It is surprising, as it is unprecedented, the way the Punjabi-dominated pro-Takfiri print and electronic media has been celebrating the impending fall of the MQM. For the first time in Pakistan’s history, the MQM and its leader Altaf Hussain have become targets of ridicule and scorn. It is routinely claimed that after the Scotland Yard raid on Altaf Hussain’s residence in connection with Dr Farooq’s murder, it is only a matter of time that Altaf Hussain will be indicted for ordering his erstwhile comrade’s murder. The discovery of a large amount of cash from Altaf Hussain’s house is also cited as an important step in his prosecution for money laundering.
These two claims or allegations—Altaf Hussain’s roles in the murder of Dr Farooq and money laundering—may be true or not. What we need to understand is the broader picture of international geopolitics and its impact on Karachi and the rest of Pakistan. But first we must accept this thesis: If Altaf Hussain is removed from the leadership of the MQM, the party will certainly collapse.
Now, there are a few things we have to understand. Altaf Hussain has been given protection by the British government since he moved to London in the early 1990s. Not only has he been provided armed protection, early on he was given a British passport to make sure that Pakistan’s laws would not apply to him. Since his move to London, the British government has allowed him to carry on his political activities unhindered. He has regularly been at the huge public gatherings of the MQM through phoning-in addresses. Despite being out of Pakistan, the British government has been proving him with every opportunity to be at the center of the MQM politics. The British government has also been providing visas to countless MQM workers and activists to meet up with Altaf Hussain. Why?
One can understand the reason behind the British backing of Altaf Hussain. And the word is: Karachi. Karachi is democratically represented and practically/politically controlled by the MQM. Karachi is the lifeline of Pakistan’s economy. The MQM is the largest urban part in Sindh, and Karachi’s 90 percent political/democratic representatives belong to it. If the MQM is deprived of its rightful share of ruling Karachi, there will be no peace in the city and Pakistan will suffer irreparably in economic terms. Despite the nonstop violence in various parts of Karachi, the city is still vibrant economically. But if the MQM is wiped off or dismembered into factions, it will destroy Pakistan’s economy. The question is: What is the British plan for Karachi? By prosecuting Altaf Hussain and thereby dismembering the MQM, what is it that the British government is trying to achieve in Karachi? Given that the British and the American governments are on the same page vis-à-vis Pakistan, it should not surprise anyone if the British government’s taking on Altaf Hussain has American support too.
Now there is another aspect to the possible dismemberment of the MQM. Before the establishment of the MQM, Karachi’s main political parties were all religious. In other words the MQM workers, voters, activists, and leaders were all affiliated to religious parties like the Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat-e-Ulema, and various violent sectarian outfits such as the anti-Shia Sawaad-e-Azam, the precursor of Sipah-e-Sihabah and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. The Sawaad-e-Azam shed a lot of Shia blood every year during the months of Moharrum and Ramzan when the Shia Muslims took out their mourning processions. It was the rise of the MQM which united the Urdu-speaking Mohajirs as Mohajirs, and not as Shias, Brelvis, and Deobandis. Thanks to the MQM, no Sunni Mohajir affiliated to the party has done or supported Shia persecution. Shia blood is shed by the SSP-ASWJ-LeJ which is mainly comprised of Pathans and Punjabis with a thin smattering of Sindhis and Mohajirs.
Since 2008 when the MQM won landslide victories in Karachi, Hyderabad, and Sukkhar, there have been speculations that the ISI/Army wants to divide it into various factions (Shia-Sunni, Shia-Brelvi-Deobandi, Bihari-non-Bihari, etc). If in the coming months, the MQM is dismembered and factionalized, it will turn the present Shia genocide into a Shia holocaust. The Takfiri Deobandis in Karachi are armed to the teeth and have been waiting for an opportunity to wipe the Shias out of existence. The dismemberment of the MQM will be an ideal opportunity for the Takfiris to recruit murders. No one will be able to stop the coming holocaust. But one must not forget that this time it will not be the Shias only. The Takfiris will kill the Brelvis, Hindus, Parsis, Christians, and Agha Khanis with the same zeal and zest as they have been doing in the case of the Shias. The leaders of these communities should act now.