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MQM, Politics of a Chameleon – by Danial Lakhnavi

ہندوستان میں اپنے آبائی علاقے چھوڑ کر سندہ کو گھر بنانے پر جب ہم ہندوستانی اور مہاجر کہلائےجانے لگے، اور ہمارے کچھ احباب نے اس اصطلاح کو اپنا بھی لیا اس وقت میرے والد محترم کو اس اصطلاح سے شدید اختلاف تھا، ایک تو اس اصطلاح کے مذہبی پس
منظر اور دوسرے اس کے غلط کانٹیکسٹ کے باعث ۔

وہ کہتے تھے کہ اس پورےخطے کا نام تو انڈیا یا ہند پڑاہی سندھو دریا یا انڈس کے توسط سے ہے بلکہ یہ تو پورے خطےکا تہذیبی مرکزتھا تو آج میرے اسی دریا کے ایک پار سے دوسرے پار،اس کنارے آ کرآباد ہونے پر میں مھاجر کیسے ھوا، میں تو اپنے ھی گھر
لوٹا ہوں تم نے خون کی لکیریں کھینچ دیں یا اسے سفید، ھرے، نیلے یا کسی اوررنگ میں رنگ دیا تواس سے میری حیثیت کیسے بدل گئی بھائی

وہ خود کو اتنا ہی سندہ کا بیٹااوراس کے تہذیبی سرچشموں کا وارث سمجھتے جتنا اس پار پہلے سے آباد لوگ، انہوں نےاس وقت جب ان کے دیگر رفقاء  کراچی میں جائیدادیں چھوڑ کر جانے والوں کی املاک پر کھینچا تانی کر رہے تھے سندھ کےایک چھوٹے شہر میں رہنا اسی لئے قبول کیا۔

بھٹو صاحب کے دور میں جب وسائل اور مراعات سے محروم دیہی علاقوں کے  سندھی مختلف سطحوں پر آگے آئے اور سندہ کے شہری علاقوں میں آکر بس جانے والے لوگوں نے شہری اور دیہی تضادات کو سیاسی مفادات کا وسیلہ بنانا چاہا اورعابد زبیری جیسے گماشتے اس طبقاتی تضاد پر استوار سیاسی موقع پرستی کی راہ پر عازم تھے، تو والد صاحب  اس کی مخالفت کرتے اور بھٹو کے اقدامات کی وکالت کرتے پھرتےتھے، وہ دیہی اور شہری کی اس تقسیم سے نالاں تھے،

وہ ون یونٹ کے دنوں میں معاشی سرگرمیوں اور صنعتی گہما گہمی کےباعث کراچی میں دوسرے صوبوں سے آکر آباد ہونے والوں کے بھی حق میں نہیں تھے، اور اسے آگے جاکے مزید پیچیدگیوں کا پیش خیمہ سمجھتے تھے، اس لئے وہ مہاجر شناخت اور اس کے نام پر سیاست اور مقتدرہ سے ساجھے داری کو سندہ کے شہری علاقوں بالخصوص کراچی میں دیگر اقوام کی طرف سے بھی  اپنے قومی تضادات اور اس بنیاد پر مطالبات کا اکھاڑہ بنتے دیکھتے تھے، لیکن جب اصطلا حات اور شناختیں معاشی مفادات اور مراعات کا
وسیلہ بن جائیں تو کسی مجذوب کی بڑ سننے میں کسے دلچسپی ہوگی،

والد سے یہی باتیں سنتے ہم بڑی ہوئے، اور ان کا بھٹو ازم ہمارا ورثہ ٹہرا، ہمارے زمانہ طالب علمی میں جب پورا ملک بھٹو مینیا اور بھٹو فوبیا میں تقسیم تھا تو ہم بھی اس سحر سے آزاد نہ تھے.

پھر کراچی یونیورسٹی میں حصول تعلیم کے دوران  مہاجرشناخت اور اس کے متوقع ثمرات کےحق میں دلائل سننے کے بعد اور عملی زندگی کے تجربات نے رفتہ رفتہ والد محترم کے دلائل کو ماند کردیا اور سماجی ضرورتوں نے ان کو فراموش ہی کروادیا.

مہاجر قومی مومنٹ کی ابتدائی دنوں مین سیداختر رضوی کو پڑھ اور سن کر یہ اطمینان تھا کہ مہاجر قومیت کا یہ تصور سندھ اور سندھیوں سے کبھی متصادم نہ ہوگا. لیکن یہ خیال خام ہی ٹہرااور آگے جاکے ہر زبان وقومیت کے حامل لوگ اس سیاسی آتش فشاں کا ایندھن بنے، اور اس پر مستژاد یہ کہ ریاستی تشدد نے اس نودریافت شدہ شناخت کو شاونزم میں بدل دیا، اور ہم جو بھٹو مینک ہونے کے باعث الطاف بھائی میں بھی بھٹو ڈھونڈتے پھرتے تھے میرپور واپس لوٹ آئے.

وقت کے تھپیڑوں اورسیاسی حقیقتوں نے مہاجر قومی موومنٹ کو متحدہ قومی موومنٹ میں بدل دیا، لیکن اس کی بنیادوں میں پڑا وہ تضاد آج بھی اسے متحدہ قوموں کی تحریک بننے سے روکے ہوئےہے، متوسط طبقے کی نمائندگی کے دعوے نے شاید اس کا مزاج مڈل کلاس کی اخلاقیات پر استوار کردیا ہے،اور پاکستانی معاشرے میں مڈل کلاس مقتدرہ کی آلہ کار بن کر اس کے مقاصد اور آئیڈیلز اپنا کر اپنا حصّہ وصول کرتی ہے،

یہی وجہ ہے کہ ایم کیو ایم کبھی فرقہ ورانہ پولرائزیشن میں فریق بن کے سامنے آتی ہے، کبھی الطاف بھائی کے ساتھی سندھی بن کر سامنے آتے ہیں، کبھی وہ روشن خیال اعتدال پسند ی اور عملیت پسندی کے گن گاتے ہیں اور آج وہ پنجاب کے سیاسی منظر پر نمودار ہونے کے لئے جماعت اسلامی اور عمران خان کے ہم رکابی کے لئے پر تول رہے ہیں، جبکہ کراچی کی سیاست پورے ملک میں پھیلی سیاسی، معاشی، فرقہ ورانہ اور قومیتی اور لسانی “ورٹیکل اور ہاری زنٹل ڈیوائڈ” کا نمونہ ہے۔ ۔

ایم کیو ایم کے احباب الطاف بھائی کی کتاب “اسٹیبلشمنٹ کی سہ جہتی حکمت عملی “ آج کل پڑھ کر کیا اخذ کرتے ہوں گے، یہ بات اب بھی میرے لئے معمّہ ہے۔ ۔ ۔

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Danial Lakhnavi

14 Comments

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  • Danial, Very well written.

    You are one of the best additions to the LUBP team, making me and other LUBP team members proud of the blogzine. Keep up the good work.

  • MQM is a repackaged version of Jamat Islami. It is as liberal as was Hitler’s Nazi party.

  • Danial Lakhnavi doesn’t know that MQM is natural extension of Jamaat Islami. Altaf bhai was an activist of Islami Jamiat Tulaba and so is Farooq Sattar.

  • Danial evokes Qurat ul Ain’s “Aag Ka Dariya” in this excellent article. Sada raho yaar. Good to have you on LUBP.

  • If MQM will move away from secular politics then ALTAF BHAI should be ready to face the same fate as happens with BHUTTO sahib who was slowly moved away from secular politics by palying in the hand of establishment…i dont know when we will start learning from our past…..people of this country had always supported secular politics but …it is the politician who always betrayed them by playing in the hands of same intellectualy corrupt generals….ALTAF BHAI they will give you nothing…any way many thanks LAKHVI GI for this fantastic artical….

  • SOME sections from among the Pakistani legal community in London are pouring over the cases of Abu Hamza, Augusto Pinochet and Omar Bakri Mohammad. The first one, controversial cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri has been jailed for seven years after being found guilty of inciting murder and race hate.

    The second one, Bakri, chief of the banned Al-Muhajroon and allegedly the spiritual leader of Al Qaeda, was not allowed to return to the UK by the Home Office from Lebanon where he had gone voluntarily in 2005 after ‘sheltering’ in the UK for 20 years.

    The third one, the late Augusto Pinochet, the former military dictator of Spain had to fight off a long-drawn extradition battle in British courts after the Spanish courts had found him guilty of being involved in grave human rights violations when he was ruling the country.

    I would like to leave it to the imagination of my readers to puzzle over why these British lawyers of Pakistani origin joined also by a section of Pakistani students here are studying these cases trying hard perhaps to find parallels to take up.

    “As his fiefdom descended into brutal violence, with the deaths of at least 40 people reported amid the worst political bloodshed Pakistan has witnessed in years, Altaf Hussain directed his followers by telephone from a safe place more than 5,000 miles away.,” so said the Sunday Telegraph in its May 14 edition. The story was headlined ‘Running Karachi from London (partly covered by Dawn on May 15).

    Most Pakistanis here are highly distressed over the bloody happenings back home in recent weeks. They seem at a loss to understand why President General Musharraf looked the other way when fascist elements were unleashed against protesting lawyers and agitating political workers. Doesn’t it go against the very spirit of his own declared doctrine—Enlightened Moderation? They ask. And in recent months he has been preaching the Muslim Ummah to resolve the conflicts within through dialogue. Then why is he rejecting this same route to a grand political reconciliation in his own country? They question.I have no answers. But I can recall for the benefit of those quizzing me some past events and recorded statements so as to help them find the answers to their questions on their own. I recall vividly the victory dance the president performed as he concluded his first and last address to the joint session of the current parliament in 2002. He then raised his two clenched fists and waved them at the opposition which had kept thumping the desk and shouting ‘Go Musharraf Go’ throughout his speech. Next, he turned towards the ruling coalition and saluted them smartly before making an exit clearly with spring in his feet.

    And who can forget the chilling statement of his in one of his TV interviews before his troops killed Sardar Akber Khan Bugti? He had said something to the effect that today was not 1970s and that they (the Baloch Sardars) would not know what hit them. He carried out this threat in letter and spirit. One can only assume that Akber Bugti did not know what hit him before he died.

    “Our neighbourhood, Nazimabad, was a tough place to live, and it has become tougher since. I would not call it the Harlem of Karachi, but perhaps it was the South Bronx (This scribe has lived in Nazimabad in 1950s and 60s. It never was a tough place in those days and certainly was not South Bronx. It became tough for its inhabitants only in late 1980s well after Musharraf had joined the army). A boy had to be street-smart to survive. There were inevitable street gangs, and needless to say, I joined one. Needless to say too, I was one of the tough boys…There was a bully in our area who would walk up to the boy who had caught a kite and demand that he hand it over, or else. Most boys would oblige. One day my older brother got hold of some string from a cut kite. The bully, accompanied by two other boys, rudely asked him to hand it over. I held my brother’s hand and said, ‘Why should we give you the string?’ Then, without thinking, (the emphasis is mine) I punched the bully hard. A fight ensued, and I really thrashed him. After that people recognised me as a sort of boxer, and I became known as a dada geer—an untranslatable term that means, roughly a tough guy whom you don’t mess with. The lesson I learned was that if you call a bully’s bluff, he crumbles. The secret is to stand your ground for a few seconds, and your initial fright vanishes. This lesson later stood me in good stead as a commando.” This is from Musharraf’s book In the Line of Fire (Pages 26-27).

    So, Musharraf is standing his ground believing that the Chief Justice, the lawyers’ community and the opposition political parties backing the struggle for independence of judiciary would crumble in due course of time. But then by the time that time comes, would not the nation suffer beyond repair? So what? A commando does not waste time on thinking before taking the plunge as Musharraf did when he punched the fictional bully without thinking and learned a great lesson which later stood him in good stead as a commando. But then can you use as effectively the same lessons which stood you in good stead as a commando when handling political issues from the offices of the Presidency and the COAS?

    “I first encountered General Musharraf when he acted as a Turkish interpreter during visits by the Turkish military. I declined to make him my military secretary. We initially refused his promotion because of his suspected though unproven links with the ethnic, often violent, party known as the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM).” This is Benazir Bhutto in the revised edition of her book Daughter of the East, an autobiography (page 429). But then you don’t have to believe everything BB says. In any case she herself says that the suspicion was unproven. It was actually Major General (retd.) Naseerullah Khan Baber who reportedly advised the former prime minister on the matter of Musharraf’s promotion. Later, though on the advice of the then Chief of the Army Staff, Benazir is said to have overruled Baber, the then interior minister. REFERENCE: http://archives.dawn.com/dawnftp/72.249.57.55/dawnftp/2007/05/18/fea.htm#2

  • KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement seems to have messed up in a big way this time. If the issue wasn’t so grim, the incoherent statements made by its “leaders” would have made a comic story. Post May 12, there has been a constant trickle of discordant statements issued from Karachi and London, each setting off a fresh controversy. A better example of the expression –- “shooting yourself in the foot” -– will be difficult to find.

    The reaction to the May 12 bloodbath in Karachi has perhaps taken the establishment by surprise, if not by shock. This time Karachiites have shown more than just resilience and that was an eventuality not taken into consideration when the May 12 ‘event’ was being planned. As public outcry reverberated from Karachi to Khyber — and subsequently found its way to the United Kingdom – inconsiderate political leaders started to expose themselves to odium and ridicule as they spun a paradoxical web of betrayal under the relentless glare of the media.

    To recap, just days after the Karachi killings, Sindh Home Secretary Brigadier (Retd) Ghulam Mohammed Mohtaram and the Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister on Home Affairs Waseem Akhtar categorically declared that they had given right orders for May 12 to all the law enforcement agencies in Karachi.

    As government functionaries responsible for law and order, both the ‘honourable’ gents declared on record that if the ‘measures’ they had taken had not been in place that day, “thousands would have died”. By the word “measures” it was further explained that it was these representatives of the MQM in the government who had decided to block the city and disarm the police and Rangers.

    But, soon after these statements were splashed far and wide came the startling question from MQM chief Mr Altaf Hussain in his open letter addressed to “Patriotic Pakistanis” from London: “Where were the police and Rangers on May 12 during the bloodbath?”

    With public outcry gaining momentum rather than dying down, the same contradiction continued at successive press conferences, where blame and accusation shifted back and forth from law enforcement agencies to “other” elements involved in the mayhem.

    It is obvious that the ruling coalition was not prepared for the current reaction of Karachiites and the support from Punjab and the NWFP when it was planning the May 12 display of power play.

    The latest disagreement within the party has exposed an even more serious lack of coordination as the MQM coordination committee has disowned the statement issued by its allied organisation, the Mohajir Rabita Council, which issued a press release on May 22 that included a list of journalists described as “chauvinistic”, among other insults.

    With Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad doing his utmost to calm down opposition members — as is obvious from his meetings with ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, Naib Amir of the Jamaat-i-Islami Ghafoor Ahmed and Sindh Pakistan People’s Party president Syed Qaim Ali Shah — the Council’s statement again belies all good intentions (if any) of the MQM leaders in government who are trying to salvage their position at this crucial pre-election juncture. And then, there is the ‘three option’ statement given by the Muttahida coordination committee after a ‘marathon session’ of meetings held in London.

    The options are: the MQM members in the federal ministries might resign; the MQM members in both the federal and provincial ministries might resign; and the MQM members in the assemblies might join the opposition.

    Political analysts can’t wait to see which way the party’s pendulum will eventually swing. But then there is the ever-present hand of the party’s guardian angel in the form of the president who has continually been asking the coalition partners to support the MQM. You can’t clap with one hand, after all. REFERENCE: Muttahida’s swinging pendulum By Maheen A. Rashdi METRO VOICE May 27, 2007 Sunday Jamadi-ul-Awwal 10, 1428 http://archives.dawn.com/2007/05/27/fea.htm

  • ISLAMABAD: The Chief Secretary of Sindh had strongly opposed the strategy of the provincial government for May 12 while the Prime Minister’s advice to the provincial government for a judicial inquiry into the killings has been turned down, authoritative sources said on Friday. It was also revealed that the MQM had wanted to join the Islamabad rally but was stopped by the Chaudhrys of Gujrat. Observers believe that these three important developments concerning the May 12 killings in Karachi may have a serious impact not only at the provincial level but also at the national. Sources said the Chief Secretary of Sindh, Shakeel Durrani, had strongly opposed the ‘counter productive’ strategy of the provincial government designed for May 12, the day the Chief Justice of Pakistan had gone to Karachi for addressing lawyers there. He had written in advance to his seniors, proposing that hurdles should not be created and that the CJ be given a smooth passage. His recommendations were in clear contradiction to the Sindh Home Department, headed by former sector commander of Military Intelligence, Brig (retd) Ghulam Muhtaram. While the home department, fearing a serious law and order situation, insisted the CJ should not take the flight to Karachi, the chief secretary opposed the plan that was aimed to flop the CJ’s show, warning it would deteriorate the situation.

    Shakeel Durrani had not only verbally opposed the blockade of roads but had also opposed in writing to such a plan that was prone to violence and mass-scale killings. He had instead recommended that no hurdle should be created and Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry should be allowed to go by the route he wanted to use for reaching the high court bar. His recommendations, however, got a deaf ear from those who matter in decision-making in Sindh. Durrani is believed to have also held responsible his provincial government for Karachi mayhem, The News has learnt on good authority. While Durrani did not comment on the report when contacted by The News, another officer close to him confirmed it but refused to provide the details.

    Meanwhile, the Sindh government has refused to order a judicial inquiry into the killings. The News has learnt on good authority that Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz wanted to order a judicial inquiry into the incident. He went to Karachi on Wednesday with this plan but faced opposition from his ruling allies in Sindh.

    According to the sources, the PM had gone to Karachi with a plan to announce ordering judicial inquiry in a press conference after holding meetings there. Information Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani, Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao and Secretary Interior Kamal Shah had also accompanied him during this visit late Wednesday. Sources privy to the development say the PM’s plan could not materialize following stiff opposition from his allies in Sindh who said that such an order would open up a new Pandora’s Box. The PM who had ordered judicial inquiry into the mysterious murder of Supreme Court’s additional registrar Hamad Raza, failed to do it in a case where more than 40 people had been killed in just one day, ie May 12.

    Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao, when contacted to confirm about the PM plan, refused to comment. “I neither deny nor confirm this report,” he said.

    Information Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani, however, termed the ordering of judicial inquiry as a legal issue. He also did not deny that the PM was planning to order a judicial inquiry but said: “I am not in knowledge of the plan”. Also, some MQM lawmakers have been heard blaming the Chaudhrys of the Gujrat for ‘pushing’ them to hold a separate rally in Karachi instead of joining the PML-Q rally in Islamabad held the same day. They feel the May 12 incidents have left an adverse impact on their strategy to expand to other provinces so as to become a mainstream political party. The Karachi tragedy has put the MQM in dock as its offices in the Punjab and rural Sindh have faced a virtual closure following protests by the public of respective areas who blamed them for this bloodbath in Karachi.

    In their background interviews, the MQM lawmakers are blaming Chaudhrys of Gujrat for putting them to ‘abuse’. They say they were not for holding a rally in Karachi. According to them, they had expressed the desire to join the PML-Q rally held in Islamabad the same day but were denied. MQM parliamentary leader Dr Farooq Sattar, in his on-the-record discussion, has neither denied nor confirmed the claim of his party colleagues. But he said their plan to hold rally in Karachi was made after detailed deliberation. REFERENCE: Who is to blame for Karachi mayhem? Umar Cheema Saturday, May 19, 2007 http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=7933