Time to introspect

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Zaheer Bhatti

HOW in the first place did a student leader in Karachi in the mid-eighties who had burnt the National Flag at the Quaid-i-Azam’s mausoleum and laid bare his patriotic credentials, come to be chosen by Zia-ul-Haq to neutralize the Bhutto charisma allowing him to form an ethnic-based Political Party with a ‘Haq Parast’ tag; continues to be a big question mark. Pakistan already had the sectarian problem on its plate, while adding an ethnic element to the divide only presented more fertile ground for enemy agents to exploit. But most regrettable has been the use of this ethnic outfit by civil and military rulers to consolidate their hold on successive power sharing it with the group specifically in Sindh but generally at the Centre for nearly 28 years, and in the process allowing its leader Altaf Hussain to become a genie out of the bottle. And now that the genie has laid bare his credentials, Hassan Mujtaba’s timed eulogy of Momin Khan and Dr Hassan Zafar Arif both renewing their allegiance to the traitor at this moment is intriguing; but not for the columnist who has elected to portray these individuals as role models and martyrs under the circumstances.
One cannot be certain at what point the Indian Intelligence lay its hands on Altaf Hussain as a potentially exploitable commodity, which for sure must have stamped its approval in concert with MI-6 as soon as the crony fled the Country and sought political asylum in the United Kingdom taking oath of allegiance to the Queen in the early nineties, from where ever since he remote-controlled his Party registered in Pakistan. Someone in Pakistan will have to answer how and why a person who was no longer a Pakistani National was allowed to run a Political Party from abroad and what forced successive Governments to make their frequent sojourns to Nine Zero and London abode of the proven traitor.
The Government at the Centre owes an unambiguous explanation to the people of Pakistan, as to why it did not act promptly after passage of unanimous Resolutions in the National as well as in all the Provincial Assemblies of Pakistan, particularly after the one moved by MQM’s members in the Sindh Assembly in the wake of Altaf Hussain’s 22/23 August tirades against the State of Pakistan, wherein they had demanded of the Federation to institute a case of treason against him and his cohorts, and disavowed themselves of any allegiance to Altaf Hussain and his London group. The Pakistani Government in taking up the matter with British authorities in a lukewarm manner has been guilty of usual half-heated measures in that, even if a case of treason against the man could not be pursued because he was no longer a Pakistani citizen, it ought to have without any loss of time clamped a ban on Altaf Hussain’s MQM while demanding of the British authorities to hand over the culprit to Pakistan, for inciting revolt in a friendly Country. MQM which though registered in the name of its Rabita Committee Chief in Pakistan Farooq Sattar bore the stigma of undisputed allegiance of all its members to Altaf Hussain, and per force required it to be dismantled to avoid any technical snags and counter-claims as being evidenced ever since.
An official public announcement ought to have been made in order to clear the deck that as a consequence of the ban and resultant de-seating of its elected members from Altaf Hussain’s plank, all patriotic Pakistanis who condemned and parted ways with the traitor were free and welcome to register as an Independent Party with the Election Commission of Pakistan. The de-seating of a sizeable number of Parliamentarians from both the Houses would inevitably call for re-election on a large scale, the other option being dissolution of Assemblies and early general election.
Pakistan’s failures are numerous, but what stands out is its perennial failure to stem and smother any evil the moment it raises its ugly head and a bit of sincere introspection to correct the wrong before the enemies of the State exploit the situation. A political analyst over a News Channel served a stark reminder to the powers that were at the helm of affairs in Pakistan, of the time when they failed to anticipate the emerging scenario while exonerating Shiekh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman over the Agartala Conspiracy Case, which ultimately culminated in separation of the Country’s Eastern Wing. Pakistani leadership appears to be hell-bent on aiding traitor Altaf Hussain to become another Sheikh Mujib, as despite his publicly avowed animosity to the State of Pakistan, Govt has failed to promptly outlaw his outfit from political scene of country.
The man is first allowed to flee the Country, abandon Pakistani Citizenship and seek political asylum in Britain from where for nearly a quarter of a century under the Wings of MI-6 he is allowed to run and remote-control a political Party in Pakistan titled MQM with a militant wing carrying out abductions for ransom, target killing running torture cells for political opponents, collecting bhatta, grabbing land, inciting his followers for a rebellion against the State of Pakistan and seeking help and interference from enemy countries. And now for the last several weeks and months he is again being gradually allowed to make his presence felt in the Country by way of a so-called London nominated Rabita Committee of the Party engaged in a cat and mouse game within MQM despite a categorical declaration of condemnation and disassociation of MQM’s Pakistani leadership and its followers from their erstwhile leader.
This has been allowed to happen despite a breakaway faction of the Party re-emerging on the political scene of the Country led by Mustafa Kamal under the banner of Pak Sarzameen Partyfirst making confessions of having worked for a man who later turned out to be an enemy of the State, and then mustering courage when most shuddered, to make startling revelations confirming their former leader’s RAW connections and funding by the Indian Agency against Pakistan, and magnifying the confessions of Kalbhoshan Yadev the Indian active service in Pakistani captivity about his deadly exploits in Pakistan.
Rather than taking notice of the grave situation emerging from this pronouncement and taking on board Mustafa Kamal to probe matters further whose revelations not only lent substance to the once alleged and long-suspected Jinnahpur plan by the over-ambitious MQM major domo, but also more recently confirmed his acts of subversion, the Government of the day has kept dragging its feet as usual, as they witness coincidental dropping of money-laundering charges by Scotland Yard after years of quasi-investigation against Altaf Hussain the trails of which eventually lead to India, clearly pointing to the RAW-MI nexus and Indian pressure behind the clearance. One is amazed at the apathy and inability of the Pakistan Government to read the script and not instantly outlaw the culprit and his Party, which should have happened the day he made his unpardonable utterances.
—The writer is a media professional, member of Pioneering team of PTV and a veteran former Director of programmes.

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