MQM-P in chaos


Apparently, the past mistakes committed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leaders are still haunting them. Currently, Dr. Farooq Sattar, Amir Khan and other leaders of MQM are facing court trial for supporting hate speech delivered by MQM chief Altaf Hussain back in 2016 in Karachi. At that time, MQM workers went on a rampage after the speech of their leader who allegedly asked them to attack the offices of certain media houses in Karachi. Suspects in the case played the role of facilitator in the speech and announced to revolt against country’s sovereignty. Soon after getting instructions, MQM activists ransacked offices of Samaa and ARY News, resorting to violent protests, firing and arson. After an apology by Altaf Hussain for his vitriolic speech, Dr Sattar assumed the responsibility of running all party affairs from within Pakistan and renamed the party as MQM-P.

While MQM appears to be in an attempt to rebrand itself, all its efforts turn to naught as the court has indicted Dr Sattar and 60 other leaders of the MQM. Senior leaders like Dr Sattar, who is known for his gentlemanly demeanour and straightforward politics, has already come under attack for blatantly supporting an ‘unstable’ leader like Hussain. Successive regimes were also responsible for the present chaos in the MQM-P moreover, MQM, allegedly, has long been pampered by the establishment. Since the Zia regime, the MQM has been given free hand in Karachi for achieving different political motives, and it is no surprise that despite being merely an urban Sindh party, it has been part of federal government more than once.

Attacking media houses is an act that is condemnable without any preamble. Different media houses despite their obvious biases regarding certain political parties, government or military establishment are the reflection and expression of different narratives and schools of thought. Conflict of opinion, opposing views, unsavoury commentaries, contradictory ideas, all jostle and struggle on the platform of media, but all are allowed to exist. Attacking a media house for any reason is tantamount to killing the messenger: before you attack the messenger, look within. And then look around who your grouse, your attack is actually aimed at.

These past acts are badly affecting the political career of MQM-P leadership. Despite denying charges, they have to face trial for supporting a leader who often makes incendiary statements. The MQM-P has also been marred with reported divisions since its split from Altaf-led London’s MQM. It has been in the process of evolution and building an identity for itself. Farooq Sattar is one of the founding members of MQM and his sacrifices and services for the party are known to everyone. Hopefully, he will establish his credibility and turn out to be leader with his own views.