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Altaf Hussain vindicated

In tough times when a nation’s mettle is tested and since 1971 we have not faced such challenges. At this time, besides the rigors of war which our brave soldiers are fighting with grit and determination, we face a huge national crisis.

On the battle field, our armed forces seem to be doing well. I am no military expert but they appear to be going about their task with dedication, precision and great care. Fighting insurgencies is not easy as it is not the conventional warfare armies are trained for. But, whatever evidence we have, of this and the earlier South Waziristan operation, our armed forces are adapting and beginning to win.

On the political front, it is regrettable that while we are in a virtual state of war, there are discordant voices. Some PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz) members continue to make speeches against the operation and against the army in the National Assembly. This is unhelpful considering that the both Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif have taken an unequivocal stand against the terrorists. Maybe these members should check with their leadership before holding forth. However, no one has been more disappointing in this regard than Imran Khan. I have respect for what he has achieved on the cricket field. He was a great player and an inspirational captain. His achievements in social sphere especially in the shape of creation of Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital are truly stupendous.

When it comes to politics and policy though, the same Imran Khan is unfortunately a signal of failure. It can be truly said of him that he never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. He could have teamed up with Nawaz Sharif in 1997 and got his party’s presence in parliament. He flip-flopped with Musharraf — supporting him in the referendum, opposing him in the ensuing general election — and got the worst of both worlds. He boycotted the 2007 election when being in parliament (provided he won) would have made a great deal more sense. These examples are of power politics and it may be argued that parliamentary success or power is no measure of a person’s success as a politician. Fine, let us look at his policy prescriptions. From the start of his political career, he rallied against what is sometimes termed as western culture. This was a straight rejection of modernization.

In a country that was being pulled back by obscurantist mullahs, this was a strange choosing of sides. I will not even go into the personal choices that Khan made while doing this. His second fixation was the idealization of a Pakhtun tribal culture. Granted that their inter-tribal dealings were egalitarian and perhaps the tribal councils or jirgas worked well. How this model could be transplanted in other parts of the country, was neither explained by Imran nor obvious. In between, he took some correct positions on the judiciary question and Musharraf but badly fumbled while trying to prosecute Altaf Hussain in England. A politician should know which battles can be won and which are a lost cause.

Imran vowed to go after Altaf Hussain in England and declared victory even before he had presented his case before the British government. As was expected, nothing has happened despite his various entreaties to the high and mighty in that country. Imran Khan also shamelessly attacked the founder and leader of MQM (Muttahida Qaumi Movement) Altaf Hussain on numerous occasions. Without any proof straight from his hospital bed, he accused Altaf Hussain of killing PTI’s (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) senior leader Zahra Shahid ‘I hold Altaf Hussain directly responsible for the murder of Zahra Shahid as he had openly threatened PTI workers and leaders through public broadcasts’. In order to gain electoral sympathies and with the intentions of instigating violence in economic hub – Karachi.

When Altaf Hussain replied to the baseless allegations, Imran khan played another dirty trick and filed a case against him for inciting violence. PTI launched a fully fledge campaign in order to persuade Scotland Yard to charge Altaf Hussain and spent millions of dollars hiring telecommunication firms to register complaints against MQM supremo. These firms and his social media workers sent more than 20,000 letters, emails and complaint calls against Altaf Hussain to Scotland Yard.

The much awaited ‘Victory of Truth’ came on June 11, 2014, which was the day celebrations being held to mark the start of Altaf Hussain’s struggle as a 25 year old and the formation of APMSO (All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organization). The same day Scotland Yard announced to scrap investigations MQM leader for ‘inciting violence’. Scotland Yard stated that ‘Altaf Hussain’s speech did not have anything that goes against the UK laws’. On the other hand, Crown Prosecution Service said that ‘We did not have enough evidence to establish a case against Altaf Hussain for ‘inciting violence’ and there would be ‘no further action’ against him on the speeches made after 11th May elections’. They added that complaints had been received on Altaf Hussain’s speech delivered at Teen Talwar, Karachi. Special crime and Operation officers had reviewed the speeches of London based MQM leader and found nothing against the UK laws.

This ‘Victory of Truth’ is a proof for those pathetic political leaders who believe in the politics of conspiracies and want to come into the power through the backdoor. Altaf Hussain has served Pakistan for more than three decades; he knows the politics and politicians from inside out. All the ongoing conspiracies against him are conspiracies against Pakistan in actual terms but Altaf Hussain has always believed in the supremacy of law. The sole reason this ‘Victory of Truth’ is very special to the millions of MQM workers as Altaf has risen again.

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