Good Morning by Manzoor Ali
A few days ago, MQM was able to arrange a substantially attended gathering of Pukhtuns at a public meeting in Karachi. It surprised many, for with so much blame of killings of the Pashto speaking people put on the shoulders of Altaf Hussein's party, one would have thought that this party had no support among this ethnic group in Karachi.
After the sizeable gathering, for one thing, it will now not be said with conviction that MQM does not enjoy the support of a segment of the people coming to Karachi from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In a way MQM has proved that it has not been just boasting of support of the people of diverse ethnicities; it has the support.
In many, many ways it is a good omen, for as the support of people of various cultural backgrounds for MQM or any other party becomes visible so would vanish the fault lines in the melting pot of Karachi.
The gathering of Pakhtuns under the banner of MQM has given a positive impression of the party in the rest of the country too. Now, MQM's claim that it is not just a party of the Urdu speaking people sounds more plausible.
Frankly speaking, the MQM still has a long way to go in this direction. It has to show the people of many ethnicities visible at higher and lower levels of its party structure. It is necessary that while Pakhtuns, Punjabis, Sindhis, Balochis, Chitrali's, Brohis etc in Karachi and Hyberabad unhesitatingly approach MQM for solutions of their problems and develop greater confidence in the party, the rest of Pakistan will only know and get a positive impression if they see some of their own ethnicities pleading the cause of MQM in the media.
This brings us to the ANP setup in Karachi. In spite of its claims of working for the causes of all the people in Pakistan and being an inclusive society, this party has up till now not shown any one person other than Pashto speaking in its folds, except of course an office holder in Punjab who is never seen or heard of on issues facing the country or the party.
So while MQM has chosen to open up and be inclusive, ANP, it seems, regardless of its rhetoric is still a party whose gates are wide open for the Pushto speaking, have not even a door ajar for people of other ethnicities.
The policy of inclusion that MQM has chosen will make this party more secure and popular, for in democracies a tight well-knit core may be necessary for a party but success comes when a greater number of people vote for it.
ANP should also try to remove the impression of being the party of just Pakhtuns. It should strive to bring other people in the party. It used to be that MQM would brag about having followers in many cities in Pakistan, but these used to be the migrants from India who had settled in these cities, Now, people believe that this party has increasing members from groups whose forefathers and fathers did not come from India. This is a good sign for MQM as well as Pakistan. Hopefully, this party will also organise more public meetings exclusively for people settling in Karachi from many other parts of the country.