MQM needs to change perceptions about it before it finds any ground in the Punjab
Crosspost by Yasmeen Ali
MQM’s effort to enter Punjab can be deemed as a historic political development. Altaf Hussain in an address many months earlier, promised Punjab an end to feudalism, while announcing MQM’s entrance in the Punjab political kaleidoscope .This is an interesting promise, considering MQM was unable to dent the feudalism in rural Sindh where it exists, much more than in Punjab. According to the MQM’s 2008 election manifesto “the prevalent feudal system of Pakistan is the main obstacle in the progress of the country and the prosperity of the people”.
Before going any further, let us identify what feudalism is. In one view, that of Marc Bloch, views feudalism as the complete system, political, military, social, and economic. He saw all of these issues centering around lordship. Karl Marx also took this perspective with one major difference; he centered on peasants. Marxism’s main emphasis is that of the plight of the worker thus in his view of feudalism only the peasants contributed to society. In another major view, feudalism is largely a political term. The political power in feudalism, these individuals claim, was treated as an individual possession and held by those who owned the land. Thus the government was ruled by the lords and royal officials who ruled over their land. Continue reading
by Raza Rumi
Much has been elaborated on the binding constraints faced by Pakistani democracy. Conventional wisdom suggests that the civil-military imbalance has left little space for democratic institutions to grow and flourish. There can hardly be any disagreement with this point of view. In fact, decades of centralised martial rule have resulted in the militarisation of the society to such an extent that one can hardly discuss anything pertaining to Pakistan without a mention of the Pakistan Army and its role in the country.
There is also a predominant counter narrative in the mainstream discourse. This view holds the impatient and elitist Pakistani politicians responsible for the systemic crash each decade. It stresses that the politicians are adept at undermining the democratic order and it is because of their petty differences and thirst for power that they enter into alliances with the powerful establishment. Continue reading
[This is another contribution by Bilal Qureshi (see here for Bilal’s previous piece on the NRO). We are pleased to publish it since we believe it is important to continue the debate. We do not necessarily subscribe to the author’s views – PTH]
By Bilal Qureshi
© The Nation, Pakistan
There are times when I am tempted to accept Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) as a genuine political party. However, thankfully, I come to my senses as soon as MQM attempts one of those fascist maneuvers that have become synonymous with MQM. If anyone pays close attention, it is not difficult to see a pattern with MQM. Continue reading
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
The Nation has reported in its newspaper today that that a scheme to change Pakistan’s name from Islamic Republic of Pakistan to People’s Republic of Pakistan was discussed in the parliamentary reforms committee and was ultimately withdrawn.
ISLAMABAD – Awami National Party (ANP) during the deliberations of Parliamentary Reforms Committee had proposed to change the name of Islamic Republic of Pakistan as Peoples Republic of Pakistan, while Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) supported the move, the sources close to these political parties disclosed to TheNation. The idea was, however, dropped due to strong opposition from the rest of the members of the committee, the sources added. MQM Deputy Convener and Federal Minister Dr. Farooq Sattar confirmed it to the media in an informal chat on Wednesday and said that MQM along with PPP members of the committee supported the idea of renaming Islamic Republic of Pakistan as Peoples Republic of Pakistan. On the other hand, ANP member of the committee Haji Adeel denied having proposed the name of Peoples Republic of Pakistan to replace Islamic Republic of Pakistan. However, some members of the committee on condition of anonymity confirmed it to TheNation that ANP had proposed the said change in the name of the country and MQM and PPP members had supported it. During chat with media, Dr. Farooq Sattar also proposed making Gilgit-Baltistan as the fifth province of the country and its chief minister should also be included in the National Finance Commission (NFC). The government should take appropriate steps in this regard to remove the constitutional and international hurdles, he added. He said if the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms would finish with its deliberation on provincial autonomy by mid of December, they would be in. Continue reading
By Ardeshir Cowasjee, Dawn 15 Nov, 2009
Death of a social activist
THE desecration of Gutter Baghicha, a designated parkland for the people of Karachi, has been written about umpteen times over the past couple of years, but no effective action was taken by those concerned.
On Nov 7, 2009, Nisar Baloch, the spearhead of the Gutter Baghicha Bachao Tehreek and a member of Shehri, two NGOs which have been trying for the last two decades to save this lung of the city,was shot through the head by unidentified assailants as he was leaving his house. Continue reading
We are publishing another piece by Bilal Qureshi authored for PTH. We are publishing it with the disclaimer that the views expressed are those of the author’s. PTH Admn
I have been studying, talking about, discussing, speaking about and writing about Pakistani politics for about 20 years and I have to admit that I still don’t have a clue about who runs the show in Pakistan. However, now, I have started to understand why almost every Pakistani is obsessed with the role of intelligence agencies in Pakistan’s politics.
For example, after 17 years, Brigadier (Retd) Imtiaz has told a television channel that the army chief, the intelligence wing of the Pakistan army and other people in uniform had conspired (not sure how else to describe it) against Mutihada Quami Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the past. Specifically, the charges against MQM were that MQM is interested in carving out a new county for itself, Junah Pur with the help of India. And against PPP, the army gave millions of rupees to all other parties to stop PPP from first coming into power and when despite all the hurdles, PPP was able to form the government, to topple Benazir Bhutto. This statement and these charges have literally opened Pandora’s Box in Pakistan. I have called journalists, people in the government and opposition to find out more about Brig. Imtiaz and almost everyone had awful and extremely negative things to say about him. The overall feedback about Brig. Imtiaz is that he is a dishonest man with a very dark background. His entire life he has been involved in funneling money to political leaders in order to buy their loyalties. Continue reading
MQM is Pakistan’s only real middle class party and Mohajirs are the most politically aware and evolved of all the the various ethnic and cultural groups of post 1971 Pakistan. No one can deny this even those who disagree with their politics. We present here the account of the events that took place Qasba Aligarh – We welcome any and all commentaries and/or rebuttals. Continue reading