With the recent launch of protest against military establishment and alleged anti-Pakistan slogans, activists of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) ransacked a private television station before clashing with police Monday evening, leaving at least one person dead and over half a dozen injured. This is not the first time MQM chief Altaf Hussain has done a stunt, the riots in Karachi have always claimed to have links with MQM. Here’s a detail about the history of MQM and the dubious case of Altaf Hussain.
Altaf Hussain and his followers belong to that segment of the population that migrated to present-day Pakistan as a result of the 1947 partition of British India. The migrants, called Mohajirs, came to completely new geographic and cultural areas that were entirely different from their roots. The story of MQM starts with the formation of a student organization, All Pakistan Muhajir Student Organisation (APMSO) in 1978.
Initially, it was established to counter the Islami Jamiat-e-Talba, a student wing of Jamat-e-Islami Pakistan which ruled the roost in Karachi at that time.
It soon transformed itself into Muhajir Qaumi Movement in 1984 under the leadership of Altaf Hussain and Azim Ahmad Tariq with Aafaq Ahmad and Amer Ahmad Khan being the founding members.
It was launched to protect and fight for the rights of the Muhajir community against the alleged discrimination in employment opportunities and admissions in educational institutions. In 1997, the MQM changed its nomenclature by removing the word ‘Muhajir’ and replacing it with ‘Muttahida’ to shun its ethnic image.
The urban political party has had a controversial run since it made it onto the mainstream political scene in Pakistan. From braving military operations to sweeping Local Bodies elections, MQM has been at the center of Pakistan’s political affairs since its inception. Not just in Pakistan but abroad also, from money laundering, murder, target killing, there is so much in the hands of MQM.
Yesterday’s rioting drew widespread condemnation from all political parties and prompted action by the paramilitary Rangers. At least nine MQM leaders, including Dr. Farooq Sattar, were detained while the party’s headquarters, Nine Zero, was also searched and subsequently sealed.
Future of MQM:
MQM has huge support in Karachi and is known as the gangsters of the city. With recent riots and MQM showing its real face publicly, today is a test has begun for those who pledge allegiance to the integrity of this country, nothing is left after the MQM chief abused Pakistan publicly. All this leaves a question mark to the future of this party and Altaf Hussain.