Alarm bells ringing, but will they listen?



  • Recently, after the Senate elections, we were offered some usual entertainment. MQM-P leader Farooq Sattar expressed shock over the fact that very many of his MPS going rogue and wondered how it happened.

    And I do not know whether to laugh or cry over it. After all, Faisal Wadwa of PTI had stated weeks back that MQM's votes for Senate Elections have been sold off.

    Moreover, television viewers were treated to disgusting childish displays by MQM-P of splitting, making strong statements against each other, and then coming together, only to split again had made the party a joke. In view of all this, many commentators had stated that the MQM-P MPAs, unsure whether they would be able to retain their positions in the next general election or even whether the party will survive till the next election, at least some of them would try to make the best of the limited time and opportunity that they had.

    And all these things were being discussed openly in the media. And after listening to all this, it is hard to believe that Farooq Sattar could not see it coming and that it came to him like a bolt from the blue. And if it really happened that way, he could be nothing but a dumb-head. However, what is more likely is that he takes the public as pure dumb-heads and hopes they will fall in for his version.

    It is really shocking to see MQM is fragmenting. First there was Haqiqi followed by PSP, MQM-London and now we have Bahadurabad and PIB groups. Admitted, MQM has been under pressure from civilian governments as well as the establishment and faced few brutal operations. I remember the time when it was enough for someone to be young and Urdu-speaking to be picked up, followed by demand for money for his release, failing which he would be tortured and implicated in criminal cases or worse like extra-judicial killing. Those days, even supposedly sober newspapers didn't see anything wrong with publishing the news that such and such person has been arrested for being an MQM sympathiser. And even now, while the killers in Balochistan and elsewhere are forgiven and embraced as (formerly) angry brothers once they renounce violence, the same option does not seem to be available to MQM workers. Off course, these pressures played a significant part in splitting MQM by creating MQM-Haqiqi and allegedly, also PSP. However, MQM leadership can not absolve itself of all responsibility in this regard and shares a fair degree of blame for its present predicament, which is partly due to its wrong policies in the past, like excessive throwing of its weight about. And even now, not much sanity seems to prevail among the MQM leadership or even among vast majority of its members who remain devoted and glued to their particular faction leaders.

    And now different factions of MQM are going to celebrate the Youm-e Tasees separately.

    I think instead of just blaming others for their predicament, MQM members, workers and leaders and also those of MQM-Haqiqi and PSP have to do some serious thinking and elect fresh leadership - with persons like Farooqh Naseem at the top - and do it fairly quickly. They could even choose a new name for the party which act could satisfy the ego of some among the establishment and ease things for all.

    And once they are together again, under one banner, with all links from Altaf Hussain severed, they should seek forgiveness from people in Karachi, Sindh and elsewhere for not coming anywhere near the standards expected from them or rather for not being of any use to those who brought them in the Assemblies and the Senate and instead bringing them only embarrassment and humiliation to their staunch supporters.

    And if the MQM-P, Haqiqi and PSP people can't do the needful, they will perish and will only have themselves to blame for this, and there won't even be many people crying for them.

    Mustafa Kamal might attract substantial attendance at his public meetings but this could be due to people from various constituencies coming to it. However, in elections, he would need substantial number of voters from each constituencies. Votes of Urdu-speaking people spread over many factions, yet others being so disgusted that they may not cast their vote at all, and for votes of people other than Urdu-speakers, there may be many candidates in the competition. In any case, time for ethnicity-based politics is over. So, even Mustafa Kamal may not be able to secure winning numbers in the general election. In fact, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has already declared the MQM to be finished.