MQM Goes to the Punjab: What Will Come of it?

Posted on April 25, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Politics
46 Comments
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Adil Najam

News reports suggest that the MQM (now the Muttihada Quami Movement) has held large simultaneous rallies in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan with its leader in “voluntary” exile Altaf Hussain addressing the rallies over the phone.

It would be fair to say that the MQM has been a largely Karachi-based but increasingly urban-Sindh phenomenon wielding immense political influence in those areas and that most people in the Punjab have looked at the party, its tactics and its leadership with a mixture of curiosity and apprehension. The party’s leader, Altaf Hussain, who is now a British citizen and has lived in voluntary exile in London for over 18 years still seems to hold total control over the party and his phenomenon is even less comprehensible to many outside of the MQM’s traditional stronghold areas.

The MQM has, in fact, been trying to expand its areas of influence, including in the Punjab. First outside of Karachi and Hyderabad to the rest of urban Sindh, then into rural Sindh, and more recently into the rest of the country. The push into Punjab seems to be a concerted one and is synchornized and planned. It remains to be seen what, if anything, will come out of this. But given the political and organizational resources the MQM brings with it, this is clearly a challenge to Punjab’s political status quo that they will not be taking lightly.

I myself am not at all sure what this means. Is the MQM truly out on a national expansion or whether this is a move geared more towards consolidating their position in Sindh rather than actually expanding into the Punjab? What sort of political reception will they get in the Punjab, and from whom? What are they reading in the political tea leaves about the changing fortunes of the established parties in the Punjab – the PPP and PMLs – and also about the political frustrations of the general electorate? How will the other players respond to this move?

Like much that comes out of the MQM, there seems to be a thought-out plan behind this move, but it is not yet clear what it is.

46 responses to “MQM Goes to the Punjab: What Will Come of it?”

  1. Javed says:

    This is just another top drama

  2. Dikshad Rana says:

    Tha jiss ka intizaar woh shahkaar aa gaya. Khush Aamdeed Altaf Bhai magar aik shart par….agar aap nay bhi baqi lutairon ki tarha lootna hai to wahin rahain aur agar kuch kar dikhana hai to ham aap kay saath hain.

  3. fareed says:

    please Help
    ma karachi ma rehta ho hum sub saati bhai buhat pareyshan ha ALTAF HUSSAIN BHAI Karachi Ma KESC Magemment na Hum ko buhat pareyshan kiya howa ha jehsa hum karachi ma rehta hi na ho
    humhara 300 saati bhai Kesc sa nichaal dia ha jin ka halaat buhat hi kharaab ha unka bachay bhooka ha school sa behroom ho gaya ha 3 saati bhaiyhoo ki dead ho gai jinkonichaala gaya tha or 150 saati bhai ko explanation Chargsheet deydi gahi ha kyu ka unho na haq ka lia awazdi thii abb 1600 saathi bhaiyho ko nichaalna list tayyar kardi ha KESC managment na Altaf Bhai Ma Ya Sub Baatien App Sa Kehna Chahata Ho Mujhe Appni Pharwa Nahi Ha Appna Maa Baap Ki Pharwa Ha Bus Ma Na Buhat Mehnat Ki Ha
    Kash Ma App Ko AppnaDil Ka Baata Sakta
    Alftaf Bhai

  4. Obaid1 says:

    Here is another reason why we need MQM in Punjab;

    Punjab province is an extremist “bomb” ready to explode

    Sheikh Waqas Akram, an opposition member of parliament from Jhang, which is the headquarters of Sipah-e-Sahaba, likened the situation in Punjab to the Swat valley, where official inaction allowed the Taliban to take over in 2008. “There can be 10 Swats in Punjab, if you don’t check them [extremists],” said Akram.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/29/pakist an-punjab-taliban

    While PMLN considers these banned terrorist outfits its political assets, MQM is unequivocally opposed to such terrorist organisations.

  5. As far as my opinion is concerned I don’t think that MQM will be successful in Punjab as it is still seen as a Muhajir nationalist party based on ethnic distinctions and hence it will not be appreciated by Punjabis.

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