Rumours and assumptions have taken the place of investigative journalism in Pakistan. Newspapers are running conspiracy theories rather than news verified by airtight sources and media houses are not wasting any opportunities to create sensationalism. Mr. Altaf Hussain’s claims that he is facing conspiracy from international establishment did not get any attention in our media. Our journalists, who are eager to find international conspiracies behind Taliban attacks, Baloch separatist movements, failing law and order and economic instability in the country, turned a deaf ear to the claims of the leader of Pakistan’s third largest political party.
Pakistani media proclaimed that the raid on Mr. Altaf Hussain’s house in London was the turning point and it forced MQM to take an anti-British stance. This claim has no basis and, for clarity, we need to go back to September 27th, 2010 when Mr. Altaf Hussain gave a statement that was published in all leading newspapers of Pakistan. In his statement, which was published days after the brutal murder of Dr. Imran Farooq, Mr. Hussain claimed that international establishment wanted to eliminate him and MQM workers should prepare themselves for any situation. The letters written by MQM in 2010 to the British Prime Minister and other international organizations concerning the security and well being of Mr. Hussain are on record and show that the threat was serious.
Also, in his recent speech after the raid on his house, Mr. Hussain claimed that UK Police interrogated Mohammad Anwar, one of his senior aides, about Dr. Imran Farooq in 2005. The questions were related to Dr. Farooq’s differences with the MQM. Mr. Anwar was also questioned by the UK Police about the whereabouts of Dr. Imran Farooq whether if he has been taken as a hostage by Altaf Hussain.
It is important to see the bigger picture:
2005: UK authorities claim that Altaf Hussain is holding Dr. Imran Farooq as a hostage – proved wrong when the MQM Convener himself denied these allegations against Altaf Hussain.
2010: Murder of Dr. Imran Farooq and the statement made by Altaf Hussain that the international forces want to eliminate him.
2013: Raid on Altaf Hussain’s house in London where after Mr.Altaf Hussain warned that the UK government might be framing him in Dr. Farooq’s murder case.
Is Altaf Hussain the target ? Why is it important for the international establishment to take Altaf Hussain out of the picture?
Whenever there is a murder and the investigations cannot bode a clear lead to the murderer, the investigation agencies normally focus on individuals or groups who might be the beneficiaries of that said crime. Could Altaf Hussain be the beneficiary of Dr. Imran Farooq’s murder? Let’s assume for a moment that Dr. Farooq, being one of the founding members of MQM was making a splinter group. Let alone why would he do that but even if he did, what were the chances of success? History has seen the formation of the Haqiqi-Group which had the backing of Pakistani establishment for many years. Who understood this more than anyone involved than Dr. Farooq who lead the party in those dire times when the Haqiqi-Group was presented as an alternative by force. The Haqiqi-Group failed to gain any public support in Karachi. The conspiracy theory about the differences between Altaf Hussain and Dr. Imran Farooq lacks even an iota of substance.
In addition; who was after Dr. Imran Farooq’s life during the “operation clean up” which was launched against MQM in 1992? Who announced his head money of Rs 700,000 and who forced him to run from Pakistan and find refuge in UK ? Why didn’t the UK authorities make his asylum application public where he mentioned the names of powerful agencies looking to kill him?
Beneficiaries of Dr. Imran Farooq’s murder are those who wanted to murder him all along. They are the same beneficiaries who now want to eliminate Altaf Hussain by involving him in this heinous crime.
The port city of Karachi has significant importance in the region. We have read news reports, articles and analysis on how some international powers want their control over Karachi. After handing over Hong Kong to the Chinese government, British Empire must be looking for an alternative. We all know that China would control and run operations of our Gwadar port. Similarly UK, or USA, might be highly interested in taking over the port of Karachi. The international establishment might think that MQM is an obstacle in their agenda, it being the only political presence in Pakistan that is anti-feudal, anti-autocratic and stands for the protection of civil liberties.
UK and USA are working hard to mend their ways with Taliban in Afghanistan. There is no doubt that Taliban would be given an important role in Afghanistan by international powers. A strong Taliban footprint is undeniable in neighboring Pakistan. Now with UK and USA going into some kind of alliance with Taliban, the existence of MQM (The only liberal and progressive force in Pakistan which has stood against Talibanization in Karachi) would be the strongest resistance to Taliban ambitions of taking over Pakistan.
The dislike of Pakistani establishment towards the ideology against the corrupt political culture, feudalism, fanaticism and extremism is well documented. MQM is the flag bearer of that same ideology. International establishment seek control without having to deal with the rule of law and civil liberties because it is an unnecessary hassle that they can do without. MQM is an outright political party in a struggle to gain rule of law and civil liberties. Therefore, it seems like the perfect opportunity for national and international establishment to build pressure on MQM and try to eliminate Altaf Hussain in an effort to remove MQM from the political scene of Pakistan.
Can we move past these realities with ignorance as the Pakistani media seems to be doing? Is the Pakistani media not ignoring but actually obscuring these realities by their trivial pursuit of scandals? It is time for us to find the truth behind these moves against the MQM through some real, investigative journalism.