MQM May Disintegrate After Altaf Hussain: Leadership Of The Pakistani Communities
08 May 2015
By Saeed Qureshi
Now when Altaf Hussain the unrivaled boss or lord of MQM is blowing hot and
cold in the same breath, the MQM looks like rudderless ship drifting
aimlessly on the turbulent 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 Hussain, in a jocund mood, calls the
Indian spy agency RAW for helping MQM, still 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
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
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
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
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
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.
The writer is a senior journalist, former editor of
Diplomatic Times and a former diplomat.This and other articles by the writer
can also be read at his blog www.uprightopinion.com.