Pakistan showed uninterrupted coverage of his speech for more than an hour. A common practice by the networks, whenever the leader of the MQM speaks, the party having controlling stakes in Karachi, the port city of Pakistan.
What was different this time from countless other times when he had the undivided attention of the networks!
This time the occasion was different, it was billed as launching of a “political drone” by the leader of the MQM.
In his speech the MQM chief, first issued a threat to divide the southern province of Sind on ethnic lines if the MQM demands of formation of local governments in two of the biggest cities in the province were not fulfilled.
If the explosive threats of the split were not enough, Mr Hussain increased the heat further by educating the masses about the early history of Pakistan. Mr Hussain is regularly targeted by his political opponents for holding British Nationality while he continues to conduct the politics in Pakistan from the safety of the United Kingdom. To deflect the criticism and the attention from himself Mr Hussain adopted a novel approach. He pointed to the fact that the founder of the nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a British National too.
As soon as he finished addressing his supporters in Karachi, criticism of his speech started to pour in from all across Pakistan. His opponents claimed he is distorting the history by equating himself and his self imposed exile in the UK to the founder of Pakistani nation.
There is no denying the fact, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the father of Pakistani nation took oath of allegiance to King George VI at the time of Independence. At the time of their independence the two nations, India and Pakistan were given a dominion state status by the British. Lord Moutbatten became first Governor General of India and Mr Jinnah became the Governor General of newly created Pakistan. A fact reflected in the oaths taken by both nominated Governor Generals.
The fact is, it was decided that the independence would be a gradual process. At first dominion status would be given to both nations and gradually they would be entitled to claim Republic’s status and become Independent states under their own constitutions or continue as dominion states under the crown. Exactly, what is the status of Common wealth nations of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and some smaller Carribean countries. They are free to claim Republic’s status if their population decides.
Mr Hussain tried to use the logic that if Jinnah could have a British passport, there is no harm if Mr Hussain holds British Nationality. Pakistanis object to distortion of facts and history by Mr Hussain or at least a clever ploy to use the facts for his advantage. The fact is, no Pakistani or Indian for that matter had any other choice. They had to have a British Passport because both nations have no passport of their own. Without nation, the question of the nation’s passport doesn’t arise.
The MQM leaders and supporters are defending the speech claiming, Mr Hussain was trying to put the record straight. Majority of Pakistanis does not know that father of the nation was a British subject and he had taken the oath like Mr Hussain has taken oath of allegiance to the Queen on his naturalization. There is no denying the fact, educated and knowledgeable people knew these facts, and there had not been a purposeful distortion of history or concealment of facts on Pakistanis part.
Whatever the reasons are, but this latest foray by Mr Hussain is not going well with the majority of Pakistanis, this much is clear from the early reactions by them.
In this regard the role played by Pakistani media is under attack too. The opponents of the MQM and for that matter common Pakistanis too regularly object to Pakistani media’s bias in favor of the MQM. Even though the MQM is of a different opinion. They think they get a rough deal from Pakistani media.
While the MQM may have their own reasons, but Pakistanis objections against their media stem from the fact Pakistani channels provide hours long uninterrupted coverage to frequent speeches of Mr Hussain to his supporters in Karachi.
The media usually don’t provide such wall to wall coverage to any other mainstream Pakistani political party. Their opponents also point to the fact that the MQM for all means and purposes is a regional party. Even though the MQM claims they are a national party on the back of the seats they hold in AJK and Gilgit assemblies. But the fact is those seats are occupied by the MQM only due to the fact they are for the residents of Karachi who originally belong to those northern areas.
Off course the MQM deny any such suggestions, but their oppositions steadfastly point to frequent favors of Pakistani media to the the MQM. Perhaps now the management of tv networks in Pakistan would consider a more balanced approach after today’s speech, which has left very negative impressions on the majority of Pakistanis minds.
If the MQM thought it was a clever ploy against the objections raised for politicians dual nationalities, then surely from the reaction of Pakistani nation it is evident, the loose drone attack backfired on the MQM big times. The damage done to already battered reputation of the MQM could never be undone now.
The MQM should have thought long and hard before restoring to such ill thought tactics and arguments. To bring the Father of the Nation to the level of any politicians is asking for trouble. You cannot win the hearts and minds of people by such tactics.
Mr Hussain instead of providing help to coming long march towards Islamabad, may have raised more questions in the minds of Pakistanis on the purpose and motives behind the recent unfolding events in Pakistan. Mr Hussain intentions may have been different, but dragging Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s name into the arguments could never have helped. Neither it could be heralded as the brightest idea.
As soon as I finished the article and submitted it for publications, news is breaking the MQM have decided to withdraw from Qadri’s long march. Only yesterday, the leader of the MQM announced to the nation, the MQM would participate in the long March at all costs. I guess a day is too long in politics. Poor Qadri, now we know the main purpose of the promised political drone.
Last night the coalition partners had met with President Zardari in Karachi. Dr Sattar and Mr Ghouri took part on behalf of the MQM. Could it be Zardari as the super tacticians he is, had offered the MQM their choice of local administration of Karachi and Hyderabad!! This seems the most likely reason for change of heart this morning from the MQM. They got what they wanted from PPP and ditched Dr Qadri in no time. It proves the volatile nature of Pakistani politics. Having confidence or relying on others for favors is a mugs game. You play that game at your own laurels, if you do, expect to get your fingers burned.