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Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Telephonic Revolution Mantra From London

Like every political party in Pakistan, MQM is in search of new avenues and trying to embark into new territories. In a democracy, every political party has a right to tap into a new voter base and bank.

In our beleaguered nation, we are a divided lot, based on ethnic and linguistic lines. The usual bickering about Punjab being the most populous and being the real "center of power", goes around the country. No one can really deny that, yes Punjab plays a very vital role in the formation of any government and being most populous province, can naturally be advantageous to the potential candidates.

General Zia Ul Haq in his tenure, created his political descendant, called Mian Nawaz Sharif, who formed a faction of Pakistan Muslim League, to divide the PPP strength in Punjab. Over the years, PML-N was able to develop and gain its terrain in the province. People still remember the infamous slogans of, "Jaag Punjabi Jaag", which were once raised by N League to awaken the souls of Punjabis in deep slumber. (At least from N League's view)

Often denied but rightly attributed is another act of the infamous General, the facilitation of the formation of the MQM. The motive was to further divide the PPP strength in Karachi and urban Sindh, by creating a party of"Urdu Speaking" majority. There is no denying that MQM has come a long way, with its trials and tribulations in Karachi and urban Sindh to establish its base. How it gained its footing there is common knowledge and many long term Karachites have many stories to share about this metamorphosis.

After making a significant advancement in Karachi and in urban Sindh, MQM is eyeing for the real power center of Punjab. The recent rally of MQM in Lahore is another attempt to make room for itself in the stronghold of the N League. One may laud their tenacious effort, but realistically speaking it is an uphill battle for MQM.

The only problem is that Altaf Bhai is hung up on this idea of a magical revolution. He tends to repeat the same mantra over and over again. Of course the country needs good, stable and lasting political and economic process, more than any revolution. A strong and stable government with emphasis on law and order, the rule and respect of law is revolutionary in itself.

There is a lot of rhetoric and emotional gibberish that emanates from the fiery speeches of the Supremo. There is very little detail provided, how the 18 or for that matter any points will be accomplished by the "party of the educated ghareeb awam."

Last thing that Pakistan needs is any kind of unrest. Unlike many Middle Eastern countries, as fragile and flawed it may be, it has a democratic set up. MQM should play its role in strengthening the process and make a clear pitch of how it plans on accomplishing its goals. As rightfully said, "devil is always in the details." It should define its clear strategy to sell to the public. The sloganeering has a very short life cycle, as reality tends to catch up with it rather expeditiously.

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