MQM-MWM war of words a scramble for votes

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Articles
Friday, 01 March 2013

mwm mqm flag A veiled criticism by Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain levelled at a Shia organisation, largely believed to be the Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen (MWM), over a ‘unilateral’ decision to call off sit-ins in Quetta and across the country drew a sharp reaction from the MWM, which asked the MQM to explain as to how terrorists were killing Shia people in Karachi.

The war of words between the two parties seems to indicate that the MQM is somewhat disturbed over the growing influence of certain organisations, more specifically the MWM, over the Shia populace in Karachi. Shia protesters had virtually paralysed life in the city by staging sit-ins at more than 20 places against the Quetta carnage. The MWM had announced ending sit-ins across the country after meeting a government delegation on Tuesday evening. While the decision was not accepted by some Shia youths who insisted that the protest be continued till the burial of the blast victims, MWM deputy secretary general Allama Amin Shaheedi had to address a press conference in the early hours of Wednesday to remove any misgivings. He made it clear that the decision was announced after taking the victims’ heirs on board. The family members of the victims, who also addressed the press conference, backed the decision. Shortly afterwards, MQM chief Altaf Hussain criticised ‘some Shia elders for unilaterally calling off the protest’. He said it not only disappointed the families of the victims but also amounted to hurting the faith of Shia people. Speaking to MQM coordination committee members over the phone from London, he appealed to the youths belonging to “all schools of thought of Fiqh-i-Jafria to shun their differences and form a 10- to 15-member committee of moderate and unbiased elders with no political interests”. Although Mr Hussain had not named any specific Shia group or individual while criticising the decision announced by the MWM, Allama Shaheedi took exception to his statement and asked the MQM to explain as to how Shia people were being frequently targeted in Karachi. Reminding the MQM leadership that the families of the Quetta carnage victims had reposed full confidence in the MWM, he demanded that the MQM should first play its role in curbing targeted killings of Shia people in the port city. To counter the criticism, the MQM released a statement of its former lawmaker Haider Abbas Rizvi, himself a Shia, who said that Mr Hussain’s efforts for promoting sectarian harmony in Pakistan were more than any other political leader’s in the country. Also in the evening, a delegation comprising Jafria Alliance leader Allama Abbas Kumaili, Maulana Aoun Naqvi, Allama Ali Karar Naqvi and others called on the MQM coordination committee. According to an MQM press release, they thanked Mr Hussain for expressing solidarity with the Quetta carnage victims and assured the MQM of full support from the ‘Millat-i-Jafria’ across the country, especially in Karachi. The MWM, which emerged in 2007, announced in 2011 that the party would take part in the next general election. Traditionally speaking, a majority of Shia votes in Karachi goes in favour of MQM and Pakistan People’s Party candidates during general elections. However, nothing can be said for sure whether the trend will continue if the MWM makes an electoral alliance with any party or fields its own candidates in the coming general election. Although no MQM leader was willing to speak on the issue, the criticism directly from the MQM chief and subsequent efforts by the party to control further damage indicated the MQM disturbance over the growing influence of the Shia organisations which have the capability of bringing the city life to a standstill. By By Azfar-ul-Ashfaque Source : Daily Dawn

Rating: 5 Read 1691 times Last modified on Friday, 01 March 2013

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