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The era of Altaf Hussain is Over?

Posted by yourpakistan on August 31, 2011

It appears as if the era of Altaf Hussain as the party head of MQM is coming to an end. There were news of his alleged escape to South Africa and his subsequent arrest. There are news of his house arrest in London. There are news that the two suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Dr Imran Farooq have confessed that Altaf Hussain had ordered them to kill Dr Farooq. The British police do not appear to be in a political mode to hush up the murder investigations and, as such, to let off Altaf Hussain.

The hard-hitting media conference of Dr Zulfikar Mirza recently seems to be part of the impending change of command in MQM. There were news that Dr Imran Farooq was being supported from within and outside the party to regain control of the party’s militant wing that he used to head as the MQM’s Secy General in the good old days. Dr Mirza’s meetings with Afaq Ahmad of MQM Haqiqi were publicized in the media recently so much so that Dr Mirza was accused of having secured the support of Haqiqi in the killings of MQM activists in Karachi.

Every leader has a life cycle. So, it should not be a surprise if Altaf Hussain’s era comes to an end. He ruled the party for quarter of a century and did so quite effectively regardless of the ways and means that he used to hold on to power. But the transition is not likely to be smooth and free from internal strife and outside strings.

Dr Mirza’s titanic media conference can be construed to be part of the game plan to ‘hit the party when it is in trouble.’ His blitz appears to be well planned and well articulated. It was’nt an emotional outburst. He delivered the message that he or his mentors wanted him to do. Its repercussions are yet to be evaluated for now and the future for the MQM, PPP, ANP and the residents of Sindh.

There are people who believe that Dr Mirza’s media conference was planned to prevent army action in Sindh. Well, it could be a key reason. The MQM, ANP and the PPP had crossed the lines in the recent targeted killings in Karachi and pressure had been mounting on the army to act in aid of the law enforcement agencies to stop the ongoing massacre of the innocent lives. The Army Chief had been in the city in the past week to receive briefings on the situation. The armed forces cannot possibly wait indefinitely.

As far as I could figure out, Karachi needs an administrative solution. The city’s criminals have to be depoliticized. The law enforcement agencies have to act freely and fairly. The army will have no choice but to intervene if the law enforcement agencies fail to wipe out the criminals who are believed to be politically aligned. The best solution, in my view, lies in the strengthening of the law enforcement agencies to enable them to act without fear or favour in enforcing the law. There cannot be a political solution for the reason that there are conflicts of interests. Neither of the stakeholders is willing to give way to the other in controlling the land, weapons, and narcotics.

Lets pray and hope that sanity will prevail and the politicians will realize their moral and statutory responsibility to act in the best interests of the province of Sindh.

Mumtaz A. Piracha
Founder & Chairman
Good Governance Forum

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