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On Altafism, Sufi folklore and Nadeem Paracha’s adoration of the MQM

Taken from the MQM official website

Nadeem Farooq Paracha, noted left-liberal Pakistani columnist and satirist, is viewed by some in Pakistan’s limited English speaking circles as a prominent authority on the history of Pakistani culture and society. For the younger generation, Mr Paracha came into prominence sometime after the early 2000s when he began writing for Daily Dawn as a weekly columnist and also did a panel show on a Pakistani news channel in 2006. Mr Paracha has used these media platforms to propagate his support of liberalism and a free-thinking approach towards religion.

According to his Wikipedia entry, he had also supported the November 2007 state of emergency declared by the former dictator Pervez Musharraf in which private media channels were banned for a few days and certain news anchors forcibly suspended up till the elections held early the next year. It may be recalled that the martyred Chairperson of the PPP and two-time former Prime Minister of Pakistan Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed had condemned the Emergency Declaration of 2007 as a “betrayal” by Musharraf of their arrangement to restore democracy in the country.

Politically, as he mentioned in an exclusive interview to LUBP in 2011, he has been a PPP supporter since his student days in Karachi. In that interview he also mentioned his support for the “…ANP and the MQM.” His support for these three parties, that have been ruling Pakistan in a coalition government since the February 2008 elections, is ostensibly due to their support of liberal values and centre left politics.

Mr Paracha has previously and frequently used his columns to explain and even advocate the ideologies and even benefits of these three political parties. His last column ‘Enter Altafism’ published in DAWN newspaper’s August 12th issue is a recent example in which his object of adoration is the MQM. He seeks to analyse the ideological transformation of the MQM from its overtly ethno-nationalist Mohajir (Immigrant) Qaumi (Nationalist) Movement origin to its more non-denominational Muttihada (United) avatar.  While one can at least understand, if not accept, whatever logic is pursued in the support of this controversial (to put it lightly) organisation, NFP has made some assertions in his afore-mentioned tribute that merit critical analysis.

IN ANALYSIS

 “Even though the MQM’s main support still comes from Sindh’s Urdu speakers, an ideological conflict had erupted in the party when it clashed with the state on the streets of Karachi in the 1990s.”

As the generation that lived through the its reign of terror in Karachi and Hyderabad in the late 80s very well knows, it was the MQM that had begun to use acts of violence to pursue its political (and economic ends). Mohtarma Shaheed, in the 2007 foreword to her book ‘Daughter of the East’, herself mentions how the MQM had become a “state within a state” and how side roads in certain areas of Karachi were gated up by MQM activists to limit access to those areas where they had hegemony. It was the MQM in fact to whom we owe the introduction of the term “no-go areas” in our national lexicon. Therefore the military and subsequent police action against the MQM was not so much a principled clash with the state as it was an operation against a criminal outfit with a history, by the way, of often persecuting members of its own ethnic group of Urdu speakers.

“Gradually the accusations then led to some organs of the security agencies and the government accusing the MQM of wanting ‘to break Karachi from rest of the country and turn it into a new homeland for Mohajirs called Jinnahpur.’ But it was only recently that former IB Chief, Brig. Billa, finally went on record saying that the whole Jinnahpur issue was largely a fabrication.”

It was not just the Army or its intelligence agencies that were blaming MQM on its Jinnahpur ambitions. Mohtarma Shaheed had also voiced this allegation in the National Assembly as an opposition politician and in the national media as well. A former Pakistan Army Major also endorsed the existence of the Jinnahpur plan and laid serious allegations on those senior military officials who were denying the same. Being an avowed leftist himself, it’s strange that NFP is willing to absolve the MQM of this damning claim on the testimony of a man who’s alleged to have carried out the torture and extrajudicial murder of the famous Sindhi leader of the Communist Party of Pakistan Comrade Nazeer Abbasi in the late 80s.

“The party leadership also explains Altafism’s pragmatist aspect as something that gives the party the flexibility to eschew ideological contradiction. For example, the MQM, though vehemently opposed to Political Islam, has in recent times supported certain issues championed by its reactionary and fundamentalist opponents — issues such as the demand to release Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neurosurgeon jailed in the US on the charge of supporting terrorism in Afghanistan.”

What NFP sees as the eschewing of “ideological contradiction” is called hypocrisy in plain words. While the MQM has shown support or remained silent on issues sensitive to the conservative segment of Pakistani society, its support for the indicted Al Qaeda terrorist Afia Siddiqi can be explained on ethnic grounds. Ms Siddiqi, like most of the leadership and membership of the MQM, happens to be an Urdu speaking Mohajir herself. MQM supporting Afia’s case could be an attempt at subverting the Urdu-speaking, conservative support base the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami party still controls in Karachi.  The readers should also bear in mind that the leader of the MQM for the last three decades, Altaf Hussain was himself a part of the Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba (IJT) , the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami. Informal sources allege that he was a gun runner for IJT.  Anyone, especially NFP who has rightfully written against the militant violence of the IJT cannot gloss over this.

In the recent past, this is not the only instance that MQM has exposed its pro-military establishment and Islamist leanings.  Along with ISPR (the Pakistan Army’s official commnications channel), MQM was amongst the first to lambast the PPP government on its support for the Kerry-Lugar Bill.  This inspite of the fact that MQM is a coalition partner in the same government.  KLB called for the limitations of the Army’s role in politics, strict nuclear non-proliferation and a commitment to crack down on Jihadi-sectarian organizations like Lashkar-e-Tayabba (a.k.a Jamaat-ud-Dawa) and Jaish-e-Muhammad.  For a political party that has tried to refashion itself as secular, this is clearly a major contradictary stance that speaks volumes.

Similarly, MQM continues to be plagued with allegations of having links with Jihadi groups.  Refer to this clip where Sunni Tehrik leader blames MQM leader for supporting madrassas that spread hatred and incite murder and the support given to this entity by senior MQM leader.

Its continuous betrayal and arm twisting of the PPP government (KLB, NRO) and its bizzare calls for “revolution” by “honest military generals” are facts that are quite different from the romantisized view painted by NFP.

It is towards the end of his article that NFP produces an admirable, if slightly Goebbelistic, definition of what Altafism purports to be. Immediately though, the reader is struck by the very visible mistakes NFP makes here.

“It can be explained as a consensus reached between the modernist, pro-business and secular aspirations of the party’s new leadership and the hyper populism of the old guard that still roots its rhetoric in the horrid memory of the bloodshed witnessed during the state’s operations against the party and in imagery entrenched in the idiom of martyrdom found in the tales of defiance in Sufi folklore.”

For one, MQM has had the same old guard in its leadership roles since its founding in the late 80s. Altaf Hussain has been its Supreme Leader, or Quaid-e-Tehrik (Leader of the Movement) as he is referred to by his supporters, since its creation. The late Dr Imran Farooq was its founding Convenor and remained so until his suspension in 2003. Dr. Farooq Sattar, the current head of MQM’s executive decision-making Rabita (Coordination) Committee was also a founder member. Where and which is this “new leadership” that Mr Paracha refers to?

Secondly, and most bizarrely, the narrative of the MQM about its persecution by the “state”, as also endorsed by Mr Paracha in his column, is compared to the tales of martyrdom found in Sufism. One does not have to be a Sufi theologian to know that Sufism, as a basic principle, propagates peaceful activism and not armed resistance! Shah Inayat Shaheed of Jhok Sharif  gave up his life for advocating the rights of the peasants of Sindh without taking up arms or harming a soul. Makhdoom Bilawal, the Sindhi martyr saint after whom Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed named her eldest child and current PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, opposed foreign rule over Sindh in the 13th century and paid with his life for it in what was one of the first instances of death by fatwa in the South Asian region. He too professed his nationalism in a peaceful manner. One needs to inquire from Mr Paracha the identity of those Sufi martyrs who were killed for committing acts of crime and terrorising their people!  One doesn’t know of many Sufis who preach the selling of their personal belongings  to buy weapons like Altaf Hussain used to preach in the 1980s.

IN CONCLUSION

Regardless of what Mr Nadeem F. Paracha would have us believe, MQM has been unable to shake off the perception of being a violent, criminal organisation posturing as a political party. It’s leader Mr Altaf Hussain is probably the only party head in Pakistan with more than 30 murder cases on his head! Since the daytime massacre witnessed on the streets of Karachi in May 2007, the MQM has frequently chosen violent means to express its anger or even political opposition.

May 12, 2007: More than 40 killed and dozens injured as armed MQM activists open fire on rallies of opposition parties taken out to welcome the then ‘suspended’ and current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Iftikhar Chaudhry.

 

April 9, 2008: A protest camp set up by lawyers supportive of the MQM is attacked and its attendants thrashed. In retaliation, a building of law offices is set on fire by an unidentified mob in which 6 people including two women are burnt alive.

 

August 2, 2010: In what was the bloodiest incident of MQM reprisal in recent memory, more than 100 people were killed in 3 days of rioting following the assassination of an MQM MPA.

http://youtu.be/QPBMgbygkRA

About the author

Ravez Junejo

Proud Sindhi and PPP supporter. Pakistan's first iReporter for CNN International. The world's nicest guy.

69 Comments

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  • This government has still not instituted local governments and local government elections in Sindh.

    The writing of this article does indicate that the PPP votebank in Sindh does have some intellectual, and hopefully physical muscle. We in Karachi, were afraid that only the MQM had any brains, brawn and capacity for hard work left in all of Sindh.

    The stagnant urban economy, the slowed down pace of developmental work, and the malicious apathy with which local government systems were allowed to expire and never renewed in urban Sindh, looking at the current federal government with a jaundiced eye.

    The MQM and those who push for it to embrace it’s current incarnation are doing the politics of Pakistan and Karachi a favour.

    The MQM now has a younger generation of cadres, those with no living memory of the anonymity of the 1980’s or the violence of the 1990’s. For these, now men and women, political and economic security, irregardless of ethnicity is a primary requirement. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, with its fantasist outlook on life and softeness towards religious extremists, does not look like a good option. The MQM, unfortunately, calls for a serious structural change in the governance of Sindh, in the form of local government.

    The rising demographic pressure of the urban population calls for transfer of many powers from the provincial bureaucracy, to a legally mandated, locally elected system, with powers of taxation and expenditure.

    The PPP has neither provided these, nor does it give any indication to want to do so.

    It’s stalling tactics persist, possibly in the subliminal hope that memory of an era, when local government arose in Karachi, and a more competent and self assured leadership presented itself, will want with time.

    We need local elections in Sindh, now, to deal with a slow motion disaster of ill-education, non-expansion of a provincially answerable police and an infrastructure simply no keeping pace with demographic pressures.

    I really hate you for making me defend the MQM, but the prospect of living in the near disaster zone that is urban Sindh, the MQM becomes a necessary instrument to deal with an apathetic and authority hoarding PPP.

  • Very good article! It clearly shows that the MQM is a violent political party.

    A true PSF activist (Paracha says he is/was a PSF activist) will never support MQM no matter what. The hero and leader of PSF, Najeeb Ahmed, was killed by the MQM. So no PSF activist can ever support this terrorist organization.

  • A true PSF activist (Paracha says he is/was a PSF activist)

    Actually, your shitty PSF hardliners in the 1990’s kicked out Nadeem Paracha just before Najeeb Ahmed went on to get himself killed.

    Najeeb Ahmed and the diehards of the APMSO and PSF were responsible for plunging Karachi into the chaos it found it self in the 1990`s. The perennial sharks and predators of the Pakistan Army and the Establishment, and their cat`s paw Nawaz Sharif saw the fighting in Karachi and used it as an excuse to not only toss out Benazir, but start an operation there.

    NFP, and the faction he belonged to back then, proposed the APMSO and PSF maintain a united front in Karachi, because anti-democratic and non-secular reactionary forces remained active. In the late 1980`s, early `90`s.

    He covered this need for peace and Benazir’s overtures to the MQM in his eulogy for Fauzia Wahab.
    I`m very sorry to see testosterone and provocation being favored in this article, the people who post it to twitter and this thread.

    President Asif Zardari has maintained this balance, which has kept a PPP government in power for a longer time than any civilian gov in Pakistan`s history.

  • I appreciate the author Ravez Junejo’s effort to shed light on all the facts mentioned. Unfortunately as Pakistanis we have limited options when choosing our political leaders. I do not like any of the parties mentioned in the article however we only have a choice between these and the Taliban lovers. I personally think in present circumstances all Pakistani secular liberal parties should put their past differences aside and come together. This includes PPP, ANP, MQM, Sindhi parties, Communist party, Baloch parties etc…

  • Why has LUBP suddenly started targeting NFP? What is wrong with you! And whats with this MQM bashing! Its not the only party in karachi with a militant wing.

  • Oh no, here comes another anti-NFP rant. Not ONCE have I seen a piece or tweet by NFP lambasting LUBP, and yet you idiots go on attacking him.

    And “previously little known”? Haha. The author of this yet another reactionary LUBP rant was most probably in his shorts when NFP broke out to become one of the most talked about columnists back in the 90s. Secondly most probably the author of this yet another hate-mongering post was not even born when NFP was standing up to the tyranny of Zia as a PSF member.

    Such a group of whining, ranting keyboard jihadists you are.

    LUBP, what can I say? Biggest fitnas. Good day.

  • @TLW
    That’s correct. PSF asked NFP to leave after he had a serious argument with Najeeb. Mr. Junejo, were you even born then?
    LUBP writers are increasingly suffering from frustration. Of not getting enough attention. So may as well keep using NFP’s name in headings. That’s the only way they can get attention.
    Pathetic!

  • @Javed and TLW
    NFP was not fired from PSF, he quit after having huge disagreements with PSF’s Karachi President at the time, Najeeb Ahmed. He had accused Najeeb of unknowingly playing in the hands of Those who wanted to damage the first BB regime by pitching APMSO against PSF and vice versa.

  • And who on earth is Ravez Junejo? Has he ever met NFP? God have mercy on LUBP. What a waste of a once good site.

  • @Yawar

    Why are you making it a personal issue about the author of this article (Ravez Junejo). Focus on the content of his post and present your counter-arguments if any.

    I consider this post an objective assessment of NFP’s blind spot for MQM. There is nothing personal against NFP in this post nor in this blog.

  • Friends: There is nothing personal against NFP in this piece. Please don’t make it a personal issue.

    If this blog can publish critical articles on President Zardari or Shaheed ZAB, or on LUBP editors themselves, there should be no exceptions.

    Despite some minor reservations on certain issues (including his adoration of Altafism), LUBP will continue to support NFP’s secular, multicultural views.

    Finally, well done, Mr. Junejo, for a very well written post.

  • Someone claimed somewhere that NFP is keenly read in Sindhi speaking community. When, where? Why?

  • @abdul how this not personal attackAuthor ignored Nfp Dozens of writting on urban middle classes and instead showing what Wikipedia about him.

  • @ Shakeel

    What do Sindhi speaking friends have to say about this blog post? Do they too appreciate the Sufi soul inherent in Altafism?

  • For those of you who have problems/issues with this article, it is strange that you lauching personal attacks on Ravez. Counter this article. Making personal attacks on Ravez (he was not old enough, etc etc) gives impression that you have no arguements.

  • thanks for publishing this article LUBP! we are big fans of NFP but using trying to drawn analogies but a fascist cult (Altafism) and Sufi folklore was going to far. I have reservations with PPP, JSQM etc and MQM but NFP’s seems to have a blind spot for MQM and there is no harm in critiquing this in objective manner and good research.

    @TLW, you make so valid arguements but have you seen the other side of the problems with the form of local government system that MQM wants. Yes, PPP is apathetic but the local governance system gives MQM disproportionate power in urban Sindh and puts everyone at their mercy. Like Nadeem Bhai, we cannot afford to have blind spot for MQM. LG system cannot function effectively without updated delimitations and census in Karachi. MQM has less than 30% of the vote in Karachi, coming primarily from sections of upper-middle class traders/professionals, Urdu speaking Sindhis some of whom still think of themselves as migrants after 65 years. Vast sections of this linguistic group also support PPP especially in Malir and Landhi. The Pashtuns, Sindhis, Baloch, Punjabis and non-MQM supporting Urdu-speaking Sindhis, all marginalized under MQM which undertakes development work in selective areas of Karachi while ignoring others.

    Hyderabad, with fraction of Karachi’s population also needs delimitation. However, MQM always threatens to break away whenever proper steps are taken to go towards local bodies. With fair elections and the rise of ANP, PPP, Sunni Tehrik, Sindhi nationalists, MQM will be left with half of their current seats.

    Sindh is all for LG system but not under the artificial constraints dictated by fascist groups like MQM.

  • LUBP has taken a very difficult route by critisizing Nadeem. My advice to LUBP is to not publish such posts.

    It does not matter whether they are correct in critisizing Nadeem’s Pro-MQM stance. I think they are.

    However, whenever LUBP critisizes Nadeem, his supporters get emotional. No body will see the content of such articles. Instead LUBP will lose its popularity amongst the liberal sections of Pakistan’s society.

    This section sees any criticism of liberal champions like Nadeem as an attack on itself. My cousin at KU has become very critical of LUBP after it published that post on the alternative history of Pakistan. I still continue to support LUBP but kindly understand that when you go against the writings of NFP, it does not matter how well reserached and argued the post is. His fans will go against you. Think of them like PTI trolls.

  • When I opened the LUBP site this morning, I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. LUBP publishing an article that was critical of NFP!! Then I read the article. Not bad. Can’t believe NFP is such an apologist for MQM. It is always easy to critisize ZAB and BB like NFP has done in some of his articles. And fair enough. But Try critisizing MQM.

  • Excellent comment, Sabeen.
    NFP is one of the most vocal advocates of secularism and democracy in the mainstream media in Pakistan. He has praised all secular parties equally, wether PPP, ANP, MQM align with Sindhi and Baloch parties.
    Young bloggers like this kid Ravez, I’m sorry to say, is an ant compared to NFP’s large career as a student activist and then a journalist. Of course an ant has every right to criticize an elephant, but it is quite clear, this particular ant, who has beeb bad mouthing NFP on other forums as well, has done a shoddy job.
    The ant is reacting like a myopic Sindhi nationalist. I am a Sindhi and I can vouch for the fact that NFP is very popular with Sindhi youth. We also agree with his criticism of other ants like Pelijo, who are now dancing yo the tine of agencies against PPP and MQM and also against the genuine Sindhi nationalists who follow Sain GM Syed.
    Ravez, get some meat on yourself first before attacking a giant like NFP.
    And LUBP, you guys continue to slide and disappoint.

  • @Sain JM Ja Murid, I think you have misunderstood my comment. Ravez has the right to critisize Nadeem as long as he has used valid arguements and research. I think Ravez has done so. It is just that those who blindly support Nadeem will not read Ravez’s article and will straight away attack LUBP for publishing Ravez. Also, it does not matter if Ravez does not have Nadeem’s illustrious background. Please, this ant vs elephant arguement is silly.

    Has anything that Ravez said in his article wrong or incorrect. As I said earlier, people will not ask this question or read both sides of the picture. They will simply make this an us vs them. Are you with us or against us type of thing. And this is what has happened. It does not matter what LUBP publishes. If it is critical of Nadeem, LUBP will simply be attacked.

  • This is perhaps the only time Mr. Ravez Junejo will ever get any attention. Just mention NFP’s name in the heading and that does the trick.

    I think I’ve read some hateful anti-NFP comments by this gentleman on some websites. Not surprising that he ended up here. Classic case of a reactionary Sindhi. An embarrassment to other Sindhis.

    Totally agree with Sain GM Jo Mureed.

  • First of all, it is an insult of this self-righteous and self-centered kid to those lower middle-class folks like me who read NFP by saying he is read by  a ‘ limited English reading audience.’  Funny think is, the writer himself is writing in English. 

    Secondly, NFP DID NOT come into prominence after the 2000s. He was equally prominent in the 1990s when he was working at The News. But someone here rightly put it, most probably Ravez was just too young then or not even born. 

    Amazing how the author of this post exhibits intellectual laziness by trying to find out about a Wikipedia article instead of actually going through the many interviews that Paracha has given over the years and hundreds of articles that he had written.

    Then, Ravez is again dishonest in interpreting NFP’s interview with an Amrican radio station in which he lambasted the Pakistan media for bringing upon Musharraf’s Emergency. That interview is still available on the net. In it NFP attacks the channels for glorifying violence by the Islamists and DOES NOT praise the emergency as suggested by the author. 

    Now, about NFP’s article on MQM. I read it again and could not see how he was exhibiting ‘adoration for the MQM.’ He was simply discussing the roots of the term Altafism, just like he did in his article on ‘Bhuttoism’ some months ago for the same publication (Dawn). Only if the Ravez would have bothered to do some research instead of being a knee-jerk. 

    It’s a fallacy to suggest MQM stardust the violence in Karachi. Violence began to erupt in this city in the early 1980s, first due to deadly battles between PSF and other progressive student organizations and IJT and then between Sunni sectarian organizations against Shias. All this happened in the early 1980s. MQM arrived in 1985. 

    The violence that followed included not only MQM, but also the city’s Pushtuns and Afghan refugees who came with guns and drugs.

    That Jinnahpur stunt was a farce. Only a young, naive knee-jerk like Ravez would still believe it. Also, it wad BB Shaheed herself who took the first step to form an alliance with MQM. Men like NFP in PSF supported and facilitated this move. Men like Najeeb didn’t. 

    And let’s not even get into the whole topic of MQM’s hyppocracy. What about BB Shaheed?  I can go on.

    This is such a naive and useless piece, by a boy behaving lime he’s some great Matxist analyst. I’d suggest he meet NFP for a lesson in politics, ideology and above all, writing.

    PS: It wad yet again a display of intellectual laziness to put a number of selective videos. 

      

  • The so called Sindh voice was whining here on the same site about the Water Kit genius that he will be ridiculed because he is a Sindhi. Ok, if someone mock at Samar Mubarak, Xerox Khan, no one cries foul. Now he came with a piece of crap.

  • I see that few, if any, are criticising Ravez on this post. They are making personal remarks about his age and what he said about the water car kit.

  • TLW, I partially agree with you. The war of PSF and APMSO plunged Karachi into the chaos. As far as NFP is concerned, he remained a part of the PSF and had worked with Najeeb too.

    To some extent, Najeeb Ahmed was right and I support him. NFP himself writes:

    “I last saw him at a PSF rally just before the post-Zia 1988 elections, where I advised my batch of the student wing’s contingent to join ranks with an MQM car rally at Boat Basin in Karachi. He screamed at me: ‘Paracha! Why are you doing this? MQM namanzoor! They did not do anything to help us fight Zia!’”

    Being a liberal, NFP shouldn’t support those (MQM) who were created by an extremist Mullah, named Zia-ul-Haq and those who supported him.

  • I have been an avid LUBP visitor for quite some time. During that time, I was pleasantly surprised to note that they really place a high premium on freedom of expression. They have published very critical posts about themselves and stinging posts against their editors and authors like Abdul Nishapuri and Farrad Jarral. They have published very critical posts against PPP, President Zardari, ex-PM Gillani, Babar Awan, Aitzaz Ahsan, Sherry Rehman, Rehman Malik etc. Then why should they not publish anything that is critical of MQM?

  • My family has never been a PPP supportor. In 1988 and 1990 my father, uncles voted for MQM. After the reign of terror under Jam Sadiq Ali and “Pir” Altaf Hussain between 1990-1992, we came to our senses. I cannot believe that Nadeem would write such an idealized version of “Altafism” given that he is normally critical of everyone else. We all have our blindspots and MQM is clearly Paracha sahib’s blindspot.

    For countless people of urban Sindh, MQM also represents torture, murder and racketering on the levels never experienced before. Aman Committee and groups linked to ANP came about in the last 3-4 years but they are no match for the trendsetters of crime, mafia style, that is MQM. I wish Paracha sahib would write a more balanced version of “Altafism”. I have been following the comments and some people have observed correctly. The criticism against the author of this post is like that of PTI trolls. I would exclude TLW from that as atleast some of comments are valid and ask good questions about this failed PPP-MQM-ANP government.

  • Afsaar – “PS: It wad yet again a display of intellectual laziness to put a number of selective videos. ”

    Intellectual laziness?? what is intellectual laziness in exposing MQM propaganda that it is secular when it is not. When its leaders are supportive Gulf Funded Salafi madrasses that are sympathetic to Taliban and are killing Sunnis, Shias and Pashtuns of Karachi.

    Please don’t be such an Ostrich. PPP and its politics of Mufaamat may have forgotten May 12th. Chief Justice is too busy in hiding his son’s corruption. But people of Karachi will never forget how MQM thugs massacred over 50 PPP, ANP and PTI activists in Karachi on May 12th, 2007. If NFP is sympathetic to PPP, how can be overlook this?

    If he is sympathetic to other ethnic groups of Karachi, how can he overlook massacre of 100 Pashtuns when one MQM MPA was killed (by non-Pashtun Sipah Sahaba). Within less than 2 hours, MQM blamed ANP and Karachi was once again covered in blood.

    Biased honay ki bhi had hoti hai!

  • drilling holes in knees, putting dismembered bodies in gunny bags, racketering, extortion, bhatta, the MQM slogan “Jo Quaid Ka Ghadar, Wo Hai Maut Ka Haqdar”
    (Translation: Whoever betrays the Leader Altaf Hussain deserves Death).

    Now let us see how NFP sums up his romantic view of MQM:

    “It can be explained as a consensus reached between the modernist, pro-business and secular aspirations of the party’s new leadership and the hyper populism of the old guard that still roots its rhetoric in the horrid memory of the bloodshed witnessed during the state’s operations against the party and in imagery entrenched in the idiom of martyrdom found in the tales of defiance in Sufi folklore”

    Give me a break Nadeem. You are not fooling anyone (well actually a few unfortunately) with this tired apologetic and one-sided view of MQM.

  • Guys, give NFP a break!! Enough already. Anyone living in Karachi cannot be critical of MQM. PERIOD. Also, they are much more accomodating towards journalists and writes who write positively about them. Forget the past. Why can’t you LUBP laptop nationalists leave NFP in peace and let him cultivate his relations with MQM. Trust me its profitable and not everyone has Zardari as their sugar daddy to pay for their bills like LUBP!!

    If Nadeem might be making some on the side with singing praises for MQM, just let him be. He is only doing what you rabid jiyalas are doing with Zardari.

  • “Sufi Folklore” aur “Altafism” aik hi Mazmoon mein – kiya tajziya nigar satya gaey hain? MQM aur Sufion kay kalaam mein Aasman Zameen ka Farq hai!

  • Since the mid 80s there have been powerful sections inside and outside the MQM and the PPP trying to develop good working relations between the two for the larger interest of secularism, the rights of smaller provinces (specially sindh), and the to unite the two against the punjabi dominated rightist army establishment. People like NFP played a role in this regard both as a student activist and as a journalist. The army and its proxies have always considered an MQM-PPP conflict as a key security measure. People like the author of this post and many of those who have commented above are unknowingly helping the military establishment. Yeh nadaam dost hain aur kuch nahe

  • Also as far as the first video is concerned, its gurumandir in karachi as most of you would know, the aaj office from where they are recording is on the business recorder road. What those assholes could cover from that point was just the MQM workers on the main gurumandir chawrangi which connects at least 5 major main roads, what they could not or did not want to cover were the sipah-i-sahaba workers firing from the binnori town seminary on jamshed road and the anp workers alongside jihadis (ssp/jhangvi etc) from the patel para side on business recorder road.

    The way MQM handled everything was of course very improper, but the MQM stance on this corrupt judiciary was the best as proved today. These corrupt PCO judges should never have been supported.

  • Javed Kamal, Dani and Kaubak Farooqi

    Thank you so much for your kind words. Encouragement is always appreciated.

    The era of hardline party’s dictating is over.

    NFP has been reporting on and encouraging the younger generation since he was a part of it. This article was so stupid! It had no idea that NFP’s been active in the cultural scene since he was a youth himself, in the early 1990’s!

    And that period, the early nineties, saw the global rise of fun and the decline of the sort of Stalinist demagoguery prevalent in this piece. It’s not even Stalinist, it’s just aspiring to be.

    Fun, has been a positive NFP’s been about, and also why the PTI has gained a following amongst the Pakistani youth. The PTI may be a fascist circus, but unlike an angry ANP or LUBP lecture, at least it’s still an entertaining.

    Which, along with some political awareness, is what NFP encouraged in our youth culture, back in the 1990’s.

  • Yawar, danke for the factoid on how NFP left the organisation, I looked into Najeeb on my own.

    Here is a statement you’ve made that relates to the Karachi conflict of the 1990’s, a topic on which there has been very little scholarship, and it’s left to children, students, blogggers and reporters to come up with a narrative for:

    He had accused Najeeb of unknowingly playing in the hands of Those who wanted to damage the first BB regime by pitching APMSO against PSF and vice versa

    BB’s regime was damaged, and a conflict between one arm of the PPP (PSF) and the MQM (APMSO) was part of the reasons that bought down her first government.

    The conflict continued, it played into the hands of Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan army, and Benazir Bhutto’s second government was forced to violently bring this conflict to an end.

    And when she and Naseerullah Babar finally did so, it left many of us in Karachi with the taste of ashes in our mouth and the scent of gunpowder in the air.

    I will state something about us urban voters; this violence in our city, the trail of corpses all around us, left us apathetic and uninterested in this party or its government’s survival. And we did not have the will left in 1997 to go out and fight, campaign or vote for Mohtarma to return to office.

    President Zardari has done the best he can with the MQM, and a direct confrontation with them outside the ballot box is neither necessary nor desired.

  • Shahram Tunio, I want to thank you for your argument, I was wondering if I could discuss this with you on an email? An entire generation grew up with the violence of the nineties, and is reluctant to let it be repeated. However, they realise that life and limb may be secure, but livelihoods must also be earned. That is where things like economic policy, and infrastructure and domestic and local expenditure come in.

  • Clearly NFP is much more popular in MQM’s supporters than any other ethnic or political groups. Comments above are a proof.

  • Clearly NFP is much more popular in MQM’s supporters than any other ethnic or political groups. Comments above are a proof.

    I enjoy your barely concealed contempt against the MQM and its ethnic base. Why don’t you take the next logical step in your bigotry and call for an end to the PPP’s Sindh alliance and the beginning of hostilities in Karachi and Hyderabad.

    I would like to inform LUBP and it’s folks to keep their crypto-xenophobia under a little more tighter control.

    There’s enough hate that comes from the religious right, which despises all of Karachi’s major secular parties, without petty linguistic hate being added to the mix.

  • NFP is not a holy cow and can be criticized. So stop jumping up and down that how dare LUBP critsized him. However while I concur that they have a right to be critical, this particular article is quite substandard.

  • I agree with TLW. NFP’s huge popularity in MQM cadre should not be used against him.

    Moreover, the gunny bag and drills are not a new phenomenon in Karachi. Murder of innocent Muahjirs and packing of their dead in gunny bags was started by none other than PPP; MQM is only returning the favour.

  • Firstly I want to thank Mr Abdul Nishapuri for trusting me with this responsibility yet again. Credit also goes to him for suggesting the premise of this post.

    I think this post is a great example of a divisive issue. From the comments on this post, it appears that some people REALLY LIKED it and some others REALLY HATED it. The reasons behind both attitudes are the same. The commentator’s feelings for Nadeem Paracha and the MQM.

    I admire LUBP for its militantly independent editorial policy and tolerance of differing opinions, whether right or leftist, pro-PPP and its govt or against it. With this post, it has also continued its much ridiculed and cursed policy of critiquing prominent members of Pakistan’s political, intellectual and activist circles.

  • @Ravez Junejo sb ,

    Its not about not agreeing with NFP post . You tried to build you with attempt to damage his creditably by adding NFP was 3rd Novemeber , 20007 martial law supporter using unauthentic wikidpedia profile . which he was not ! In reality NFP was one of few mainstream writer who questioned lawyers movement during the time of restoration of IMC movement .

  • Well said Shakeel. It was a childish thing the Mr. Ravez did. Childish and sneaky.
    Also, this young man who had been bad mouthing NFP on various other so-called leftist sites and Twitter, again with zero evidence and lots of ranting such as this, thanks Mr. Abdul for giving him the idea of writing this post.
    Well done Abdul bhai, you and your site in the name of democracy have single handedly put the focus on attacking liberals and secularists who might not agree with you instead of exposing the the fanatics that are out to gobble each one of you.
    Kindly stop calling yourselves secularists or liberal or progressives or whatever, because you guys are not!
    Funny thing is, till only a year ago I know NFP was a huge supporter of LUBP. In fact he was one of the last well-known Pakistani journos who hesitated to openly criticize this site when other well known liberal journalists began dropping their support for LUBP one by one – and for good reason.
    But Mr. Abdul had to once again exhibit his sneaky factionalizing tendencies, this time by asking a hyper and naive kid to attack NFP.
    Seriously guys, you goes go on doing what even the most rightwing forces have failed. Create divisions.
    Good riddance.

  • @Qayyum

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Apart from ad hominem, any substantive criticism of the present post?

  • An article giving out what this kid had in his mind, all the racist attitude towards Muhajirs since long!

  • Are Pakistan’s “liberals” so insecure that they are rattled by criticism?

    Are Hamid Mir, Ansar Abbasi/GEO group, M.Malick, Ejaz Haider, Najam Sethi liberals?????

    LUBP has written many critical posts of these GEO propagandists and I don’t know if anyone in their right minds can call people like Hamid Mir as a libera!!!!

    If they are not liberal, then one can safely ignore the comment by Qayyum?

    As for Nadeem being critisized, I cannot understand what is the big deal????? If President Zardari can be critisized on LUBP, who is Nadeem? He is a columnist who has written some good articles and some misses.

    Get over it. I am sure if he is truly liberal, he will be handle criticism.

  • “I would like to inform LUBP and it’s folks to keep their crypto-xenophobia under a little more tighter control.”

    So being critical of MQM is an example of crypto-xenophobia.

    Question to LUBP: When you critisize the PPP, do you get the same response or is this just a special standard for MQM?

    MQM can play holier than thou and stab PPP at every important juncture and continue to blackmail it for more advantages. Yet, when a blog like LUBP critises NFP’s take on MQM, it is held responsible for placing the PPP’s coalition in jeopardy.

    What sort of logic is this.

    As for the fragile PPP-MQM coalition of 1988-1990, the less said the better. MQM’s role in undermining SMBB’s first government is a lesson that this party has no scruples just as long as it can control Karachi mafioso styple. I was not aware of the history between Najeeb and Nadeem. Thanks for the comments as it helps me understand a very important concept. The artificial unity that Nadeem wanted between PPP and MQM was based on a very weak foundation. Najeeb bhai was spot on when he called out MQM’s connections with General Zia ul Haq.

    None of us want the coalition to break. However, most of us are not living in cloud cuckoo land either and know that this coalition is surviving because PPP gives into MQM blackmail and not on some idealized bs that they are a both secular parties.

    PPP has some secular leaders while MQM can act secular when advocating for a harmless cause. When it comes to taking a real stand against the military establishment, the current PPP is spineless while MQM has is once again a part of the establishment. Some of its activists suffered during the military operation launched by its former Punjabi allies like Nawaz Sharif. Their leader is sitting safely in London and controlling his territories in Karachi from there.

    Altafism -> Sufi Folklore psshaw what rubbish!

  • @TLW, what brought down SMBB’s first government might be obvious to those who are following the Asghar Khan case as that petition struggles to stay alive in these biased courts. Many of us remember MQM’s role and its reward of being part of the next coalition governement of IJI.

  • The writer of this post apparently has no clue about the supporters of MQM or the Muhajir Community.

    Muhajirs are not secular folk in general as opposed to Sindhis. Muhajirs are considerably conservative and this entire vote bank would have gone Jamat e Islami had MQM not come into existence.

    MQM has to survive like anyother party and thus it makes deals, nothing wrong in that.

    As for army operation against MQM: I am truly appalled that the writer thinks the operation was not regretted by BB shaheed. Upon her arrival in Pakistan on 18 October she expresed complete confidence in MQM and during subsequent interviews indirectly expressed regret at it multiple times. An official apology at PPP level was tendered by no less than President Zardari on his visti to 9.0.

  • MQM being projected as a repositary of Sindh’s Urdu speaking voters is in itself non-factual. Many of PPP’s top leaders of Sindh come from Urdu speaking backgrounds. Malir and Landhi are very diverse areas and include Urdu, Punjabi and Pashtun speaking Sindhis and there are significant pockets of PPP voters here and in Karachi South.

    Criticism of MQM is not equal to criticism of Sindh’s population of Urdu speakers. That in it self is a racist generalization and is being used to unfairly target Ravez’s article.

    I would advice Ravez to look up whether Paracha supported Musharaf’s emergency in 2007. However, that is a minor quibble and should not be used to divert attention from criticism of Paracha’s media support for MQM.

  • LUBi = Let Us Build Israel

    This is the place where the real liberals of Pakistan like Ejaz Haider, Hamid Mir, Ansar Abbasi and Farhat Hashmi are attacked relentlessly. This is the hate blog that takes personal attacks on Ejaz Haider and Hamid Mir. This is evident from their criticism of what Ejaz and Hamid write and say on public media. Shame on you LUBi Nazis!

    Now one can add Nadeem Paracha to the august body of real liberals like Ejaz Haider and Hamid Mir who have been the victims of abuse and personal attacks on LUBi.

  • Everyone knows that LUBP are NFP’s chamchas. They are just publishing mild criticism of him to divert attention from this. Look at their post when they critisized Nadeem previously

    Name and Remind: Nadeem F. Paracha’s silence on Shia genocide in Pakistan – by Mustafa http://criticalppp.com/archives/73814

    Thousands of Shia Muslims have been killed in Pakistan but not one dedicated post by Nadeem that highlights this tragedy and sypapthizes with the victims (instead of lecturing them)

    Tweets are not good enough. Other writers have not written sympathetic posts on this. Saroop Ejaz, Kamran Shafi etc.

    Now even Altaf bhai has made a good statement. Will Nadeem write something proper now.

    The first major recorded massacre of Shias took place in Khairpur in 1963. Someone like Nadeem who has documented NSF/IJT/APMSO political history at KU for last 50 years. Surely he can write one column on the history of Shia Genocide in Pakistan.

    For others, LUBP publishes posts with blunt and strong criticism. But for Nadeem, haath halka rakha hai!

  • The character of MQM as a divisive party has come to light. It is an Urdu -speaking cult and om top of that around the personality of a Cabbie by the name of Altaf Husain, and revered like a saint by the community of Bias and Bians. it is an ugly sight to see so many of them, sitting in a Pandal intently listening to histronics of this crow man cawing loud.

    Why criticize the writer of the piece. He has done a fairly good job bringing the facts to light. Some of these thimgs were known to us for a long time. MQM SHould have a heart to bear all this. He is not a god or Shiva of Hindus that he be revered by the devotees. Wake up Urdu lovers and speak up against this deplorable , disgusting dispecable man.

    what are you afraid of. he is just a street urchin.

    Javaid Bashir
    LAHORE

  • The character of MQM as a divisive party has come to light. It is an Urdu -speaking cult and om top of that around the personality of a Cabbie by the name of Altaf Husain, and revered like a saint by the community of Bias and Bians. it is an ugly sight to see so many of them, sitting in a Pandal intently listening to histronics of this crow man cawing loud.
    Why criticize the the writer of the piece. He has done a fairly good job bringing the facts to light. Some of these things were known to us for a long time. MQM Should have a heart to bear all this. He is not a god or Shiva of Hindus that he be revered by the devotees. Wake up Urdu lovers and speak up against this deplorable , disgusting dispecable man.

    what are you afraid of. he is just a street urchin.

    Javaid Bashir
    LAHORE

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