The MQM imbroglio

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Zaheer Bhatti

Farooq Sattar and his colleagues are being very naive in expecting the Government to unseal Altaf Hussain’s Nine Zero office cum Residence which symbolizes the traitor, more so now with their London Chapter disavowing and rejecting MQM(Pakistan)’s move ostensibly disassociating itself from Altaf and amending its Constitution in an attempt to strike out AltafHussain’s clout. Clearly there is a divide in the Party which brings Farooq & Co’s measures to hold currency to naught as Karachi’s Rabita Committee is over-ruled by London. The situation per force requires that Altaf Hussain’s Party be disbanded de-seating all its members as their oath to the Party owes their election to their chief rather than their own credentials, and those holding the State above the Party resign their seats, fashion a new Party and seek a fresh mandate.
Sadly instead, Farooq Sattar styling himself as the current Party Chief of what is being coined as MQM (Pakistan) is indulging in gamesmanship and trading in Whatsapp and Social media still recognising the London Secretariat. He is well advised that instead of continuing to indulge in polemics and trying to further confuse the MQM vote-bank and keeping them in a limbo in a vain attempt to water down the crimes of his Party Chief, they need to emulate the courageous examples set by MPA Iram Farooqi and MNA Asif Hasnain who have voluntarily resigned in protest against Altaf Hussain and his Party’s shameless anti-Pakistan conduct. Short of this Farooq Sattar and his cohorts will henceforth be seen to be accomplices of the traitor.
Far from any democratic credentials MQM initially standing for Mohajir Qaumi Movementwas founded as a one-man Party by Altaf Hussain who reserved for himself the dubious distinction offashioning itas the only Party exclusively on ethnic lines and writing himself into its Constitution as the supremo with veto powers and his party men not obeying him to be declared traitors. He enticed his followers into pursuing a mirage wherein 32 years down the line today, they had been between the devil and the deep sea having achieved nothing except finding themselves at his mercy and forced to follow him for fear of their lives and safety.
Altaf Hussain finally shooting himself in the foot has in the process while shattering their dreams exposing his real face as a long time anti-Pakistan Indian Intelligence RAW Agent, has mercifully released them morally from his bondage. This is the greatest betrayal and disillusionment of a people who followed him blindfolded, while their Leader has back-stabbed and rebelled against the State seeking help from its enemies and adversaries only to disgracehimself and his followers. They could never have imagined that they had sworn allegiance to a serpent and not a messiah.
One must give some credit to Mustafa Kamal and his noted colleagues most of them former MQM Rabita Committee Members for breaking loose off Altaf Hussain’s strangle hold much before he spilled the beans and taking the lead in exposing his RAW connections while making their regretful confessions of having blindly supported the evil leadership which thrived on the support of a sizeable section of the Urdu-speaking community in the Country but turned out to be an enemy agent leading a militant mafia aimed at destabilizing Pakistan.
The irreparable damage Altaf Hussain caused at the very outset to his political entity was that it was not only raised on ethnic lines alienating it from the majority of the electorate and shutting off its prospects of ever becoming a mainstream National Party, but also let it carry the stigma of covert and overt support of dictatorial Regimes of Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf, and thereafter till date also the Civilian Governments who have used them to containtheir opponents, not realizing that they were rearing a mercenary in the National closet.
Unfortunately, none among the civilian dispensation in Pakistan except Tehreek-e-Insaaf so far are seen to respond decisively. Although the Provincial Assemblies passed Resolutions condemning Altaf Hussain’s treasonable acts and utterances, the Government ought to have immediately called a joint sitting of the Parliament condemning the traitor, and demanded of his Party’s leadership and followers to declare him so, and denounce, condemn and disassociate themselves from the man and his Party while resigning from the mandate they had received in his name.
The Government of a self-respecting Nation ought to have immediately filed with the Election Commission of Pakistan to disband Altaf Hussain’s MQM besides moving the Supreme Court for the traitor’s conviction for high treason. The Government rather than merely writing to the British Government to take action against its subject should have required him to be handed over to Pakistan under the Extradition Treaty for trial or got him arrested through Interpol.
In this hour of affliction when the entire Pakistani Nation is fuming with furyover the traitor’s aberrations, no half measures from any quarter are going to be accepted by the people. Let it be clear to the Rulers that if they do not come up to the expectations of the people, they might survive the Panama Leaks accusations but will not be allowed to pocket this National disgrace.
Seriously in question is the conduct of the Election Commission of Pakistan touted to be an independent Body, which has allowed a Political Party to continue being registered in Pakistan all these years whose Chief was no longer a Pakistani National and its Parliamentarians owing their election not to the electorate but their Chief. Sadly till date there is no reference from the Government to the Election Commission seeking to disband the Traitor’sentity while welcoming those including Farooq Sattar claiming support of the electorate to register afresh with the Election Commission of Pakistan and stake their claim to seats to be thus vacated.
Also unwittingly trying to give the sinking Party a lease of life is the crude act of Sindh Government in pulling down MQM offices in different localities and creating sympathies for them rather than just sealing them regardless of whether they were legal or otherwise pending decision about the political fate of the Party. It would have been prudent to allow those in the Party sincere to the Country to themselves do the chores in time which did not look too distant. As for Farooq Sattar the Deputy Convener of Altaf Hussain’s MQM who has been privy to the entire Party construct and its maneuvers all along, he needs to realize that nothing short of falling in line with the National sentiment by all his Party ranks will do.
One would have been inclined to give MQM’s local leadership and its followers a chance to prove their credentials under the same banner had their Party Chief Altaf Hussain not made himself supreme with veto powers over all its affairs which does not allow anyone else to carry out any amendments to its Constitution leave alone outlawing its supreme leader who had not only abandoned his Pakistani Citizenship but finally committed high treason against the State of Pakistan. Under the circumstances Farooq Sattar and Co. rather than trying riding two boats and avoiding to call a spade a spade, have no option but to resign from all elected parliamentary offices of Pakistan, publicly denounce the traitor, seek allegiance from all its chapters in and outside the Country and go for a fresh mandate through the ballot.
—The writer is a media professional, member of Pioneering team of PTV and a veteran former Director of programmes.

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