Defiant Afaq hits out at MQM

Published: December 21, 2011
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Afaq Ahmed has been out for three days. He hopes to visit the Quaid’s mazaar on December 23. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Afaq Ahmed has been out for three days. He hopes to visit the Quaid’s mazaar on December 23. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: 

The chairman of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM-H), Afaq Ahmed, has been a free man for only three days but he already fears that he can be sent back to jail. As a result, he has come out swinging against the self-exiled leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Altaf Hussain, to try to prevent this.

“Altaf Hussain thought it was more important to keep [me] behind bars than it was to take care of his people, and Musharraf allied with the MQM for personal gain,” said Afaq at a press conference at his home in Landhi on Tuesday. “We had hoped for justice when a democratic government came to power but once again we saw the same self-serving political alliances.”

Afaq said that the same people who wanted to keep him in prison would also attempt to line up more fake cases against him, as he claimed they did while he was in jail. They want to prevent him from doing political work.

“Karachi will become like Vietnam or Rwanda if law and order and de-weaponisation is not implemented in the city,” he said. “When the state stops providing security, people take it into their own hands and it turns into the law of the jungle.”

While he said that peace and de-weaponisation was on his political agenda, he fell short of giving any concrete details of how he intended to achieve this.

The MQM-H chief stressed that the party’s basic ideology hasn’t changed and that it aims to represent and protect the Mohajir community’s interests. They don’t want a separate Mohajir province but did want “administrative units in urban Sindh to be revised”.

He mocked the MQM for what he said was using the ethnic card only when it suited it. “They first buried the word Mohajir but now they are playing politics by [riding on the word] Mohajir when it suits them,” he said referring to the feud between Zulfiqar Mirza and the MQM. The party had released a CD titled “The Genocide of Mohajirs” at the time.

Afaq said he intends to take his time and methodically rebuild the party. For starters, a visit to Mazar-e-Quaid is planned for December 23. But it seems as if Afaq has his work cut out. He will have to play catch-up in his own neighbourhood, for example, where MQM flags and Altaf Hussain graffiti adorn the walls nearly up to his doorstep. For whatever is worth, Afaq seems defiant. “I am not one to run from my problems or to run from this country when the going gets tough. I am ready to put my life on the line.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2011.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Nomi
    Dec 21, 2011 - 4:10AM

    Join PTI

    Recommend

  • Adil
    Dec 21, 2011 - 6:16AM

    Haqiqi doesn’t have a votebank the way MQM(Altaf) has. But, I would agree with Afaq Ahmed when he says that MQM(Altaf) plays ethnic cards whenever it suits them even though they changed their name to Muttahida Qaumi Movement in 1997.And certain MQM supporters act as if other ethnicities and regions of Pakistan don’t have proper education and live in a tribal and feudal society. I am saying so after watching comments on behalf of MQM/Altaf Hussain supporters on certain forums and videos. Using words such as ‘Paindoo’ for Punjabis,abusing Pashtuns etc… are not something new which MQM supporters do. I condemn it even though I myself belong to an Urdu Speaking background. Zulfiqar Mirza also went wrong when he ended up abusing all the Muhajirs. Plus, we still can’t call Afaq some saint since he was also a close aide of Altaf till 1991. It’s all a power struggle and nothing else.

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  • naeem Mahjar
    Dec 21, 2011 - 10:42AM

    I Salute your courage .GOD bless you.

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  • Ali
    Dec 21, 2011 - 11:32AM

    I think he will join PTI……

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  • Dec 21, 2011 - 12:12PM

    Haqiqi has enough vote bank in Landhi, Lines Area, Korangi and some parts of Liaquatabad still. Their workers have been killed by the MQM in the past seven years. But they still have huge public support in Landhi – Afaq can still hold a huge jalsa in Landhi whenever he wants. The National Assembly seat is his

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  • Tahir
    Dec 21, 2011 - 1:54PM

    @Hmmm:
    i second

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  • Pappo Piplia
    Dec 21, 2011 - 2:23PM

    Afaq should join MQM and bring peace to Karachi.

    /And certain MQM supporters act as if other regions of Pakistan don’t have proper education and live in a tribal and feudal society./

    There is a truth to the above, Adil,Recommend

  • Pappo pilot
    Dec 21, 2011 - 4:06PM

    @Pappo Piplia:
    Afaq is already chairperson of MQM, so why he join MQM??

    Recommend

  • Cool Dude
    Dec 21, 2011 - 9:30PM

    It’s noteworthy to notice where the leading news channels are missing out of this press conference.

    Recommend

  • Adnan
    Dec 21, 2011 - 11:56PM

    Although his views are tiltied towards the right, I still solute his courage with which he remained behind the bars for more than 7 years.

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  • Sular
    Dec 30, 2011 - 11:28AM

    You are a great leader. Come on and say truth to the public. GOD BLESS YOU. TRUTH FEARS NO FALL. Solute to your courage and trustworthiness.

    Recommend

  • Azee
    Jan 12, 2012 - 9:58PM

    I salute Mr. Afaq Ahmad for his sheer courage and stand against Muttahida. We must support his cause to de-weaponized Karachi for good. We must support his another cause titled,

    “Education; Not Weapon” Wake up Karachi you have sacrificed a lot already time to take stand against Muttahida.Recommend

  • Azee
    Jan 12, 2012 - 10:03PM

    @Adil: No one is saint here brother Adil, but this guy showed courage at least to stand up against tyranny of Muttahida. When we talk about change across Pakistan, Karachi is an integral part of it and we must allow other political forces to demonstrate what they are made of. Let Mr. Afaq exercise his basic rights and see what changes 7 years of prison brought in him. Once again I salute this guy for his bravery and not running away from Karachi let alone Pakistan.

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