Pakistan and the changing shape of the MQM

March 16, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Sattar Rind

Many might not know that in Pakistan the word ‘establishment’ is being used for the army. There are also many names for this ‘establishment’, such as ‘powerful forces’, ‘the real forces’, ‘controlling authorities’ and ‘long boots’, politically.

There are also many words being used in local lingo. However they are not much different from those mentioned above, or their meaning. The Army of Pakistan, or the establishment, has remained in power directly or indirectly since the independence of this country in 1947.

No one has ever challenged their authority. They in a sense remained behind the power and ran the country for 68 years, half of which they directly ruled the country by imposing Martial Law.

In this period they created socio-political issues which have been haunting the country ever since. The most notable and worst in the sense of destruction and dangerousness was the jihadist culture which was created in the perspective of the Afghanistan-Russian intervention that negatively gripped the country, as well as the world.

No solution was ever found to those issues which were great in number alongside the jihadist culture, nor had the establishment changed their modus operandi when anything in this respect was repeated in the country.

They always had their own arguments and belief in the truthfulness of their actions, never accepting their politically committed mistakes or giving any weight to political analysts or leaders if someone tried to convince them otherwise; never did this happen.

They instead lingered and always followed what they accepted as right and correct, assuming they were the real movers and shakers of the politics of the country. They genuinely reflected in their gestures or otherwise that they were the only masters of this country.

In addition to this, they never received a challenge by any political leader nor did they ever face any real trouble ruling the country. However, there was some potential for this in the challenge by the first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB), General Zia ultimately hanging him for that reason, as is perceived by his large political followers and intellectuals of Pakistan.

Though ZAB was convicted in a murder case that he had maneuvered for one of his political opposition leaders to be killed, his father was accidentally killed instead. This was assumed to be a ‘true lie’ though.

Later this had been accepted by one of the Supreme Court Chief Justices, Syed Nasim Hasan Shah, who was then in a team of four judges from seven who had convicted ZAB to be ‘hung until death’- and was under great pressure from the ruler for such capital punishment. The ruler in question was none other General Zia who was president and Chief of Army Staff of the country at the time.

General Zia also created sectarianism and ethnic conflict and tried to divide the nation into moieties and tribes, or in local lingo – ‘bradaris’ to counter the political influence of ZAB in the country, especially between Shiites and Sunnis, and in Sindh, the Sindhies and non-Sindhies.

As a result the Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) came into existence under the leadership of Altaf Hussain. This MQM subsequently became the Muthada Qumi Movement, however the abbreviation has remained the same – MQM.

The organization went against every race of Pakistan that was living in Karachi and Hyderabad or every small or large city of the Sindh province. They promoted torture at its peak, killing with the use of drills, burning people to death, cutting women’s breasts, kidnapping for ransom, taking Bhata (extortion) and the target-killing culture in Karachi. Nevertheless, its main target continued to be against the Sindhies, of the Sindh province.

The MQM over time did not even remain sincere to their own immigrant people (Muhajirs) or the Urdu speaking people of Karachi and Hyderabad. They became agents of India and started receiving funds for weapons and training to disturb the country’s largest business and industrial hub, Karachi, over the last twenty years. This is what is being claimed by their ex-Senator and newly factional leader of the MQM, Mustafa Kamal, in a recent press conference in his residence at Karachi on March 3 2016.

In other words the ‘baby child’ of the establishment itself has for a long time become a great issue for them. Therefore they attempted to break it in a number of ways and had often started operations under different names in Karachi, a faction having been created under the leadership of Amar Khan as MQM Haqiqi.

Following the same pattern, another faction has now been created under the leadership of Mustafa Kamal, who was once a telephone operator in the MQM office at 90 Azizabad, the home area of Altaf Hussain.

Mustafa Kamal, who also remained MQM Mayor of Karachi in the General Musharraf era and later perhaps in 2013 due to such intriguing activities against Altaf Hussain, had left Pakistan. However he suddenly came back at the start of this month and conducted a press conference, declaring Altaf Hussain a traitor of the country as being an agent of the Indian secret service RAW.

Everyone knows it was an old move of 2013, but some leaders, due to fearing for their lives, informed Altaf Husain who was against his leadership, many of which including Mustafa Kamal having fled Pakistan. At that time the group was larger than what we would soon see this time around.

It is also being claimed that Sindh Governor Isharat-ul-Ibad was and still is a key player on behalf of the etablishment in this game. However they are definitely doomed to failure. The establishment does not care about the anthropological studies which had been conducted on such large groups of immigrant people’s behaviors and their way of perceiving things differently than the original or son of soil people.

Such immigrant people have their own logic and way of perception. This new faction will therefore cause further polarization in Karachi and at some point create conflicting issues that would continue the killings in Karachi.

What we need is assurance that if any had been involved in any illegal activities, they would be punished according to the law. Instead, we patronize the criminals just because they are ready to come under the umbrella of the establishment, as is generally perceived by political analysts.

There are also strong rumors that Altaf Hussain is currently taking his last breath in London as he is reportedly very ill. This again would prompt sympathy in his favor, all of the newly factional leaders having betrayed him. Besides, his leadership would remain intact, whoever Altaf choosing to endorse as his successor would be accepted by his true followers.








Sattar Rind

Sattar Rind lives in Sindh, Pakistan. and is an Author with four books to his credit. three poetry and one on politics. As a Columnist he has written for a number of newspapers and magazines since 1991. Sattar can be contacted at the following email address: [email protected]


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