by Dr. Akram Khan
A London-based British National, Altaf Hussain, who leads an ethnic political party in Karachi (MQM), has played his usual race card yet again in an attempt to create hatred amongst Pakistanis.
Altaf Hussain claimed yesterday that the issue of illegal exam marks of Dogar's Daughter was creating rift between people of Sindh and rest of Pakistan. This is one of the most illogical and stupid statement ever given by head of any political party, and this British national has crossed all limits in spreading racial hatred between people of Pakistan.
This is not the first time Altaf Hussain has tried exercising his racist politics against other ethnic groups through his telephonic and written sermons from London. Here are a few examples:
- Immediately after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, when the entire Pakistani nation was wounded, Altaf Hussain published a letter in Daily Jang blaming the death of Benazir and her father on Punjab by labeling Rawalpindi as the city that murdered both. Although Altaf claims to the be saviour of Muhajir/Urdu speaking ethnic group, he called himself the son of Sindh in that letter and fueled their feelings against Punjab at one of the most difficult time in history of Pakistan.
- Altaf Hussain's party also fabricated a story after assassination of Benazir Bhutto to provoke worst kind of racial hatred between ethnic groups. The story falsely claimed that around a dozen Muhajir women factory workers were raped in Karachi to avenge the death of Benazir.
- Last month when owners of Khanani & Kalia Currency Dealers were arrested by Pakistani authorities for laundering billions of dollars, MQM published a highly inflammatory fake article in Daily Jurrat and posted enlarged copies of that article on the walls of Karachi. The racial discriminatory article was titled "Know Your Enemy - Punjabi Money Changers Celebrated on Arrest of Kalia" and the only reason to post it around the streets of Karachi was to create racial hatred for Punjab in hearts of people of Karachi.
- In April 2008, after several lawyers were burned alive in Tahir Plaza by suspected MQM terrorists, Altaf Hussain gave a live telephonic sermon to his followers that was full of offensive racist material against other ethnic groups.
- A couple of years ago when General Musharraf announced the building of dams, Altaf Hussain and his party became highly offensive against the idea and gave many hate speeches against Punjab claiming the dams were a ploy by Punjab to eat Sindh's share of water.
These are just few of the recent examples. MQM continues to fuel the hatred which often leads to bloody violence in Karachi. As a result of Altaf's racist sermons, even some of his educated followers living in civilized countries have developed hatred against other ethnic groups and they have been brainwashed to believe the only reason anyone speaking against Altaf Hussain or his party is due to their hatred of Muhajirs. One recent example of this hatred was exposed on several blogs when the "Second Best Mayor" story was found to be fake and MQM supporters started accusing the bloggers of hating Muhajirs without looking at the facts.
Abuse of Ethnicity for Power Politics:
It is generally perceived that this British citizen Altaf Hussain and his MQM are the protectors of a certain ethnic group and they are the lead force fighting for the rights of Muhajir minority against other ethnic groups. This perception leads to the support of Altaf Hussain by significant number of Muhajirs, who are blind to the following facts:
- Hundreds of workers of the rival Muhajir group MQM-H have been murdered in the last few months in Karachi where entire police and administration are under MQM's control.
- Entire leadership of Sunni Tehreek, which had a good percentage of Muhajir religious and political leaders as well, was wiped out by a bomb explosion at Nishtar Park two years ago in Karachi under MQM's government. No serious investigation has taken place and no one has been arrested.
- Jamaat-e-Islami is one of the main political rivals of MQM in Karachi. A good percentage of their workers, including the Ex-Karachi Mayor Naimatullah Khan, are of Muhajir ethnic group but MQM does not spare any chance of discrediting them in the field of power politics.
- During recent Presidential Elections, MQM ditched a middleclass Muhajir Presidential candidate — Chief Justice (R) Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui — and opted to vote for Asif Zardari of PPP who was their political rival for 11 years.
Racism for Convinience:
As the above examples prove, Altaf Hussain's slogan of rights for Muhajirs is nothing but propaganda, a tool used only for power politics. Similarly his racist propaganda against other ethnic groups is also just a cover to remain in power. He has sided with both Sindh-based Benazir and Punjab-based Nawaz Sharif when they were in power. He also sided with both military governments of Zia and Musharraf against Sindh-based PPP. Of course he had little problem with Punjab again during the last government as he saw nothing wrong in partnering with Chaudhrys of Gujrat. But his hate-filled rhetoric has returned since joining the recent government.
Recently MQM has been threatening the homes and businesses of Pakhtoons in Karachi under the "Talibanization" hoax, but it's only purpose is to expand their power domain in the city. What makes it interesting is that MQM is a coalition partner of ANP, the political party that strongly represents the very same Pakhtoons of Karachi.
The Laws Against Racism and Racial Discrimination:
Over the years, civilized countries have vastly matured their laws to prevent racial discrimination by anyone against anyone in their countries and United Nations and International Human Rights Commission have greatly contributed in this regards.
In Britain, which adheres to these standards and where even the junior-most worker can take a corporation to the court if he believes any injustice has been done to him because of his race, I wonder why Pakistani community in Britain is not raising the issue of this British Citizen in the British Parliament or the British courts? Hasn't he caused enough hatred and violence in Pakistan?Note: See the program at "http://pkpolitics.com/2008/12/16/off-the-record-16-december-2008/" in which MQM again tried to play Racial card but was objected by reasoning not blames.