“ While we were still training there , war broke out in East Pakistan. News of it made me really restless & I yearned to go to the battle field & fight for my country”. The above lines are by none other than those of Altaf Hussain the leader of MQM (United National Movement in English) . He related this in his auto biography titled “My life’s journey” published a couple of years ago 2010-11. Being a trained management executive myself ; I was wondering how come someone with this kind of spirit would be forced to make such a speech a night ago in Karachi . His factualism is being seen as antagonism as his detractors would not be able to see the spirit that this individual who was willing to give his life for his country saw his nation lose the battle due to the political turmoil; as he could not reach the front lines in East Pakistan as the supply lines got cut.
I recently concluded reading a book by a retired Indian General (General JJ Singh) who narrates that Pakistan Army which is one of the best war machines in the world when surrendered had three kind of soldiers in the Prisoner of War Camps. Those who were professional and kept quiet apart from telling their ranks and numbers. Those who were willing to talk a little more and those who were bitter about the political leadership for letting them end in this situation in the first place.
Being an ardent reader of history . I do not blame the Army for the conflict of East Pakistan as they were doing duty as instructed by their government. I would not go into details of certain parts of the history documented in the Hamood ur Rehman Commission report. But I feel that the political bickering of leaders like Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto saw the situation going out of control though by the time he came in the play it was too late anyways in the East.
The surrender of 1971 is the saddest part of the history which none should forget as George Santayana a Spanish American Philosopher rightly said in 1905 in his book “The life of reasons” and I quote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” . Had we not surrendered ; there would have been no Simla Accord and maybe who knows the Kashmir issue could have been solved by now. The billions of dollars we spend on both sides of the border on weapons could have been used on the development of the people. Lets not forget that it is because of the Kashmir issue that Islamic Radicalization is being allowed in this nation all these years in tandem with the Afghan Jihad. This could not have been avoided if the war could have ended on equal terms but today if someone mourns that moment in the national interest should not be seen as a thought of a Traitor but the thought of a Patriot.
I am sure if we could take off the spectacles of the Patriotism as Samuel Johnson a famous English Poet rightly said and fitting in these times in Pakistan that “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” . Looks like under the guise of patriotism all such beings are aligning against MQM.
The many who believe with their eyes closed on the National Media would keep on believing of what they hear . But the facts would remain the facts. Confucius said “What you know , you know. What you don’t know. You don’t know. This is wisdom” rightly applicable on the many journalists from Punjab reporting on Karachi who only come to the city in the cover of a 1000 security personnel sometimes. Also, it applies to the many who would need to ask themselves that if a party which even its biggest detractor Imran Khan accepted comprised of the largest concentration of the literate people . Why they continue to follow Altaf Hussein and MQM ? What makes them still believe in the spirit of the word Mohajir though rightly said by few that “You are all Pakistanis”? But it is that spirit faced in Pakistan now a day which keeps on aligning and attaching to this sentiment. Of course no one can ask anyone to do that by force.
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan was heard last year or so complaining about the same in Javed Chaudhry’s program that it was because he was a Mohajir that he suffered. The question is neither Dr Qadeer lived in Karachi. Neither he belonged to MQM. He was infact amongst the elitist units of the country. But sadly the founder of our Nuclear Program was heard complaining about it as well. The question is why?
Since 1986 since I can remember I have seen thousands killed in Karachi. How come none of the murderers of these thousands got arrested? How many got arrested who conducted massacre in Qasba Aligarh ? Zero. How many people got arrested for conducting the massacre in Pakka Qilla Hyderabad ? Zero . How many people apart from those MQM got arrested for murdering MQM workers and supporters in thousands in the last almost 3 decades ? Zero. How many JIT’s formed? How many Judicial Commissions formed ? How many video confessions ? How many hours of media trial done of the culprits? How many officials came on State TV or otherwise letting people know of those who killed MQM supporters and its workers? Zero Zero Zero.
I am told that there is Justice in Pakistan. Where is that justice ? Why is the symbol of justice has closed its eyes when giving justice to the victims belonging to MQM ? Are these not Pakistanis ? If not please let us know ? So that we stop expecting. “Justice is the first virtue of social institutions. To ensure equal treatment . Social institutions must be just; they must be accessible to all and redistribute where necessary. Only just institutions can produce a fair society” said John Rawls in his philosophical work on societies. Where is the justice for the people of Karachi or MQM ? I am sure those sitting in the corridors of power. In establishment. In High Courts. In GHQ . In Media etc etc the many pillars of our society would give me assurance that ours is a just society and I have right to all . I doubt they would be able to answer.
Recently in a meeting attended by our most respectable COAS Gen Raheel Sharif a seasoned soldier and brother of Major Shabbir Sharif a martyr and our pride. He indicated in a systematic way in which the killings of prominent Pakistanis is happening; means he himself is of the view that there is a conspiracy behind creating unrest in Karachi especially after China announced US$ 46.0 Bn of investment in Pakistan where Karachi is key as it is going to give access to warm ports. I still belief that Karachi’s new jetty built by Chinese is key. We don’t need to be reminded that many may not be happy with this development.
Now the recent two killings of Social Activist Sabeen Mahmud right after she walks out of a Baluchistan event and that of Prof Waheed of KU who some say was involved directly or indirectly with the Baluchistan event planned in KU on the May 5th . These incidents which already pointed fingers unfortunately towards some in the agencies. Right after that an SSP having close links to PPP coming out on TV and now accusing MQM of being linked to Raw (Indian Intelligence) right after MQM quietened its critics in NA 246 overwhelmingly, right after the success in cantonment board elections and right after MQM decided to sit in opposition and ask for a separate province. Doesn’t it give clear indications to the intelligentsia of our country that who may have been backing these incidents to put both MQM and the Army in a difficult spot especially in Karachi . Intelligence Agencies would have to tell the country that why Uzair Baloch is still free and why there was no attempt to raid PPP offices with links to both terrorism and corruption. Now the above situation clearly gives the indication that either someone is naïve enough not to know, either some one is choosing to ignore or someone is part of this ploy to politically annihilate MQM and its leadership.
MQM is equally a Pakistani political party with a heavy mandate in all forms of electoral bodies; with the blood of its ancestors in the foundations of the nation having equal contribution same to what Bengalis of East Pakistan had in the foundation of Pakistan (1906 All India Muslim League being formed in Dhaka) . They are their own. If Pakistan Army would agree that there is a conspiracy in play to draw them into a bigger conflict so that they cannot focus in KPK against Talibans or uprising in Baluchistan or nabbing the criminals of Feuducracy of Sindh than they would come above their SOP and would in the interest of the nation would call MQM leadership to clarify the situation and take out any of those people who could benefit by this confrontation.
They must not forget that they are a state institution where they also take oath to Holy Quran and the constitution of Pakistan. Holy Quran says in (5:8) “ Be just: that is nearer to pity” . Whilst we don’t look for pity here from them as Allah is almighty and graceful but do look forward for justice. The extra judicial killings and forced confessions and the media trial using these on the National media is against the constitution of the country especially under Clause 14 (2) and I quote “No person shall be subjected to torture for the purpose of evidence” . Also must read Clause of 25 (1) “All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law”. If that holds true than why different treatment meted out to those arrested of MQM and those of other parties. This approach gives the feeling of inequality and injustice.
If you look into it deeply if Altaf Hussein gives a statement even with a semblance of making any observation. The mockery of the same Institutions i.e. Pakistan Army at the hands of former PPP government asking for US assistance in 2012 via Memo gate and letter written by Benazir Bhutto to block ISI and put sanctions on Pakistan in the 90’s is ignored and not branded traitors. The carnage done by Talibansagainst our Pakistan Army soldiers , bases (Mehran Base, Kamra Base, GHQ, Karachi Airport and APS School ; the list is endless), disrespect of martyred soldier’s bodies are not branded as Traitors instead are called miscreants. The statements and actions of Jamaat e Islami whose former chief Munawar Hussain during his tenor as their chief said Pakistan soldiers getting killed fighting Talibans are not martyrs are not called Traitors. The PMLN government who has clearly tried to make mockery of Former Army Chief and President Gen Pervez Musharraf and their sitting Defence Minister making mocking statement in the Assemblies are not called Traitors. PTI the blue eyed party now a days where their chief Imran Khan via a leaked video on internet is derogating Army leadership and mocking them in his 126 Drama or Dharna what ever you may like to call it as ; is not called Traitor.
There are many examples out there who are not being classified as such. But the time is such that even if you would recover Indian made Gutka from an MQM worker. He would be immediately be branded as Raw Agent or Traitor and again and again repeated on Media chastising MQM and its leadership. Is it because they are Mohajirs or migrated from India? Many at the ground are asking the question if that is the case than the republic must come out clean as to how they now feel about those who migrated from India . Are they still considered as Pakistanis by them? Though no one needs a certificate from anyone who lives off the taxation collected from the largest city of the country in terms of tax net (approx 70% plus taxes collected each year) but the clarity of thought would help alleviate a lot of next steps.
Martin Luther King in August 1963 said this whilst speaking to a massive rally “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed; we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal”. Though he was speaking on the struggle of African American Race at that time. But the same applies in case of Mohajirs or its leadership in Pakistan and that applies to the issues faced in Baluchistan and Sind too (affecting poor people over there) . Instead of attempting to silencing the voices with power or via legal course just to crush the rights movement. Pakistan Army under its oath taken has the responsibility to help the oppressed get their rights in the country as well as their national duty. They must have their own opinion above ethnic or race bias and work towards getting people their rights as that is the only way they could cleanse the nation of any strife. Trust me they would not need the force to do it.
The recent events in Karachi and the reaction of the LEA and the conduct of Pakistan Army and even Political parties need to do a lot of soul searching that hopefully parties like PTI and JI are not getting them into unnecessary confrontation in Karachi to keep less pressure on their Taliban allies in KPK. I am sure everyone is smart enough to spot if that is the case.
As for Pakistan Army and MQM recent tiff . Direct contacts must be established to clean the air . The past should be left behind for good . In my view that is the only way in the interest of the nation otherwise I am sure in these times. Any one could benefit from this situation to their own advantage and affected may be enticed to avail the same to Survive or Win. Either ways Pakistan sovereignty gets affected if the resolution is achieved via conflict not via dialogue. If the Army can negotiate with international terrorists like Talibans and keep ASWJ & LeT as bosom friends. Why not a representative of the largest literate community of Pakistan comprising of MQM? I am sure sense would prevail. Pakistan Zindabad!