It seems Pakistani establishment has successfully been able to wipe off the infamous “MQM factor” from Urban Sindh especially in Karachi.

Although the party’s future is still unclear yet currently MQM is engaged in toughest ever political battle on all fronts with establishment,  Federal and provincial Governments, rival political parties and media not for the survival of its rock solid vote bank but for its very existence.

Right after MQM’s Supremo Altaf Hussain’s controversial statement during hunger strike and violent protest on media outlet, one of the most senior Leaders of the party Farooq Sattar along with local Rabita Committee under severe pressure decided to rebrand the party and quickly came up with the solution of disassociating MQM Pakistan from Altaf Hussain until his health conditions get alright.

Although Altaf Hussain apologized for his Anti Pakistan remarks and excused for venting out his anger against the undeclared military operation on MQM continuing for more than 2 years that include arrests of elected mayor and political workers, disappearance of political workers, demolition of party offices, media ban, ban on collecting hides, Zakat and Fitra, continuing charity services as well as all sort of political activities including removal of posters and banners of the MQM founder.

So far things are not alright for MQM but after the announcement of revamp there is a fair chance that party will be given some space to fresh start its political activities from scratch but once it wins the power center’s trust by disowning criminals within their ranks.

MQM no doubt is 2nd largest political party of Sindh province that represents urbanized population, it should be allowed to continue its struggle peacefully.

Attempts to arm twisting of the party from different power circles might backfire and the MQM sympathizer instead of opting for ‘recently planted alternatives‘ would further inclined towards MQM.

During entire military operation MQM has shown remarkable resilience and never attempted to counter security forces at any level unlike Balochistan, and North West where there is a full-fledged war going on.

On the other hand MQM and its leaders should try to win confidence of the high ups and think what’s wrong have been made from their part and immediately address the most common criticisms which is only possible if both parties sincerely engage in sustainable dialog process.

Just like other political parties of Pakistan, the legitimate and elected representatives of Karachi  should also be allowed to rule their electoral territory and contribute their share in development of the nation.

Ps: 051 is RWP/ISB Phone code while Ninezero is known as MQM Headquarters in Karachi.


Maalik vs Democracy

Mixed responses coming in from different school of thoughts on recently banned controversial political-thriller Maalik. Those in support of ban have an issue with deliberate ethnic profiling of Sindhis and Baloch people depicted as oppressors while Punjabis and Pakhtoons shown as saviors. The other objectionable issue is killing of Minister by his own guard who in the movie is portrayed as Hero reminds the Mumtaz Qadri episode and occurrence of violent incidents afterwards.

On April 26, 18 days after releasing the film was banned by Sindh Board of Film Censor, Government of Sindh. However, the Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah intervened and asked the ministry not to issue it as it would be ‘against the freedom of expression but very next day, The Federal Government has banned Maalik nationwide in a notification.

Just like any other controversy Pakistani media got an issue for a couple of weeks and they are inviting politicians, actors, journalists and civil society to discuss ban on Maalik, the movie.

Apparently Journalists, politicians and civil society seems to be on same page and agreed that the movie contains controversial and sensitive nature of subject but actors and a handful of journalists (claim to be patriots) defying the ban under the garb of freedom of speech. Completely ignoring the fact that the same journalists cannot touch “Holy Cows” corruption in their very programs.

To ban Maalik or not is another issue but in larger perspective recent curb by Government of Pakistan exposed their vague and confused policy on freedom of speech. Seems just like other state of affairs they simply have no clear strategy on what to allow on media and what not.

Sometimes Pakistani Government set bench marks allowing freedom of speech to an extent that prisoners from the death cell come on media and record confessional statements and that too without bringing into the knowledge of interior minister and sometimes the same Pakistani Government blacks out MQM supremo Altaf Hussain from coming or issuing any kind of statement on media at all.

In my opinion movies on controversial subjects should be screened in Pakistani cinemas but the policy should be for all.

Selective censorship in cinemas, Tv programs or even on over all media appearances would push Government into more trouble since toeing policy on freedom of speech from “Power houses” of the country would ultimately bring down the so called democracy and its genuine custodians.

What Mustufa Kamal means to Karachi politics


It seemed to be a real big day when all TV channels showed ex-mayor of Karachi Syed Mustufa Kamal’s unusual footages coming from Airport with the then deputy conveyor Anees Qaimkhani. As usual people who live in other parts of the country hoped that MQM cannot survive this dent and will suddenly collapse.

We in Karachi equally curious and logged on news channel websites to live stream the events concerning Kamal’s moves who rejoined politics as a separate entity after 3 year break,  during his Press conference he was supposed to reveal why he left MQM, why he came back to Karachi and what would be his next move. Although he spent about 3 hours maligning MQM with no clear future plans.

After few days Dr. Sagheer seen sitting in press conference with Kamal and Qaim Khani repeating the same grudges, so far no concrete development is seen in the newly formed group except inclusion of ex MQMers in new party, a part from membership drive we hear about same old MQM-RAW (Indian Spy Agency) relations, Altaf Hussain consumes alcohol, target killing and ransoms, Baldia factory fire etc.

Before Mustufa Kamal, it was Zulfiqar Mirza, Saulat Mirza, Nabeel Gabol, Afaq Ahmed, Rao Anwar and many other prominent personalities showed up on Tv channels after regular intervals and toed the same line.

So far there is a divided opinion on Mustufa Kamal among different political parties and majority of them believes he has no future at least in Urban Sindh politics.  Pakistan People’s Party, Jamat e Islami and PML N doubting intensions of ex-mayor and demanding proves of his allegations on MQM.

Contrary to general opinion Imran Khan and PTI’s top leadership see Mustufa Kamal as a ray of hope to counter MQM but Ali Zaidi in-charge PTI Karachi and other second tier leadership seems to be unhappy with PTI’s top leadership especially Jahangir Tareen’s statements and questioning their support since PTI would virtually wipe out from Karachi if Mustafa Kamal sets foot in politics and it will become PTI vs Mustafa Kamal Party.


Many PTI followers praising Mustufa Kamal and wanting him to control Karachi, this unconditional love for ex-Mayor at some point is worrisome for PTI Karachi leadership which seems on different page altogether, and it is true to some extent since PTI top leadership is unaware of dynamics of this city and its politics and any irresponsible statements or rhetoric by Imran Khan or Jahangir Tareen might backfire and put Ali Zaidi & Co in deep trouble.

Time will decide if PTI’s top leadership is rightly playing its cards or should they pay heed to Ali Zaidi’s concerns.

So much so, at this point of time Mustufa Kamal is busy giving interviews to TV channels and trying to extract support from MQM but at the same time negating any possibility to join hands with PTI.

MQM being the victim of repeated attacks on its credibility and style of politics has decided to wait and see and refusing to discuss this episode on media perhaps following the strategy to focus issues related to their party and public interests.

MQM sees its supremo as a Kingmaker and believes without his support no party member can prosper or deliver.

Mustufa Kamal’s strength was his performance during the time of his mayor ship as a result when local bodies system wrapped up, the mayor had no work to do but was promoted as senator and given top rank in party by Altaf Hussain.

Why Mustufa Kamal came to Pakistan and maligned MQM is another question but what most of the Karachites think if the ex-mayor really wanted to deliver something to the people of Karachi after three years as a separate entity couldn’t he do a decent press conference highlighting his strengths and future plans rather than MQM’s weaknesses.


A Beautiful Day

Congratulations to Pakistan. Congratulations to the Humanity. Justice is finally served. 29th February 2016 will be marked as the Golden Day in the history of Pakistan, although this is just the first step towards promoting tolerance and yes Sharmeen Obaid Chinnoy gets Oscar. What a day!

Thank you Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for your bold steps

Crazy attempts for Naya Pakistan


As an audience in Karachi if I analyze Imran Khan’s role in Pakistani politics, it seems despite losing elections he’s making waves of change and trying to persuade people by every unconstitional tactic that he can govern Pakistan better than rests especially PMLN & PPP.

I have spoken to many IK supporters who lack knowledge of constitution, democracy and rule of law and supporting Imran Khan for “CHANGE”. When ask WHAT CHANGE, they blame two parties for destroying Pakistan or otherwise indulge in ad hominem cross fire.

I see no logical argument by PTI supporters on how to bring change or what Imran Khan’s plan is.

We have recently witnessed attempt of CHANGE in Faisalabad where IK warned Faisalabadis to Lockdown their city and provoked elected Government to use every means to keep city smooth. IK knows if 10 people sit in on any main road and burn few tyres traffic would be blocked leading to disruption. Whatever happened in Faisalabad was unfortunate, IK knew his supporters would be confronted by PMLN supporters but he turned a blind eye towards them resulting loss of two lives and further deterioration of Pakistan’s image.

Lahore is next where I expect chaos by PTI and PMLN supporters. However there is a million dollar question. What if IK comes to Karachi?

It can safely be predicted that some hundred “Change Lovers with painted face” would sit in on main arteries of the city, try to disrupt traffic but would not be able to shut Karachi in anyway.

Karachi’s hesitation to support IK is not because of his slogan but due to his lack of attention towards core issues such as corruption of Sindh Government, Good for nothing CM, and no care for  poverty & starvation stricken Interior Sindh  especially THAR.

We are more interested in resolution of core issues first rather than who sits on PM Chair. All what IK needs to do is reject violence and prepare a comprehensive plan on how to fix Quaid e Azam’s envisioned Pakistan rather than creating a new one with people like Sheikh Rasheed and Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Revolution can come through courts as well, all what Ik needs is little bit patience and continuous follow ups.

Imran should be given a chance but for that he needs to peacefully struggle and put forward his agenda on constitutional grounds. By hurling insults to opponents, opposing Zarb e Azb and calling every other party corrupt and random closure of cities might be entertaining for some but majority would not appreciate the idea.

GEO TV: What goes around comes around

Not long ago Pakistani media labeled as Free and vibrant perhaps feckless and vindictive are the best descriptors today.

It all started when GEO Tv’s famous anchor Hamid Mir was attacked in Karachi and GEO newsroom in no time threw blame on Pakistan’s premier spy agency and defamed its chief without investigation.

They aired Gen. Zaheer uddin Islam’s footage for about 8 hours trying to build an opinion on the basis of Hamid Mir’s ‘concerns’ resulting countrywide public anger that subsequently provided an opportunity to other private channels to prepare a strong case on GEO’s alleged offenses.  Although attack on Mir was condemnable but GEO totally miscalculated the moment and invited further criticism over its credibility.
It was not easy for GEO to deal with different Tv channels, Army, Pemra, political parties and the Public on this particular issue especially when country’s environment is democratic with less or no Army interference in Government matters.
After the recent scandal regarding the ISI, Geo Television Network once again in trouble over a morning show, ‘Utho Jago Pakistan’.

The show, hosted by Dr. Shaista Lodhi, has been alleged to blaspheme against the Prophet (PBUH)’s family. An episode from May 14th played “Ali  Kay Sath Hai Zahra  Ki Shadi”, a manqabat originally sang by Qawaal Amjad Sabri, in the background of a clip showing the marriage ceremony of one of Pakistan’s most controversial actresses Veena Malik.

Why GEO falling into trouble again and again is a point to ponder. Is it because of the free hand given to the management without checks and balances or is it really a conspiracy as claimed by the media group.

Offenses committed by GEO in past were ignored by the then President General Pervez Musharraf as he was in a weak position to control irresponsible yet agenda based reporting of the group.

Although whenever he tried to tighten the noose of untamed channels he was blackmailed and maligned. Benazir Murder, Lal Masjid case reporting, The Chief Justice episode, Akber Bugti Murder and the case of missing persons were the issues Geo portrayed with the intent of maligning ex-President.

Not to mention how GEO team spotted Ajmal Kassab’s home in Punjab right after the 26/11 attack in Mumbai. This was the day that left Pakistanis in shock and grief but Geo was proudly announcing to be the first News channel reaching alleged attacker’s home and investigating the family about Kassabs whereabouts which was later aired and heavily propagated on Indian channels that made a mockery of Pakistan. Such cases have discredited the image of GEO Tv.

Hamid Mir on the other hand constantly indulged in maligning Pakistan’s security agencies and the Army in general keeping national interest aside.

Now the situation is getting worse for the GEO to an extent that a Fatwa has been issued against the channel by the Sunni Ittehad Council calling it ‘Haraam’ to watch Geo. Countrywide protests being held against GEO, Cable operators association considering to halt tv channel’s transmission, rival media groups and anchors are also on fire against Geo.

It would be interesting to see how Pakistan’s largest media group manage to get out of trouble although never in the history GEO Tv Network seen apologizing and defending themselves on numerous allegations.

Once a dominating media group now seems to be completely isolated in such a way that it’s one time associate, PTI chief, Imran Khan who collected funds in account of Shaukat Khanum Cancer hospital and for his election campaign with the collaboration of GEO Tv network now became its most vocal critique. Mubasher Luqman of ARY News and Zaid Hamid the defense analyst are strongly pursuing case against Geo Group however PML N Government, MQM, PPP and JI playing their cards responsibly and not indulging in any sort of conflict with the Group.

Imran Khan’s move came to me as a surprise but reminded me of how maliciously Geo and its anchor Hamid Mir used to put forward their agendas in talks shows and in the News bulletins.

Its hightime for other media groups and Geo Tv in particular to implement accountability rules and set up media commission with committee/ board to monitor program content as Success on any major scale requires one to accept responsibility which is clearly missing in Geo’s case.

Pakistan’s U-Turn on Foreign Policy

Not sure whether the acceptance of $ 15 bn bailout commonly known as a “Gift from a brother country” to Shareef Government would help Rupee stabilize or is it a mirage leading the already troubled nation into another misadventure in Syria where ‘Made in Pakistan’ arms, ammunition and mercenaries are planned to be exported through Riyadh to sabotage Bashaar Al Assad regime.

History tells us that rightist forces in Pakistan time to time supported Saudi Monarchs by exporting militias and weapons to countries of their interests.

By becoming player in proxy wars Pakistan today has no good relations with its neighbors, be it Afghanistan, Iran, India or even China and now the latest attempt of democratic nation to protect monarchy in Bahrain and strengthen terrorist groups in Syria exhibits Pakistan’s confused foreign policy which would further drag nation towards destruction.

Apparently Pakistan has no good reason to justify its intervention in two entirely different situations.  The only commonality we find in Bahrain and Syria is crushing Shia community and regime on the behest of Saudi Arabia.

Pakistanis have proved themselves a nation of ethnic and sectarian diversity where all factions live happily but latest set of desires from Saudi Arabia though not directly affecting majority of Pakistanis might turn into another misfortune. As the situation has deeply antagonized Iran, which supports the Syrian regime, and angered Pakistan’s large Shia community which could prompt further sectarian conflict.

It is also bad news for Afghanistan, where Pakistan-Iran rivalry may resurface once US troops leave that country.

Media reports say that Pakistan would send its retired soldiers and policemen to tackle unrest as Shia protests against Sunni ruling family have escalated.

Shareef’s not realizing the fact that list of our enemies is mounting and recent foreign policy U-Turn could possibly backfire in terms of relations with Iran, Syria and perhaps Russia which is a strong ally of Syrian regime. Not to forget challenges Pakistani forces and community would confront in Bahrain.

Earlier Shareef Government denied the report of money influx from Saudi Arabia but later due to media and political pressure they accepted origin of the gift.

Likewise denials regarding export of weapons to Syria are issuing from Islamabad but they are unable to justify agenda of recent visits made by Saudi and Bahraini crown prince and ministers to Pakistan.

Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef is particularly close to Saudis who rescued him from a long jail term in December 2000 when he was imprisoned by General Pervez Musharraf. Mr Sharif then spent years in exile in Saudi Arabia where he also developed extensive business interests.

Being the only atomic Islamic country, Pakistan is in a position to initiate a dialogue for the unity of Muslim states including Iran. It’s high time for Pakistan Government to play a positively-neutral role and hint Saudis to refrain from fanning sectarian divides.

On the other hand Saudi Arabia should reconsider its policies in the region as there is no point in supporting uprising in one country and crushing the same in another.  We must not ignore escalating tension between Qatar vs GCC states, again, Pakistan has friendly ties with Qatar as well as Saudi Arabia and UAE. Soon on the behest of Saudis we need to decide who we are with.

In the end if nothing changes, Pakistan should re-adopt the policy of being neutral and must not be exploited by any country in the name of religion/ sect or whatsoever.