In the past, Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) had often been a victim of smear campaign and numerous baseless allegations were coined to undermine its reputation and credibility. One of these allegations, usually voiced by some political parties and analysts, was regarding MQM’s public mandate. Despite knowing that the people of Karachi and urban areas of Sindh are educated and politically enlightened, who cannot be forced to vote – political opponents and anti-MQM elements had falsely alleged in the past that “MQM rig elections by forcefully making the public to vote for their nominated candidates, and MQM does not possess any mandate”.
It is deeply saddening that renowned journalists, political analysts, and opponents of MQM, continuously use mud-slinging tactics against MQM on print and electronic media and whilst doing so, they cross all the limits of decency and civility. It is not really worth demonstrating facts and figures to counter false accusations made by the ‘critics’, however it is pertinent to present factual references for the knowledge and understanding of the general public, so that the reality of these‘critics’ can be exposed.
MQM has been the only representative political party of Karachi and second largest party of Sindh for the past three decades. It is not just a claim but actually a fact - whether it is local body elections of 1987 and 2005 or general elections of 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2002, 2008 and 2013, people of urban Sindh have consistently endorsed MQM. It is not only the charismatic leadership and political philosophy of MQM founder leader Mr. Altaf Hussain that is highly appreciated by the public, but also the services and projects that MQM delivered are widely acknowledged. People are aware of the fact that there is a rigorous check and balance system in place and all the elected representatives of MQM are held accountable and their performance is closely monitored.
In order to jog the memory of the critics and put the record straight, it is worth-mentioning that MQM secured all of its traditional seats in Karachi and urban areas of Sindh in 1993 election, at a time when state operation was conducted against MQM and armed forces were deployed in urban areas of Sindh including Karachi. Yet, critics of MQM overlook this historical fact.
In order to limit MQM in recent elections and steal its mandate, various tactics and conspiracies were devised and implemented in conjunction with some political and religious parties. In addition, respectable institutions such as Supreme Court and Election Commission of Pakistan were also misled by the conspirators in this regard. Demands like delimitation of the constituencies, voter list verification and election under supervision of army were made, so as to manipulate the election results of Karachi.
During election campaign, bomb blasts and suicidal attacks were carried out to keep MQM and other liberal parties out of the political process. Inspite of the recurring violent attacks and malicious attempts to crush the mandate, MQM successfully managed to keep its mandate intact, even though other liberal parties suffered a huge loss, in terms of election results.
In the recent by-election, famous ‘critics’ including representatives of some political and religious parties were again witnessed making demands of conducting election under the supervision of Army and went further to state that MQM’s mandate will only be accepted, if Army took over the control of polling stations.
Lately, it was also claimed by some ‘critics’ (as if they are some sort of fortune-tellers) that MQM will soon lose its credibility in public and will be dis-integrated in to several factions. Few analysts stated that it would be a near-to-impossible task for MQM to win seats in by-election.
Thanks (and sincerest gratitude) to the people of Karachi and Mirpurkhas, who categorically rejected sweet lies of the ‘critics’ and yet again attested that MQM’s mandate is not artificial but a reality – that might be bitter for some. Let’s not forget that recent by-elections were held under the supervision of Pakistan Army, which proves that MQM has the ‘real mandate’ of Karachi and urban areas of Sindh, and confirms that the allegations and analysis against MQM were wrong and ill-conceived.
In conclusion, it is requested from our ‘critics’, especially media influential, to re-consider their approach for MQM in general, and respect the mandate of the general populace without any prejudice or bias.