NOW that Mustafa Kamal has held an impressive rally at Jinnah Bagh, misunderstanding misconceptions, or confusions prevailing in minds, must have been considerably cleared. He came with an idea about providing a political platform to the people for the attainment of their rights as independent citizens of an independent country, and collecting people from far and near, has succeeded to a very great extent in his mission.
Doubts however, may still be persisting in the minds of quite a large number of people as to his objectives, organizational set up, targeted areas in terms of location and segments of society, and whether he is capable of achieving what is expected of him? Quite normal, Kamal, after all a new entrant to politics, a dicey arena indeed. Such questions will arise, but at the same time, he should be given time to prove his worth.
Loaded with similar questions, I sought an appointment with him, but before conveying to readers as to outcome of that meeting, let me explain in advance that I and Kamal were together in Sindh cabinet from early 2003 till 2005 when he became the mayor of Karachi, but we remained tied in relationship of mutual respect, and affection, and indeed that clicked well. Kamal, Anees QaimKhani Dr Sagheer Ahmad, all were happy and embraced me.
Those claiming that he was all alone, streets around his house on Khayabane Sehar in the heart of the Defence Society, wore a deserted look, would be advised to visit the place again with open mind. When I was there at the dead of midnight, almost an hour after midnight, I was surprised to see almost a dozen TV vans lined up in front of the Kamala house. Inside the 500 square yard house, were people thronging from bedrooms to sitting rooms and meeting places.
Not an inch was available for me to move. Telephone kept buzzing constantly on insutrment with Kamal, and of his colleagues. Callers frantically wanted to enquire about his party, now named as Pak Sarzameen, his mission and whether he needed their help or support. His advise to all of them was “just waite”..
The meeting, though short, of about 30/35 minutes, but allowed us enough margin to dilate on vital subjects. The conversation helped answer many a question. Needless to remind here that from the beginning, Kamal was candid and clear in his mind about what he was supposed to do. Looking back, it could be said without any fear of contradiction that he did really justified fully the trust reposed in him.
No flattering, no unwanted accolades, but Kamal has always been clear in his perceptions. He discharged both his assignments—of a minister in Sindh cabinet, and as father of a city, beset with problems of severe magnitude. .
Challenges were horrendous in nature, but he discharged his duties to the fullest satisfaction of his own self, General Pervez Musharraf, President of the country then, to Governor Ishratul Ebad, and MQM founding father, Altaf Hussain. The massive face uplift of the world’s 6th biggest city during the short period of 5 years he was in control of civic affairs, Karachi changed completely,comparable to a very great extent with any modern city of the developed world. Without the help and backing or personalities mentioned above, he may not have acquired the desired results, but ignoring his own efforts and dedication in completing his assignments, would be sheer dishonesty.
Criticism has surfaced about the attendance of his maiden rally on 24th April in Karachi, but those harbouring such ideas, must give the allowance to him that this was his first-ever rally, needed tremendous organization at every level, mobilizing people, arranging funds etc;, being careful in picking words to communicate with the audience. All these required ingenuity, which was profoundly displayed.
In my opinion, some minus points may well have surfaced, but overall the rally was a great success. Kamal and colleagues were genuinely happy. The turn-out was tremendous.
Records and newspaper reports are full of appreciation of a young man, working untiringly for 18 hours a day, and taking rest for just couple of hours, that too to be with his mother on death bed.
During the conversation we had, Kamal came out candidly in his perceptions, which were also vivid during interviews he gave to various television channels. Concentrating on Mohajir cause, he knew would limit the scope of his operation. He talked therefore of entire Pakistan, from Karachi to Khyber, and points beyond to the mountainous North. At the same time, he is conscious of his obligations to his own community, which had somehow been dealt a raw deal, not now, but over a long period of time.
In one of the interview he even revealed that neither he himself, nor Anees QaimKhani, Waseem Aftab, advocate Anees Ahmad, or Raza Haroon, will be in the central executive, to be founded soon. Yes off course, he himself and close associates, perceiving the concept of a real Pakistan party, and naming it as such, would be vigilant about their duties, and obligations.
The central executive or council, whatever the nomenclature, it would comprise of all shades of opinion, and representing all communities inhabiting Pakistan. That alone would help it acquire national appeal and grow in stature. Lastly, I, as a media man myself, feel upset sometime about the use of terminologies in print or electronic media, like dissenter or rebel. Such brands or labels would be relevant only if he had deserted the party for larger benefits.
He had resigned his senatorship barely after six months, and then quit his job as chairman of the MQM’s charity organization, called the Khidmate Khalq Foundation. He moved quietly to the Gulf financial centre of Dubai, and was back home again to “liberate the people” who in his opinion were “chained” to a serve or slave mindset. Voices are still being heard whether he would succeed in his mission. God Almighty knows that. Kamal’s job is to work harder and harder, and leave everything to his Creator. Faith in Almighty is always rewarding.