Sunday, June 24, 2012, same date, same city, same type of event but entirely different perspective. Both, Muttahida Qoumi Movement (MQM) & Awami National Party (ANP) organized their conventions for the people hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa Province (KPK).
MQM being alleged for the ethnic & violent politics in urban centers of Sindh organized an unusual event, a general public convention for the people of KPK living & earning their bread in Karachi. Rivals blamed MQM for killings of Pakhtun origin people in Karachi & destroying their businesses & source of income. Karachi, the city of lights has seen much bloodshed in the past highlighting Pakhtun-Muhajir clashes costing innocent lives. MQM was always blamed for the massacre of Pakhtuns, denied all such allegations & vowed the brotherhood & harmony among the ethnic divides.
ANP declares itself the only representative of the Pakhtun Community in the country, having Provincial Govt. in KPK & is a coalition partner in PPP lead Govt. in Islamabad. It claims to be the preacher of Love & Peace following the teaching of their spiritual leader Bacha Khan (Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan Founder Leader of Khudai Khidmatgar Tehreek). ANP also have 2 Provincial Assembly seats from Karachi from the Pakhtun dominated areas.
In order to analyze MQM’s strength & popularity among Pakhtun community, in presence of ANP, a Pakhtun based party; I had floated a Poll asking:
MQM’s Pakhtun Convention will be successful or not?
& I got the following results:
Yes = 93.75%
No = 6.25%
Don’t Know = 0%
The above results were indicative only & we had to wait till evening for the on ground reality. To my surprise after the scheduled time, not only the venue, Jinnah Ground, Azizabad, Karachi was full with Pakhtun Community but the rush reached till Mukka Chowk (Nearby Roundabout at Main Road) after failing to reach the ground. The strength, the enthusiastic crowed, women/children/elders participating in the convention, people holding MQM Chief Altaf Hussain’s pictures, kissing it & expressing their love with Mr. Hussain clearly revealed the popularity of MQM & Mr. Altaf Hussain among Pakhtun people. They were singing, dancing, chanting the slogans & showing their full confidence in the leadership of Altaf Hussain.
The care & concern of Mr.Altaf Hussain for their Pakhtun Admirers was also exemplary. He announced Pakhtun & Muhajir are brothers & have the responsibility to guard each other. He advised Muhajir Community in Karachi to protect the lives & belongings of their Pakhtun brothers & wished for harmony & peace in Karachi. It was also important that in such a huge crowed there wasn’t any unpleasant incidence & not even a single man found carrying weapon or chanting hateful slogans.
Contrary to this, ANP’s convention was rather a show off of weapons. Workers & supporters were found with sophisticated weapons & showing hate towards their rivals. Above all ANP Sindh’s Leader, Senator Shahi Syed clearly threatened the Govt., different departments, their rivals & specially MQM of dire consequences.
As the title “Message of Love” (اردو: پیغام محبّت) & whole the convention suggests, MQM had meant to spread love, peace & harmony among ethnic divides specially b/w Muhajir & Pakhtun communities, but ANP’s convention couldn’t meet the standards to be considered a success & yielded a bad name to it with low attendance, irrelevant speeches, threatening tone of the leaders & displaying weapons. It was rather a “Message of Hate & Violence” (اردو: پیغام نفرت و تشدّد)!