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'Bhai’ You are Tubed!

29 June, 2007

By Adnan Gill


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It is said, a picture is often worth a thousand words.  Now we can say a video-clip is often worth a million words.  In this day and age of satellite TV channels, cell phone cameras, and internet portals like YouTube.com information remains only seconds away.  The blogging revolution gave birth to thousands of political pundits.  Digital-Cameras and YouTube are threatening the monopoly once enjoyed by the global TV-news giants like CNN, BBC, and ABC news.  Now, anyone, anywhere on the globe can and does become a news reporter in an instance.  All one needs is a digital camera and access to internet, and one can change the fortunes of many.

Not since the advent of the camera, and then satellite-TV, has any other information medium ruined the political fortunes of so many politicians as YouTube is. How can one forget the ‘Macaca’ moment of the Virginia Republican Senator George Allen?  During the 2006 Senate elections, his reelection dreams were virtually assured till he was ‘tubed’.  In other words, while pandering to his conservative constituency, the Senator casually passed a racist remark against an American-born man of Indian heritage.  Before the Senator could catch his balance his derogatory remark caught on a video camera was posted on the YouTube site.  Millions were disgusted by the video.  His constituents voted him out of office at the first opportunity.  That was the end of the Senator’s political carrier. 

Altaf Hussain (‘Bhai’/brother) -- a taxi driver turned politician and the founder of Muttahida Quami Movement; MQM, previously also known as Muhajir Quami Movement -- and his political party Muttahida Quami Movement are also meeting Senator Allen’s fate.  They made a horrendous political miscalculation, thinking as always, they will deal with a political situation with force and cover it up with their lies, followed by a vicious propaganda campaign.  But only, if it was that simple.  They forgot that digital-cameras were documenting the mayhem moment by moment and blow by blow.  No sooner, the MQM unleashed their violent attacks on the opposition parties, that the images of events were captured and posted on the internet.  To the horror of MQM leadership, millions of viewers tapped into the countless video clips of the May 12, Karachi violence. There was no doubt left in anybody's mind as to who was responsible for that unforgivable day.  The days of bending and twisting the truth, and brushing the filth under the carpet were gone. YouTube effectively took the options of lie and deceit away from the MQM leadership.  This time, Altaf Hussain and MQM were also effectively ‘tubed’.

In a bazaar rejoinder published in a May 28, Pakistan Link’s Opinion/Letters section, Altaf Bhai blamed any and everyone but his own party for the carnage that took place in Karachi on May 12 [1].  Like a person aloof of reality and as a soothsayer, strangely, he blamed the violence on some “secretly hidden terrorists in the Pakhtoon community” and opposition parties shooting their own workers.

While defending his party's severely tarnished image, Altaf Bhai first asked the readers a rhetorical question, "If MQM had planned to create unrest or disorder then why would hundreds and thousands of MQM workers and supporters have participated in the rally along with their mothers, sisters, sons, daughters and other family members?" This very reasonable question will be answered later on.

Then, as if he was insulting the readers’ intellect, he proceeded with his unfathomable explanation as to when and how the violence started.  As if narrating scenes out of a Bollywood thriller, he said, "on 12th May at around 12 noon as soon as the information was broadcast... that the plane carrying the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had landed at the Karachi Airport, the conspiring elements with the help of secretly hidden terrorists in the Pakhtoon community areas came on to the streets and started indiscriminate firing on the MQM rallies."  He further added, as a result of firing "the MQM rallies/processions instead of moving forward started retreating back towards their respective areas. At the Sharah-e-Faisal on Natha Khan Goth the terrorists of ANP and PPP appeared on the streets and opened indiscriminate firing on the oncoming rallies – then the MQM workers immediately formed a long queue of male workers and asked the women, elders and children to run away from there to wherever they could."

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of realities, it might be prudent to browse over few facts and set some timelines.  In an interview with the GEO-News, on May 12 at 13:24 (Pakistan Standard Time), Chief Justice’s lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan commented on the violence going on in Karachi at the time [2].  At 14:58 (PST), GEO-News reported there were already 15 dead and 45 injured [3].  By 15:30 (PST), AAJ-TV’s offices were under heavy gunfire by the MQM gunmen waving their party flags, as other party workers filmed their attacks [4].  

At the time, since Altaf Bhai was not present in Karachi, it is safe to assume that his explanations were based on what was captured by the electronic media and/or the information provided by his friends and party workers.  Either way, his claim that the MQM rally attended by children, women and elders was attacked after Chief Justice had landed at the Karachi Airport doesn't hold water; because even three hours after the alleged firing started his party's minister Farooq Sattar was still addressing and leading a peaceful MQM rally.  As it happened on May 12, at 15:05 (PST), while the dead bodies were piling up in Jinah Hospital, MQM Minister Babar Ghauri was giving an interview to GEO-News on a bridge overlooking Sharah-e-Faisal as the MQM procession coming from Guru Mundir was passing underneath [5].  The minister claimed that the participants of the rally were not even aware of the violence going on in rest of Karachi.  There is simply no evidence that the children and women attending the MQM rally were fired upon, or were protected by the human-wall of MQM workers. Considering the evidence captured by the electronic media it can be argued, that either both his own minister and the TV cameras were lying, or Altaf Bhai was deliberately distorting the facts.

Later, as Altaf Bhai labeled the ANP and PPP workers as ‘terrorists’, he painted another strange and highly improbable scenario in which he claimed that it were “the armed terrorists of ANP and PPP” who shot at each other, and were “murdered and injured“ by their own party workers. He vainly argued, that ” the armed terrorists of ANP and PPP... started moving forward until they reached the Star Gate near the Airport. Another armed group of terrorists appeared from the Natha Khan Goth and came on the main road and started setting the vehicles alight... The second armed group of terrorists moved further forward and continued with their firing... As a result of the indiscriminate firing of this second armed terrorists group the members of the first armed group of terrorists were shot at – some of them died and others were injured. Similarly, as a result of indiscriminate firing from the second armed terrorists group armed terrorists of the first group belonging to the PPP and ANP were murdered and injured”.

On the contrary, at 14:27 (PST), GEO -TV caught several men -- alongside the MQM flags -- on the COD Bridge indiscriminately firing on buses transporting opposition workers [6].  Later on, in a press conference convened by the PPP parliamentarian Sherry Rehman, it was disclosed that the attack caught by the GEO -TV cameras in fact took place on the COD Bridge and Sharah-e-Faisal Crossing [7].  Coincidently, around 13:48 (PST), another instance of MQM workers firing their weapons off a flyover was caught by the cameras of Sindh-TV [8].  Clearly, MQM gunmen were holding positions on majority of the flyover bridges in order to hold the tactical advantage of higher ground; which is a clue that the violence was premeditated.  Once again, the cameras contradicted Altaf Bhai’s caricature of the Karachi carnage.

Midway through his rejoinder, considering his party is the ruling party in Karachi and Sindh, Altaf Bhai posed an odd question.  He inquired,” WHERE WERE POLICE AND RANGERS DURING THE BLOODBATH?”  By asking this question Altaf Bhai indirectly acknowledged the failure of his party’s ability to provide safety and security to the citizens of Karachi. Though, he gave an extremely disappointing answer, it was rather another futile attempt to twist and cover-up the reality than an answer.  He answered,” It is very difficult and hard to find the answer to this question in the tragedy of 12th May.”  Then he went on a wild-tangent, commenting on the deaths of Pakistani political leaders like Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan, as if the alleged questions surrounding their deaths were somehow related to the Karachi carnage.  He concluded his answer,”We too are waiting for answers to such questions as to why the Police and Rangers did not arrive on time at the murder of innocent people on 12May 2007?” 

If it wasn’t embarrassing enough that the founder and undisputed leader of the ruling party of Karachi and Sindh was asking such a question; ironically, to solve this mystery, all Altaf Bhai had to do was to check with his own lieutenants before presenting the question. On GEO -TV’s ‘Capital Talk’ show his MQM Minister Wasim Akhtar admitted that he ordered the blockades of roads with trucks and cargo containers, and he was the one who ordered the law enforcement agencies not to carry any weapons and to act as only a buffer [9].  Once again, it’s becoming crystal-clear that either Mr. Hussain doesn’t corroborate his storey with his lieutenants before shooting from hip, or he remains oblivious to the ground realities.

Finally, Altaf Bhai closed his rejoinder with the following words, “Your exiled Pakistani brother, Altaf Hussain”. And with these words he unraveled the aura of his honesty and trustworthiness.

Altaf Bhai might be under the un-explainable impression that somehow he was exiled by someone or some government, but nothing could be further from the truth.  In early 1992, he left Pakistan for Britain on his own freewill and under the pretext of medical treatment. Unlike, Nawaz Sharif, the ex-Prime Minister who was sent into exile by President Musharraf, no one/no government has ever sent Altaf Bhai into exile. If anything, it was he who chose to live in self-exile by accepting the British citizenship.  And he still chooses to live in the so-called exile, despite the fact that his MQM is an important partner in the Musharraf’s ruling coalition in Sindh, as well as the federal government.  Just because Altaf Bhai refuses to believe in the creation Pakistan doesn’t mean Pakistanis exiled him, rather he is the one who still rejects Pakistan.

Altaf Hussain, whose speeches are reminiscent of Hitler’s speeches, is said to rule his party with fist, just like Hitler did [10].  Critics allege that Altaf Bhai practices fascism and is deeply unpatriotic; therefore, he should be charged with high treason, or at minimum, should be expelled from Pakistani politics.  His critics are correct when they call him unpatriotic, because in 2001, he indeed declared the creation of Pakistan, a blunder.  While visiting India he gave an interview to the Times of India in which he said, "Partition of the subcontinent was the biggest blunder in the history of mankind” [11]. Again, in 2002, on ARY-Digital show Altaf Bhai once again shamelessly insisted that the creation of Pakistan was a mistake [12][13].  Why MQM doesn't replace its founding-leader who doesn't even believe in the existence of Pakistan is beyond redemption, understanding and belief.

It is no wonder that the Sindh Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, a member of the ruling coalition that includes MQM, reiterated his puzzling and unbelievable stance that conducting an inquiry into the May 12 incidents was not necessary. “The law and order situation would get worse [if] we instituted an inquiry,” he said [14].

Altaf Bhai and his party needs to grasp the reality, that in this day and age of digital-cameras and YouTube, one cannot misconstrue the truth and get away with it. The truth is all over the internet for everyone to see.  They need to come to terms with the reality that their obsolete propaganda tactics do not work anymore, or else, they will be marginalized.

Key Sources:

[1] Who Is Responsible for the Tragedy of 12th May? By Altaf Hussain: http://www.pakistanlink.com/Opinion/2007/May07/25/01.HTM

[2] Aitzaz Ahsan's comments on the violence going on in Karachi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf2jw44kSXw&mode=related&search=

[3] GEO-News reported there were 15 dead and 45 injured: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT39quPNJMU&mode=related&search=

[4] AAJ-TV’s offices under heavy gunfire:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=METr2vAtObs

[5] MQM Minister Babar Ghauri’s interview with the GEO-News alongside the MQM procession: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKoP5Ht_HiA

[6] GEO-News reported their reporter also came under fire:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7tJKplKSzA&mode=related&search

[7] Sherry Rehman’s press conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uRwMxMm2TU&mode=related&search=

[8] Sindh-TV breaking news footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_y05UmyO0Q

[9] Wasim Akhtar admitted that he ordered the blockades of roads: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt4DPf-A9ok&mode=related&search=

[10] Altaf slams attack on Geo office: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVaQ8VzFQwE

[11] A Muhajir's Prayer; 22 Jul, 2001: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/494482109.cms

[12] Altaf Hussain's exclusive interview on ARY Digital Channel with P.J. Mir - 16 May 2002: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjKZvc-4Zik 

[13] Partition of India a Blunder - Altaf Hussain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMSVYTgFIPA

[14] No inquiry into May 12 needed, CM reiterates: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C05%5C26%5Cstory_26-5-2007_pg12_6

COURTESY: Defence Journal

 

Reader Comments:

'Bhai’

You Bhai seems to be in hot waters. How long can he run from the true justice though he got some backing of present government of Pakistan but not for long. Some dangers are lurking over his head and may be Imran Khan takes him to the British Courts for his crimes if he has any.

mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 30 June, 2007

General Zia's Protege!

Dec 1982 changed the sceniero
for this NY cab driver.He had
offered his services to keep
PPP muffled in Sind.General
Zia ul Haq having failed in 1981, after the HighJacking of FlightPK 326.To turn the
public against PPP.Now had a
volunteer who could bifircute
the nation.Altaf Bhai has in
most cases succeeded and he
also has his Six points plan.

Khalid Rahim, Canada - 01 July, 2007

Altaf Bhai....

This is another example of the hypocracy and double standards of west that it is alledged that Altaf fled in a British diplomatic car to UK.
one wonders how he has managed to obtained British Citizenship when he was already suspected of terrorism and inciting terrorism.
one also wonders why is he still living in UK and controlling a political party from UK why doesnot he go back to pakistan and face the courts.. i believe he is on indian payroll or may be MI5..
no matter what he is certainly not a normal patriotic pakistani...

Sherry, United Kingdom - 02 July, 2007

ALtaf Bhai is not Taxi driver but a Pharmacist so more educated than Generals.

Adnan,
You have written a good article.I don't dispute anything but I just want for the sake of record to correct the info.
1)Altaf Hussain the head of MQM was not a taxi driver for the sake of it,but he is graduate in pharmacy from Karachi University,(B.Pharm)He came to US and initially he had to do odd job i.e.driving taxi for the sake of sustenance which many have to do.Some pharmacists later did high education also.
2)MQM was formed in response to the treatment Mohajirs got in Karachi,i.e.always looked down,given many insulting names etc.His reaction and of other mohajirs was due to the treatment they got.But it was Army which understood the benefit and Zia helped form MQM not because he had any sympathy with them but the religious pimp wanted to use them against PPP and successfully did that.Ever since every CNC has put his "dast-e-shafqat" on the head of MQM to practice policy of divide and rule.
3)Yes if Army wanted to have peace it would have blocked his telephonic relays from UK.It could have contacted UK govt with list of his crimes and asked for his repatriation.But their interest was neither peace nor prosperity of Pakistan just opportunity to exploit and suck Pakistani nation and its resources.
4)I hope some articles can appear about how army(the biggest national political party)has played divide and rule game.

Dr.Jawaid., United Kingdom - 02 July, 2007

Bhai

I whole heartedly go along with the opinion of Sherry. Altaf Hussain no matter how some of his mates do think about him is a wanted criminal but at the moment is in hiding. Why he got British Citizenship is a matter to be seen by the Secretary of the State of UK. That might be coming up when Imran Khan's solicitors do take him to court on his crimes of the past and also of 12th May masacre in Karachi. He is certaily not a normal man and no way a patriotic Pakistani what he is dong while sitting in London in back home Pakistan. He got to answer many of the cases still pending against him.

mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 03 July, 2007

Say whatever

You may say what ever you want on the internet and on phone calls against MQM but if you have evidence and proofs then why you all keep quite from 20-22 years against MQM. Dear their are many stories against MQM but no reality. Camera is a thing that lead the people what the recorder want to show even some times the recording was done in a manner that the direction of reality is changed in a direction. I have to say something about Aaj TV that before 12th May Aaj TV never invoits MQM members on open debates but some time they call them but to listen the lecture of their opposers, not to listen their agenda, and one week before 12th May Haider Abas Rizvi was invited in a program of Talat Aziz he got only last 2 minutes to say his opinion then he says to Talat Aziz that kindly if you call us to say our opinion then please give us equal time otherwise don't call us again, and if you belive or not he never calls them to say their view. After a week this incidence was happen and for the advertisment of their Channel they have projected a big propoganda against MQM on 12th May from the begining of violence in Karachi on 12th May

Kamran, Pakistan - 25 July, 2007

LONG LIFE ALTAF LONG LIFE MQM

Haider, Pakistan - 18 March, 2009

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