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Rebuttal to ‘The dilemma of MQM and the Pakistan army’

I read the article “The dilemma of MQM and the Pakistan army” in Daily Times newspaper which was written by Mr Kamran Hashmi.

Source: [Daily Times: February 07, 2014]


In that opinion-based column, Mr Hashmi tried to depict Pak Army and Muttahida Qaumi Movement [MQM] controversial among masses. In the start, the columnist targeted MQM’s self-exiled founder, Altaf Hussain and in the later part, former COAS Mr Musharraf and tried to give the impression as if Mr Hussain and Mr Musharraf both are a burden for their respective supportive groups.

Mr. Hashmi expressed his concerns regarding the future of MQM, and prognosed that Mr. Hussain’s iron grip at the helm of MQM could be harmful for the party. Naturally, the question arises; on what basis he is predicting the future of MQM and its London-based founder? If we assess the prominent political figures of Pakistan, we will conclude that after Bhutto and his daughter Benazir, Mr. Hussain is the only leader left who has will and ability to unite his workers on one platform and we can corroborate this by looking at how MQM’s party workers and second-tier leadership stood united under Mr. Hussain’s leadership after surviving the holocaust-like operation in 90’s. It was indeed the iron leadership of Altaf Hussain that got them through such crucial times. A glimpse at the past also manifests the charismatic character of the party founder. On many occasions, it has been witnessed that a whole crowd would observe ‘pin-drop silence’ on the directives of Hussain to show the discipline among MQM’s followers. Writer also overlooked the recent world-wide rallies which were organized to express solidarity with MQM’s founder which were a testimony to the fact that he still enjoys strong support among his party’s supporters and worker. Strangely, Contrary to that, Mr Hashmi claimed that the political journey of Mr Hussain has come to an end.

Mr Hashmi also asserted that Mr Hussain will likely to be arrested by London police in money laundering and Dr Imran Farooq’s murder cases. How can he be arrested in those cases whilst he has not even been charged in any of these cases? It has also been reported in the past, by many new-papers and TV channels that metropolitan police and Scotland Yard had imposed a ban on Mr Hussain to make telephonic speeches to Pakistan from London. Few media agencies went so far that they reported that Mr Hussain’s house had been declared a ‘sub-jail’ for him. However, we all know how true those news were and Hussain has addressed his supporters from London, via telephone, many times after that. What the writer failed to mention was the fact that Mr  Hussain’s political antagonists are pressing UK officials to frame MQM and its founding leader. Not a few days ago, Britain’s new High Comminssioner, Philip barton discussed the proceedings of Dr Imran Farooq murder case with PTI chairman Imran Khan. He also failed to mention that, recently media made some revelations that Jemima’s brother, Zac Goldsmith has also played his part in the investigation of Imran Farooq murder case who enjoys a healthy friendship with Jewish lobby and Imran Khan.

Mr Hashmi categorically hailed Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz [PML-N] and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf [PTI] but failed to mention the hooliganism of both parties in last general elections of 2013. He opinionated; PTI gave tough time to MQM in its citadels whilst he didn’t mention that PTI faced worst rejection in by-elections [after general polls] in the presence of army forces in Karachi. He also did not mention that MQM’s vote bank not only sustained, it also increased in some constituencies and the vote that was cast against MQM had almost all gone to PTI. He didn’t direct the attention of readers that PTI couldn’t even manage to bag votes more than 5K from NA-254, Korangi, in the by-elections under the supervision of Pak-Army. Whilst MQM clinched 50K+ votes from NA-254 in by-polls. That is why neither Imran nor any leader of PTI cried about poll rigging and afterwards PTI never demonstrated its public power in the city. The writer also failed to mention that neither Imran Khan nor Nawaz Sharif have the guts to maintain discipline in their parties as Altaf Hussain has. On many occasions their party workers have been found involved in ransacking, armed clashed in Punjab and KPK, hooliganism and vandalism.

Mr Hashmi has also talked through Musharraf’s treason proceedings in his article. He made an effort to portray the image of former Army chief in negative perspective. Further he declared Musharraf as a nightmare for the Army. The writer, perhaps, failed to observe the support that Musharraf enjoys among the educated and middle-class sections of the society. He also overlooked the fact that Pakistan witnessed remarkable developments in Musharraf’s era, which can readily be concluded through statistics from 2001-2008. If Musharraf was a coward, then why did he return back to the country? Couldn’t he stay outside the country forever or for a decade like Nawaz Sharif? Yes he could but he returned back with the determination to re-make Pakistan ‘a prosperous state’.  He knew that the moment he would step onto Pakistani soil, he would have to face numerous cases.

In the end, I would urge writers like Mr Hashmi to update their knowledge about the recent happenings before converting their opinions into articles. Making a statement like “Once the BBC has aired the second part of its documentary regarding the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), we can almost confirm that the political career of the self-exiled founder of the party, Altaf Hussain, is almost over” shows that you have no knowledge about BBC’s past history and its documentaries that had an effect on Pakistan’s political history and election and most certainly it points out that you have underestimated the support that Mr Altaf still enjoys among his supporters.

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