, along with others made it clear that MQM Pakistan, would under no circumstance deviate from its founding principles of retaining the umbrella of their own party tricolor, election symbol of Kite, and rejected with disdain any attempt to concede electoral constituencies, from where it was winning with majority.
These elements forgot that time never remains the same. Adjustments and flexibilities need to be accepted to keep pace with time. Mustafa Kamal was right in emphasizing at the joint press conference that coming elections in 2018 will be fought under a new election symbol, new name for the party, and new manifesto that will be all emcompassing. He was absolutely correct and realistic in emphasizing that word Muhajir had become irrelevant, and that Karachi population had undergone tremendous changes to comprise of substantial number of other ethnic groups.Urdu speaking people of which MQM in the beginning, emerged on political map of Pakistan as the standard bearer in 1986, and had held on to that ideal for long enough. But was forced to adopt a national outlook knowing well that it was an absolute necessity to win votes in non-Urdu speaking areas.
But the ultra-sensible people within MQM appeared completely detached from changing realities. They insisted that Muhajir would remain their catch word for onward journey, which in experts opinion was a major mistake.
However all such elements prevailed, and Farooq absented himself from the post-press conference Rabita Committee meeting, dropping a bombshell later of his retirement from politics and abandoning a party which he taken care of at the cost of his leisure and comfort. But then those disowning him, knew that this would leave them rudderless and shouts of “no”.”no” rang out, workers and leaders who had differed with him barely some minutes ago, begged him to be back in his seat of authority and accept th stewardship of organisation which in any way was heading for suicide. Bowing to the wishes and appeal of his ageing mother, Farooq reversed decision to leave politics, and promised to serve the people, putting on record at the same time that the party which had tried to expand wings for being national in character, was pushed back to pursue the muhajir politics. Nothing could be bigger and grimmer tragedy than this. But it had happened, thanks to those refusing to see light and latest trends being followed world over.
MQM has put itself in the back seat again. Instead of forging ahead, it chose wittingly or unwittingly to opt for unwise decision. Little did it know that actually it was committing hara-kiri, suicide which would banish it completely.
Mustafa Kamal who is going great guns, remained silent, showing maturity, but would definitely be saddened by the post-press conference developments. However, Farooq Sattar still wants to keep the alliance with Pak Sarzameen Party, but how would he explain Kunwar Naveed Jameel’s insistence to remain adamant of not yielding to compromises, and refusing to allow seat adjustments on its stronghold constituencies.
Can he explain as to how could he be sure that coming elections would throw up new challenges, perhaps MQM may face reverses like it did in PS-114. Was that lesson was not enough, or will it continue to live in world of dreams, detached from emerging realities?
Enough to say that a golden opportunity was lost. Those who appeared disappointed by the emerging force of joint MQM factions, must now be more than happy now. Will Kunwat Naveed and his backers would be happy with that? If they would, they will pay a very heavy price. This is written on the wall.
It remains to be seen whether Farooq Sattar would be back to lead the party, but fi does he would eat back his own words, would be humiliated in his own eyes, lower his prestige, and may lose prestige in public eye.