If this blog was to be written in Urdu. It would have started with a verse which would mean that “Thousands of wishes as such that each is such important that its worth dying”. Now let me put it in a different perspective for Altaf Hussein’s opponents as “Thousands of opponents as such that each prays Altaf Hussein’s end but are instead nearing their own end”. Some might say that the above paragraph does not make much sense. Exactly! that is what I say to each of Altaf Hussein’s critics. It does not make sense to oppose Altaf Hussein when there is especially a Munawar Hassan in the house.
Sometimes it makes me wonder without any offence to some of the readers that in a country where there are bigger issues and many real villains to fight with. Our literate class and especially from a few urban centers like to crib about Altaf Hussein out of fashion or out of ignorance. But then of those who are ardent readers of literature and folk lore would know that the same class of Bourgeoisie used to disenchant people like Robin Hood as well in their times. Many more examples exist but wanted to give one such example which every one can relate to easily in a country where education is still a luxury even in the highest echelons of our society.
Have been following closely Altaf Hussein since I have been a kid. From being a fit agile male in his mid 30’s till now when his health is catching up with him and he is no more the young self he used to be but then what he retains is the same fiery oratory style. Being a young debater in my yester years . I tried to follow the same style because it connected with masses. But as I grew up and got on with my job which took me to various parts of Pakistan and the world. Knowing that I am from Karachi. Sometimes people used to just bad mouth Altaf Hussein in order to irritate me or may be out of maybe their hatred of my community and used Altaf Hussein to hit on me politely. Time and again I used to do my level best to establish what makes them hate him so much . But seldom I used to get a direct reason especially from the people of Northern Pakistan who I doubt would have ever got the opportunity to interact with him or be under his influence to establish their opinion related to them by the same lot of leaders who have looted them for more than 65 years.
A few days ago my confusion got answered when sitting amongst a group of individuals who may be were not very sure about my origins probably because of the fact that having living abroad for a few years my Urdu might have lost its touch. They opened up. Discussing Karachi they looked upset that because of Altaf Hussein and his MQM . The absolute control to rule Karachi as a colony has been lost. Means that which ever government they might bring by force or otherwise . The real control over the city would belong with MQM. Their biggest pain as I ascertained was the feeling that MQM’s discipline approach and its establishment from a Unit to a Sector level though it brings the poor to the top but at the same time makes it difficult for them and their likes to break or penetrate unlike in Punjab where Mohalla committees or panchayats could be bought at the right price or even for a pot of Biryani or Qeema wale naan. Even influential people of the Areas if paid properly in cash, kind or promises can be mobilized to win seats.
In the structure like that of MQM which do not allow individuals become over powerful as singularities. This game of politics as played outside Urban Sindh is futile there. Recent example can that be of Syed Mustafa Kamal where the same message was delivered. This structuring of the party cadres under the guidance of Altaf Hussein has messed up their way of politics which is making their overtures in Urban Sindh Politics as a non entity. Even Lyari saw that coming through in the recent elections. Though the elected may not be the best candidates alive on the face of this earth.
There further frustration is that over the many years . They have played all cards on Altaf Hussein like branding him as a traitor, a terrorist, a murderer , an arsonist , a looter and even a raw agent. But even then his support does not dwindle but grows. They have played all levels of conspiracies from breaking the party , to accusing him of killing his own leaders, to conspiring against the constitution of the country. Come what may they have tried their level best to somehow get him out of the big picture so that they retain the MQM as they would like to be with half its efficacy ; enough to play their games. But still Altaf Hussein keeps on coming back.
So much so now to my much dislike I am hearing that educated many praying based on the various news about his health and wishing that it is true and that he meet his demise shows that they have given up on the fact that all their ploys have failed and now they await natural intervention. Whilst death is a fact and can or may happen to any one. Altaf Hussein still gives the same fiery speeches and appearance again and again to the dismay of the many. Ironic that I live in a country where instead of praying for the death of Mullah Omar and Mullah Fazalullah who have brutalized thousands of Pakistani civilians and soldiers. We pray for the death of a patriot who recently after being so much mentally tormented, so much abused, so much discredited for his politics to be only vilified later and especially on Taliban issue of the many. Its ironic and makes me belief one thing that may be its more than Altaf Hussein being QET Altaf Hussein. Maybe what hurts many that how he from oblivion brought the posterity of Mohajirs, the Poor/Middle Class back into the game and did not let the feudals of the country do monkey business especially in the port city of Karachi and Urban Sindh.
What we have achieved in so many years is that we face the shame that every leader who make jokes about Altaf Hussein’s political acumen tend to follow what he said many years ago. But then again we treat all those leaders rising from the middle class and non son of the soil of the background the same way. Sheikh Mujeeb asked for autonomy and presented his 6 points. Recently Jamaat e Islami their biggest of his opponents were heard asking for the same . Another one such leader who is non son of the soil paying penalty for challenging the same status quo is General Pervez Musharraf as he also brought the middle class leadership to the front in a country where only Chaudhry’s, Cheema’s, Leghari’s , Bhuttos, Jatois, Maher’s, Bugtis and Sharif’s could prosper. Today we see many names who grew in his tenure and forced many parties to create room for this new breed of political leaders. Ironic again that the same breed is now against him.
So what makes me more curious about Altaf Hussein’s opponents is that whether they hate him for arousing the middle class, whether they hate him for stating the case of Urban Sind, whether they hate him for reinvigorating the Mohajir Community, whether they hate him for challenging the feudal status quo, whether they hate him for standing as an only leader against Talibanisation, whether they hate him for being a secularist, whether they hate him as he in true spirit wants Jinnah’s Pakistan , whether they hate him because he does not look of what many may say a tall man with fair complexion and with green eyes, whether they hate him because he coming from a middle class back ground challenge their status quo or whether they just hate him because he is not a son of a soil and not part of any local tribe or clans or just because he is a Mohajir.
But what I am seeing today that slowly many of such detractors have resigned to the fact that Altaf Hussein has established a most disciplined, diversified, secular, organized and a resilient party in the history of the country which even after being operated upon by Army, Police, Rangers, 26 agencies and even Media survive and yet grow. He stand by for calling for the rights of the people as per the constitution of Pakistan and Quaid’s vision. He has not abused Pakistan like Taliban and many Baluch and Sindhi Nationalists/Separatists but has been abused and yet have many times shown his love and affection for this motherland even recently through a rally supporting the Army when every one has made a fashion to abuse/kill our Jawans .
I am sure after reading this many would rest their hatred and make the best out of it or many would keep hating and maybe hate me as well because of the curious nucleus God has made them with which restricts their political vision clouded by ethnicity and their ego. For me if I see the only party which not only chants and delivers the promise for Middle/Poor Class is MQM whilst others claim and yet give minimal representation to this group of people. This survival of MQM after many shocks, earth quakes and tsunamis could only have been possible under a strong astute leader at the top and that is Altaf Hussein . I am sure others take a note from him instead of maligning him if they are serious to serve the 98% people of Pakistan instead of appeasing the 2% only. Pakistan Zindabad!