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.



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.


18 mind blowing quotes by Pakistani politicians in 2013

I could see improvement in politician’s behaviour and they have stated owning their statements.

Last year, our nation went through many a tragedy. From being held hostage by terrorists to being engulfed by sectarian violence, the terror spree has gone on without any breaks.

In this madness, we have had our politicians providing us their ‘pearls of wisdom’.

While this year we have missed the late Pir Pagara, Zulfiqar Mirza, Pervez Musharraf, Rehman Malik and the like, who had given us truly memorably comments regarding national security in the past, I was still able to collect some quotes which managed to become top headlines.

Here is how our leaders and politicians have shared their valuable opinions on issues of key importance to Pakistan and its people.


Diesel syndrome

“Even a dog killed by America is a martyr” – Maulana Fazlul Rehman (Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam)

Maulana Fazlu Rehman’s brief statement on killing of banned TTP’s commander.


Guerrilla alert

“We are not going to succeed because Taliban are masters of guerrilla warfare” – Imran Khan (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf)

On killing of the TTP chief, Imran Khan warned the nation and Pakistan Army against the Taliban’s tried and tested warfare strategy.


TTP Pvt Ltd

“Allow the Taliban to open offices in Pakistan” – Imran Khan (PTI)

Imran Khan’s demand despite knowing the fact that Taleban in Afghanistan are fighting a war against external forces unlike TTP attacking Pakistan Army and own people.


Killer apps

“Dear burgers, sorry about Skype/Viber/Whatsapp. Excuse us while we catch some terrorists and save some lives. SMS for 3 months” – Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (Pakistan Peoples Party)

This surprising justification came from Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, when the Sindh government decided to ban different online communication apps.


Basant in Karachi

“Pakistan had won freedom from Britain in 1947 but our Karachi is still a colony of London. We’ll cut the kite controlled by phone calls from London” – Bilawal Bhutto (PPP)

Bilawal enlightens the youth on how Basant should be celebrated in Karachi.


Ministry of Fear

“The TTP should be given religious ministries in the federal and provincial cabinets as a good will gesture.” – PTI Central Vice President, Mian Mukarram Shah  (PTI)

In an attempt to protect the nation from the wrath of Taliban, the PTI vice president came up with the remarkable demand of distributing religious ministries to the banned TTP group.

Question of tamasha

Tamasha not an un-parliamentary word” – Chaudhry Nisar (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz)

The interior minister, after a thorough research, claimed that the word ‘tamasha’ (performance) had been used 45 times during the last five years in the parliament and no one had objected.


Call of duty

“Those people who are protesting – and grandstanding – near Three Swords – I don’t want to fight or quarrel but if I order my supporters now, they will go to Three Swords and turn them in reality”. – Altaf Hussain (Muttahida Qaumi Movement)

The MQM chief warned his opponents to either accept the election results or get ready to face the consequences.


From Britain, with love

“Even Jinnah held a British passport and took oath of allegiance to the then British King, George VI” – Altaf Hussain (MQM)

The MQM chief reminded the nation about the passport carried by the father of the nation, giving a lesson which seldom history teachers ever impart to their students.


An Ajrak wedding

“A wedding reception at Sindh Assembly is not a big deal” – Agha Siraj Durrani (PPP)

Agha Siraj Durrani concluded the debate by endorsing wedding receptions at the Sindh Assembly as no big deal.


A swift solution to all our problems

“Democracy has failed and martial law should be implemented in Pakistan.” – Syed Faisal Raza Abidi (PPP)

After witnessing the democratic government’s performance, former PPP Senator Syed Faisal Raza Abidi revealed his swift and easy solution to all of Pakistan’s problems.


Terrorists, by invite only

“We did not invite Osama bin Laden to Pakistan, or even to Afghanistan” – Yousuf Raza Gillani (PPP)

Former PM Yousuf Raza Gillani while defending Pakistan to the international community.


Seeing eye to eye

“I’ll see how anyone arrests me. The NAB (National Accountability Bureau) chairman is himself summoned, how can he summon me?” Yousuf Raza Gillani (PPP)

Former PM Yousuf Raza Gillani defends himself against corruption charges.


Rebel, much?

“Nawaz Sharif was, and remains, my leader, as I hold him in high esteem” – Jawed Hashmi  (PTI)

Jawed Hashmi showed complete faith and respect in his ex leader, whom he left because he was not in agreement with his ideologies in the first place. Okay, now I am confused.


The martyr debate

“Hakimullah was a martyr” – Munawar Hasan (Jamaat-e-Islami)

Munawar Hasan, chief of JI, gives the title of martyrdom to the TTP chief, ignoring the sacrifices of hundreds of Pakistani soldiers.


Of allegations and ideas

“Punjab University’s vice chancellor is a playboy type person” – Fareed Paracha (JI)

JI leader Fareed Paracha calls Punjab University vice chancellor a ‘playboy type’ because of his liberal ideologies.


Rumour has it

“Veena Malik is a bloody liar. Does she deserve coffee? I hate her.” – Shaikh Rasheed

Sheikh Rasheed reacts aggressively when a ‘coffee invitation’ to Veena Malik goes public.


Jail Break

“I think K-P government should resign on the failure despite having report of the exact date. I do not know what the K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, this teeli pehlwan (thin fighter), was doing” – Rana Sanaullah – (PML-N)

Rana Sanaullah shows his anger on the K-P chief minister’s helplessness over the Dera Ismail Khan jail break.


These were the most unquotable quotes by our leaders in 2013 and each comment had its own entertainment value – irrespective of how repulsive they might have been.

This also highlights one very important thing – our leaders really need to start practicing the age-old advice of weighing ones words before speaking them. It would do them well to follow it.


MV Suez Episode: A Blessing in Disguise

Crew of Egyptian-registered boat M.V. Suez who were held hostages by Somali pirates wave upon their arrival at the port city of Karachi. -AFP Photo

Unprecedented emotional scenes played out in Karachi on Thursday after the crew of the Egyptian ship MV Suez comprising Pakistanis, Indians and others hit the “land of pure” after being captured by Somalian pirates.

The heroes of the moment are Human Rights activist Ansar Burney, Pakistani Navy and Governor Sindh Ishrat ul Ibad Khan who through their determination and sincerity have turned impossible into possible.

Along with these persons it was actually the Pakistani media that not only initiated a campaign but kept a strong follow up on the developing story.

For the first time ever I have witnessed institutions of Pakistan through a well-coordinated effort have accomplished an objective. The NGO, Political Party, Pakistan Navy and the Media have done a marvelous job by pursuing an almost unachievable task that has helped nation rebuilding its soft image.

While watching the MV Suez News  telecasted couple of month ago the only thing clicked into my mind was the role of political parties in this particular episode, I asked a question to myself whether the claimants of patriotism would ever get up to prove themselves although I never kept my hopes high since this issue needed to be handled by the Pakistani Armed forces and on Government level but to my surprise it was the Muttahida Qaumi Movement  (MQM) that took notice of a little girl Laila’s appeal for saving her father and other crew members of the MV Suez that was captured by the pirates since 10 months.

As Pakistan is experiencing the worst form of governance in its history, its political forces, institutions and even judiciary are not performing upto the expectations of a common man yet the nation with full of potentials have shown its  tendency to bounce back and resolved  a highly sensitive issue without  depending on any foreign aid.

The very example of MV Suez  not only speaks volume about the general behavior of nation’s mindset  but  spread the message to the Pakistanis and world at large that the successful release of  various nationals is a reflection of a broader and positive mentality of the entire Pakistani nation.

Now the world should reconsider its attitude towards Pakistan and accept it as a nation that has played a crucial role in fighting a war against terrorism on various fronts and in the struggle of achieving peace it has become a victim of terrorism.

As a Pakistani when I recall the entire MV Suez episode my trust on the heroes of my nation restores, it is also a lesson for the two big parties of Pakistan not to indulge in war of words but to come up with something concrete as it’s actually a job of Governments to show interest in International kidnapping cases and ensure release of their citizens.

I see the release of MV Suez hostages as blessing in disguise that has given us an opportunity to self reliance and think beyond caste, creed and color.

Pakistan Zindabad!

Echoes of Revolution

“Revolution” was not the talk of the town until Pakistan experienced the worst form governance in its history. The deadly floods couldn’t discipline Pakistan’s notorious ministers to focus on public service. The besieged government of Benazir’s husband is unable to deal with the conflicts both man made and natural, being handled by the “Information Ministry”, which has left them assailed by the echoes of revolution arising from Pakistan’s political sphere.

Altaf Hussain, from the MQM was the first who tested the waters by articulating the suspicion of Pakistanis when he accused feudal of deliberately diverting waters to the neighbouring villages to save their crops, live stocks and personal properties. The reaction was mixed from political parties but massive support of public to the idea of ‘change’ raised the eye brows of Pakistani Think-tank and Media.

The blunt yet pragmatic demand from Altaf Hussain is a further extension of his party’s political manifesto in which he’s critical about the disguised dictatorship working under the banner of democracy, this time he wants an action from Army, the real power base of Pakistan having a strong contribution in policy making. The call for Army has come from him as a response to betrayal from elected feudal representatives against catastrophe which Altaf has been pointing out since the birth of MQM.

Conventional political parties haunted by feudal lords and corrupt politicians are as usual criticizing Altaf’s statement by calling it an attempt to derail the ‘democratic’ set up. Instead of discussing the lead given by the MQM leader and debating the technicalities of his viewpoint for finding a solution the politicians are hell-bent on exploiting a rare opportunity of fixing Pakistan’s corrupted political setup.

Altaf’s call for revolution to rescue Pakistan and its people from the clutches of feudal lords, corrupt politicians and plunderers of national wealth is not an invite to the military to take over but is very much inline with the Constitution. The Supreme Court could invoke Article 190 and ask for aid from Army when the Executive refuses to take action on its verdict. It seems that there is no other way to get rid of this 63 year old elected despondency as the rotation of same families will continue and the public will keep bearing the same democratic dictators and their breed through out their life.

As far as criticism on Altaf Hussain’s statement is concerned, I believe it’s high time the politicians and the public keep the personal grudges aside and look for the real issues being highlighted by him. Living abroad in an ordinary house cum office and managing the party successfully is an art itself. We have witnessed various political parties being narrowed to their respective territories in Pakistan in the absence of their leaders.

Pakistanis have recently witnessed Army’s role as protectors of their lives from terrorists and natural calamities although approved by the nation at large, it received recognition by outspoken Altaf Hussain, who has urged them to clean the society from elected despondency. MQM has floated an idea for building the effective and inclusive government which Pakistan deserves.  It is now up to us as a Nation, whether to bring about change or opt to worship Bhuttos, Pagaras, Makhdooms and Shareefs.

An op ed in Tribune Blogs

Karachi witness deadly Ashura

On 28th December, A suicide bomber managed to kill 45 mourners as they marched in a procession in Karachi. The blast also wounded up to 60 more people, who were commemorating Ashura, the holiest day on the Shia religious calendar.

While no group has claimed responsibly for the incident yet but it’s obvious that the horrendous explosion on Shia procession was the contribution of our very own Sunni extremist alliance comprised by Lashkar e Jhangi and Taleban linked Jesh e Mohammad, the same Jesh-e-Mohammad that was formed by Molana Masood Azhar, the man released after a deal between Taliban and Indian authorities after the Indian Airline hijacked in Afghanistan.

These organizations are quite active in Karachi and despite being banned they are aggressively engaged in inciting sectarianism.

The Lashkar e Jhangvi & Jesh e Mohammad draw support, inspiration and assistance from various religious-political parties in Pakistan, primarily the Pro Taleban Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) who has a soft corner for Taleban and Al Qaida.

Just last week, Karachi police told Daily Times that they had intelligence that indicated Lashkar-e-Jhangvi would strike at the Shia processions in Karachi.

“They plan to carry out suicide bombings and target killings,” an anonymous police official told Daily Time last week. “These terrorists want to show their strength to the law enforcers and intelligence agencies, and they also want to take revenge of the killings of their leaders and workers in the last couple of months in the city.”

Right after the bomb blast at least 80 percent shops were torched by the extremist elements of Shia community as a reaction. It has been estimated that 2000(Rs. 30 billion loss) shops were set ablaze, which is hugely detrimental to the country’s economy.

Now the question arises how within seconds mobs torched the markets and no one could stop them. While the law and enforcement agencies were engaged in protecting rest of the procession that remained continued even after the blast, the extremist elements of Shia community (who vowed to react if incase of any terrorism during the procession) had loaded themselves with inflammable material that could blaze markets within minutes and did the job accordingly. It may be mentioned here that Iran has been accused of sponsoring Shia militancy (ISO)  in Pakistan.

So far MQM is the only political party that has been directly accusing Taliban for every major terrorist attack that has taken place in the country in the last five years however the PPP, PML N and ANP have turned a blind eye towards this issue.

Other than them Jamat e Islami and PTI of Imran Khan support negotiations with Taleban which seems an attempt to curb on going military operation against Taliban, to reunite them and to carry their agenda in more effective way since Pakistan’s tribal area  is the strong hold of Jamat e Islami.

The only solution to this problem is strict vigilance on the mainstream as well as underground religious parties of Pakistan whose leaders are freely roaming and preaching hate speech against different sects in Pakistan and gradually earning public support.

Relax, it’s just the NRO!

Nation seems to be way too excited on the recently passed preconceived SC judgment on NRO. Due to the media hype words like “Accountability” and the “Change” have yet again become talk of the town. Our intellectuals on different Tv channels, blogs, discussion forums and even on streets perceive this judgment as a revolution in Pakistan’s history.

Though I have no plan to rain their parade nor I am a PPP fan infact I fully support court’s judgment on NRO as the ordinance was against the very constitution of Pakistan yet I believe the judgment will not bring any drastic change in the country since the ruling mainly covers certain bureaucrats, MQM and the PPP but the PML N and those Baloch separatists who have systematically been killing a particular ethnicity in Balochistan, bombing national assets and above all struggling for separation with the help of India.

In my opinion Judiciary needs to be fair with everyone. They need to take notice of that NRO too in which Nawaz Shareef and co. were let fly to Saudi against corruption charges and during 90s the Army Operation he got conducted on civilians in Karachi resulted thousands of extra judicial killings.

Our respectable judiciary should not fall prey to those forces that had vested interests in restoration of judges. Along with “NRO beneficiaries” all those politicians and sardars should be brought to courts who became beneficiaries of covert NRO.

Unless such issues come under consideration I don’t foresee a just society, such selective actions would rather encourage the trend of “judicial victimization” which could be more disastrous than the political one.