Monday, May 4, 2015

MQM May Disintegrate after Altaf Hussain

May 4, 2015
By Saeed Qureshi

Now when Altaf Hussain the unrivaled boss and lord of MQM is blowing hot and cold in the same breath, the MQM looks like rudderless ship wandering aimlessly on the stormy political ocean of Pakistan. There seems to be a Pandora box of criminal cases in the process of being revealed by those who were the close associates or undercover hit-men of Altaf Hussain.

The MQM operatives rounded up in the ongoing anti- crime blitz by the Rangers in Karachi city are spilling beans of the clandestine plethora of crimes and banditry perpetrated by the goons and target killers of this closely knit outfit. Even if Altaf, in a jocund mood calls the Indian spy agency RAW for helping MQM, it is tantamount to subversion and patently an unpatriotic gesture.

If the name of RAW has surfaced as the abettor and supporter of MQM even casually or maliciously still there could be some substance into this allegation. But if this accusation is viewed with Altaf Hussain’s Keynote Speech at the conference in New Delhi on 6 November 2004 in which declared that the “idea of Pakistan was dead at its inception”, such an aspersion gains credence.  Earlier on 17 September 2000, Hussain stated that “the division of the South Asia was the biggest blunder in the history of mankind”

Altaf Hussain, by virtue of his exceptional qualities of leadership and bold instinct, transformed the Muhajirs community into a formidable bloc and force that managed to hold its absolute sway in Karachi by expelling such dogged parties as JI and PPP and even Muslim League out of political arena.

Altaf Hussain enjoys a very peculiar and unique status among the MQM rank and file. He possesses inimitable oratorical gift. Moreover he is the founder of this party that he welded together on the racial slogan. There can be no other leader in the MQM that can match Altaf Hussain with regard to commanding absolute reverence and fear as he does. He is a deft tactician and a shrewd though reckless and merciless master of the political chessboard. There seems to be a semblance of method in his errant behavior.

By virtue of his untamed and aggressive posture not only has he brought the MQM in the political limelight but also injected a marvelous monolithic brotherhood within the party cadres. His leadership has infused a vibrant spirit among the migrants from India who until the time of president Ayub Khan were always at the receiving end from the successive regimes in Pakistan.

The Muhajir community may adore Altaf Hussain out of fright or devotion is beside the point.
The moot point is that if he has to leave the MQM stage by natural causes or on his own volition, the vacuum thus created by his departure would not be easy to be filled in by anyone. Though gripped by failing health and physical infirmity, he can still mobilize his community on the spur of the moment to assemble and listen to his homilies though now degenerated into mere babbles incoherent ranting and funny meaningless utterances.  

But the intimidation and coercion and violent tactics practiced allegedly all these years and decades by high command under Altaf Hussain is now getting back to the MQM with diabolic connotations. The MQM   leadership was premised upon the democratic principles of elections but in effect it was more of a choice and imposed popular mandate than a free and fair choosing of the central coordination committee members. 

The other committee “Central Executive Committee” is elected also by choice and not by the mandate of the community. These committees have the individuals on their panels endorsed or proposed by Altaf Hussain and that is the end of it.

It is foregone that any successor of Altaf Hussain cannot keep the Urdu speaking community as well as the members of both the committees bound in the monolithic unity as done by Altaf Hussain. In the aftermath of Altaf Hussain the MQM might disintegrate into factions. Besides the  pent-up dissension and discontent might surface as happens invariably with the parties ruled by a strong individual or group.

But perhaps it could as well be a blessing in disguise for this party for the overriding reason that the dictatorial and a kind of devotional grip of Altaf Hussain might give way to a culture of liberty and free exercise of opinion within the committees and on the larger scale for the ordinary Muhajirs who may rather feel liberated in voting, movements and living.

That development might extricate the party from a racial gridlock and expose it to a broader national vista and countrywide horizon. Thus it would come out from a narrow image and join the national milieu. That would be the beginning of a new plausible identity of MQM for being a national rather than a parochial party.

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