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MQM’s much awaited cleansing


A few hours ago, Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) dissolved the Rabita Committee in Pakistan and London. It seems as if the chief of MQM Altaf Hussain, has finally taken notice of the ongoing problems within the party ranks. The rising popularity of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Karachi and the sour feelings, even among the Urdu speaking populace - which constitutes a major part of the vote bank of MQM - may have triggered this reality check. MQM represents the middle income group and has a track record of sending educated young men and women to the corridors of power and providing them with an opportunity to serve as lawmakers. Their young dynamic mayor, Mustafa Kamal, changed the face of Karachi which took the party's popularity to new heights. However, it was during the last five years when MQM suffered badly as a coalition partner of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Even if they wanted to do something for the people of Sindh, they have been unable to. Similarly, there were no efforts done at the grass root level by the unit and sector level members of the MQM to provide any kind of relief to the people of Karachi. There was a time when Karachi had risen to the concept of 'I own Karachi' introduced by none other than Mustafa Kamal and his team, but the spirit and enthusiasm fizzled out when the turbulent MQM-PPP coalition kept the local bodies system of governance in a limbo and the last five years were spent ‘strengthening democracy’ by keeping this marriage of convenience intact. There was a time when MQM workers were made to go through character and personality development programs called ‘fikri nishist’ where public service was promoted and every single worker was supposed to follow the party’s code of conduct. However, these traits as they say ‘nazariati kaarkun’ (ideological worker traits) lack in the current breed of MQM workers. They seem to be devoid of any such training. Ultimately, this resulted in some serious breach of party discipline. Therefore, the chief intervened and dissolved the Karachi Coordination Committee. I see this as a welcoming step towards re-structuring and re-organising the party on a positive note- keeping in mind the growing expectations of the people of Sindh and Karachi in specific. Additionally, by dissolving the Rabita Committee, Altaf has put a leash on all those workers and office bearers who are involved in extortion, land grabbing and related crimes; MQM is taking a positive step towards repositioning itself in Karachi. Hussain’s concern for public inconvenience caused by the actions of his workers is again being viewed as a paradigm shift in the policy making of the MQM. This is assumed to have a pleasant outcome in the upcoming days. I would love to see MQM's future Karachi Coordination Committee working actively towards resolving Karachi's ever growing problems. To see them synergise their energies towards public welfare and improving their public image would be like a dream come true! MQM workers have great potential and if used wisely, these young men and women can change the fate of Karachi within no time. They are common people just like us and therefore have full exposure to the issues faced by a common man on the streets. All that is required is a realistic approach, political insight, system of checks and accountability by the party leadership and sensitivity towards the demands and expectations of the general public. What’s done is done; it’s time to move forward now; MQM, make us proud! Read more by Arsalan here

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