Recent entry of Self-exiled Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Mustafa Kamal (the ex-mayor of Karachi) along Anees Qaimkhani (another very active member of MQM) is an interesting happening to many of us. Both the leaders came back from self-exile in a way that a media coverage was already arranged before their landing along an announcement of an exclusive and explosive presser. Both of the leaders were absent from the active political scenario for quite sometime. Though both names were recalled multiple times during their absence for one reason or the other.
Mustafa Kamal is known for his services as mayor of Karachi during which lot of development was seen in the biggest city of Pakistan. Mustafa Kamal was also promoted by MQM as their brand ambassador for development and progress. Mustafa Kamal’s career is stretched on many years and begun as a telephone operator in Nine-Zero the MQM headquarter. Mustafa Kamal who was a senator for the party when he suddenly left the country in August 2013. His sudden departure and resignation was surrounded by different rumors mostly telling about his differences with the party leadership but were denied and termed his move as career oriented with no differences with the party whatsoever. He was believed to be chosen by none other than the famous business tycoon Mr. Malik Riaz for running his business operations in Middle east.
Anees Qaimkhani who was supposed to be a key member of MQM’s organizational was also absent from active politics for last many months. He was also believed to have developed differences with party leadership. His name was always surrounded by multiple allegations from various police and JIT reports. He was allegedly involved in the infamous Baldia Town factory fire incident which was allegedly said to be torched by MQM activists under his guidance after the failure to get the desired amount of ransom from the owner. The incident took more than 200 people’s lives.
In their presser upon return both blamed Altaf Hussain Quaid-e-Tehreek MQM for being a criminal person with established connections with RAW as well as the one who has destroyed Karachi city and mohajir nation for his personal interest and ego. They also announced a new political party for the purpose of challenging MQM in it’s political home-ground. Both claimed that many from MQM will be joining them soon on the new platform.
Though this all seems to be very dramatic and thrilling to many as MQM is known as a party with very strong administrative grip over the cities of Karachi and Hyderabad as well as the urdu-speaking community with very little successful dissent. But those having a thorough knowledge about the history of the party may not find it that strange. The party came under multiple operations from LEA but politically survived mostly. Though a faction was made in nineties but remained unsuccessful in mustering political support from masses. That faction (MQM-Haqiqi) was generally believed to be backed by the establishment and was given an umbrella as well as the leverage but was unable to damage the parent party significantly and ultimately became almost irrelevant politically with no representation in the electoral collage at National, Provincial or even local level.
The present move also seems to be played by the hands in gloves. The media attention, coverage and the script seems to be coming from the old friends turned foes. This move was somewhat predictable as the recent efforts of promoting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as an MQM alternative in urdu-speaking population backfired due to immaturity, incapability and unacceptability by the people of both cities. The NA-246 by-election and local-bodies debacle of PTI left the mentors with no other choice beside looking for some MQM dissent.
Keeping in view of the popularity of Mustafa Kamal among Karachites some people may believe that this time they held MQM from the neck, but being a student of Pakistani politics I feel it is not going to bring the desired results. Pakistani public is way more politically sensible than what is generally believed by certain quarters.
All we can say for now is that it’s an “old wine in an old bottle and not new”