Dear MQM-London: You’re Anything But Liberal

Aniqa Sheikh

“Cosmetic Comrade” was a political slur which became increasingly popular in the late 20th century. It was a time when the “Late” U.S.S.R was passing through an era of “Ideological Export”. Not only were the inhabitants of the “Communist Island”, contented and plentiful with the resources requisite for a satisfactory life but were also having expansionist urges vis-à-vis the “Capitalistic Ocean”. The Soviet government had allocated mammoth funds for the global promotion and marketing of their concept relating to “Economic Parity” and was striving hard to find and give patronage to ideologues across the nation states whose principles corresponded with theirs. Such “Comrades” qualified to be the blue eyed boys of the Soviet embassies around the globe and became recipients of huge financial incentives in addition to politico-diplomatic refuge. This availability of political sponsorship gave birth to a phenomenon of called the “Pink Allegiance”. Political parties and popular figures who found themselves struggling with financial resources or monetary means, very conveniently started adding the “Red Color” to their party flag and resultantly became eligible for “Furtherance Aid” of the U.S.S.R. This practice and the encouragement of the same not only daunted the very notion of “Communism” but also left horrid scars on the very fundamental fabric of political science. The term “Cosmetic Comrade” which became associated with these opportunistic figures is still remembered with acute contempt.

MQM-London, ever since being abandoned and renounced by its Pakistan chapter, is passing through, what “Aly Raisman” had once referred to as, “Hard Days.” Not only has it lost its very relevancy in Pakistan’s political paradigm but is also struggling hard to meet its every day expenses. Good old “Goat Hides” which once brought glitters to the eyes are now nowhere to be seen and bloody Karachites who used to be such regular in furnishing “Donations” are also increasingly shying away. MQM-London has tried complying with the tried and tests “Cut Your Coat According To Your Cloth” idiom and has relinquished its “Headquarters” shifting operations to rented premises but after all some of the “Necessities Of Life” which “Bhai” is so used rather addicted to cannot be renounced in-to-to. MQM has, in its troublesome past, many a times beaten fortunes against all odds but in those days Karachi at the least was in its firm grip. This grip not only ensured the continuous flow of fiscal stream from Karachi to London but also enabled the “London-Group” (Not To Be Confused With The One Najam Sethi Was Associated With In The 70s) to lobby for acquirement of funds from “Friends In Delhi”. These credentials most remorsefully are now lost, some courtesy Rangers and some courtesy the “Trusted” Farooq Sattar.

MQM-London thus found itself in never tested before waters after the 22 August fiasco. It had no plans to counter the mess its Supremo had landed them into nor did they have a strategy to coup up with mounting troubles. In times like these it seems it found comfort in the advice rendered by some “Erstwhile Comrades” newly turned “Sathis” such as Prof. Hassan Zafar Arif and Ishaq Advocate. These seasoned communists who had once had their fair share of affair with the U.S.S.R, prima-facie advised the London Group, to adapt the ages old policy of “Pink Allegiance.” Only this time around the allegiance was to the new giant called “Liberalism”. It seemed convenient to the London boys to convert to Liberalism if it meant an escape from “Starvation” and “Isolation”.

MQM-London ever since is trying hard to prove its credentials as a “Liberal” party. It organized, on the side lines of SAATH, a meeting between its revered leader and the Arch-Bishops of Pakistani Liberalism. The meeting resulted in the Council of Bishops lavishing immense praise on the MQM supremo. Its Twitter Brigade under the stewardship of Wasay Jalil is very routinely found tagging the likes of Kenneth Roth, bringing it into their knowledge that the sole proprietorship of “Liberalism” in Pakistan is vested in the MQM. Doors of the U.S State Department and the EU are routinely banged with “Liberal Fist” hoping that they would one day open with piles of huge cash inside, which would once and forever resolve the suffocating worries of Altaf Hussain.

While this “Comedy of Errors” has been at bold display for the past many months, one expected either one of our Liberal Bishops or some journo to put some fair questions to the MQM-London and ascertain whether it has anything at all to do with Liberalism or it is another “Cosmetic Liberal” front. However there seems a void of rationale in the citadels of Liberalism and journalism both, I thus feel compelled and duty bound to ask the following questions from the new lads in the liberal neighborhood:

  • In the October of 2014, when PPP Stalwart and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Syed Khursheed Shah made remarks about the contemporary relevance of the term “Mohajir” and called into question the very of ingenuity of post-independence identity politics, MQM instead of responding in a political or academic manner decided to resort to a Hate Filled Smear Campaign. Altaf Hussain himself felt the need of arousing the sentiments of a procession organized by Mutahida, wherein he said that Khursheed Shah had committed “Blasphemy” by defiling a word once associated with the Companions of the Prophet (S.A.W). MQM did not restrict itself to mere incitement but went ahead to lodge a Blasphemy Case against Khursheed Shah under the extremely controversial sections 295 A, B and C of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Brigade Police Station. In addition to this the Wasay Jalil Twitter Brigade was also let loose against Shah to rein him in. I beg to ask MQM-London as to under which realms of liberalism a political opponent was charged for blasphemy to meet political ends?
  • Liberal and Progressive political parties have throughout history stood up for Freedom of Speech and Press. MQM Quaid Altaf Hussain however, is the only known liberal who has a habit of hurling vile and perilous abuses at journalists, opinion makers and media houses. The number of instances when poor reporters and DSNGs face the brunt of his inflammatory speeches is countless however I do beg to ask MQM-London to explain the dichotomy of the speech of its leader when on 22 August 2016 he asked his supporters as of “How Is ARY and SAMMA Still Functioning In Karachi And Why Have You Not Yet Thwarted Their Transition.” He further issued instruction to do the same expeditiously.
  • Altaf Hussain in the month February of 2011 in a speech urged the “Patriotic Generals” to take over the affairs of the country and “Hang in the Squares” dead bodies of “Politicians”, “Journalists” and “Intellectuals” who oppose “Change.” I beg to ask MQM-London to explain the benefits of this charmed revolution of theirs.
  • In a Rally organized by MQM in the July of 2014, Altaf Hussain said if he comes to power he would hand over a Kalashnikov (AK-47) to Sheikh Rasheed and make sure that the later hunts every traitor down. I beg to ask MQM-London that with which audacity today it demands a Fair-Trial for its suspects.
  • Altaf Hussain has a reputation of being bold with his choice of colorful words. He very recently was seen teaching his supporters how to “Carve the Brain” of a living human out and feed it to the scavengers. I beg MQM-London to explain the contents of this speech to at least Kenneth Roth who Wasay Jalil seems so fond of.
  • As far as I understand as a student of Political Science, Liberalism is an idea of inclusivity and egalitarianism which incorporates in itself the principles of diversity. MQM supremo has however, more than once referred to other lingual groups with extreme disrespect and insensitivity. His remarks about Sindhis being Boot Polishers of Hindus and Pakhttons being Terrorists have not yet been forgotten by the people of Karachi. I beg to ask MQM-London to explain this love of theirs for Humanity at large.
  • Altaf Hussain in 2010 when trying to expand his foot-hold in Punjab vowed to impose Shariah Law and bring back the Model of Medina to Pakistan. In view of the foregoing I am intrigued to ask the MQM-London to explain further what that model would look like.

“Liberalism” is a not mere conjuncture of letters or another word in the dictionary. It is a dream for many who live under Tyrant regimes, it is fragrance of Hope for the ones oppressed by Theocracies and a Notion dearer than life for ones who call themselves Humanists. MQM-London should either offer an explanation for the questions raised herein above or have some mercy of this Word.

“Liberalism is not alternative to Goat Hides which the Cosmetic Neo-Nazis of London intend to cash on.”

The writer Anika Sheikh is an associate at Amir Mirza Law Firm & a Post Graduate student of Peace & Conflict Studies at The National University Of Sciences & Technology Islamabad. In her pass time she bakes confectioneries, reads page 3 & blogs about socio-political issues. She can be reached @sheikh_anika.


The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Lahore Times.

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