Stories about Altaf Hussain

If Pakistani films from 2014 had political versions they would look like this…

It’d be only be fair to say that 2014 was a roller coaster ride – if roller coasters came with 10 times the vomit inducing vertigo and none of the fun. The political sphere in our country has had a stranglehold on our television screens for way too long. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is time to bid the one-four goodbye and what better way to do so than by explaining exactly what we don’t want to see on our screens ever again. Here is a list of some famous Pakistani movies that would look like this if they ...

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If Ghalib was alive in 2014…

We curse him while trying to cram verses from Deewan-e-Ghalib into our heads for our Urdu literature exams. We study him because we have been told to but if – by some miraculous, unfortunate realignment of the stars – Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan, or Ghalib, was alive in 2014 rather than the 19th century, I am sure he would have been found hiding under the deck of a boat trying to escape to Australia. The first charge levied against him would have been of being an Indian agent; he was born in Agra after all. Anchors would appear on television with proof of ...

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What is the difference between an MQM strike and a PTI strike?

It’s that time again. The city’s roads are busy with protestors and crowds are congregating to listen to their political leader. TV anchors and websites of media houses are keeping everyone abreast of the latest happenings. There is a political strike, a protest march, in Karachi and we have been through plenty of those in past few decades. So much so that there is practically a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that we all follow. Stock up the night before, watch early news to check routes, head to work if we can, call home to say we are there safely, get told ...

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Pakistan’s very own Game of Thrones: Valar Morghulis or Valar Dohaeris

When you’re a die-hard fan of Game of Thrones (GoT), you cannot help but categorise every person you come across to a certain House from the plot. However, the recent developments in Pakistani politics and the prevalent power struggle between every influential political party provoked me to come up with my own version of GoT. So, Lords and Ladies of Westeros, I present to you, Pakistan’s very own Game of Thrones: The Sharifs as the Lannisters They are rich and always pay their debts, or well at least they say that they do. When they’re in power, they divide the whole kingdom amongst the family ...

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Is Nawaz Sharif doomed to repeat history?

A wise man once said, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” But the tragedy here is that our rulers have been completely blinded by power and they are repeating the same mistakes over and over again. What was supposed to be a democracy is beginning to look like an anarchical dynasty. They have ignored the basic facts of history which occurred not too long ago. In this regard, there are two sets of dates that I would like to draw your attention to: June 19, 1992 versus June 17, 2014 – state terrorism On June 19, 1992, a clean-up operation was launched ...

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What about the two Air Force pilots who died yesterday?

Yesterday, Pakistan lost two impeccable fighter pilots in a saddening crash in Karachi. The incident took the lives of Wing Commander Khurram Sammad and Squadron Leader Umair Elahi. As the Mirage fighter plane crashed in Baldia Town, the incident caused four other casualties. Yesterday, Pakistan also saw the self-proclaimed ‘Quaid’ of Sindh, also known as Altaf Hussain getting arrested for money laundering. The news of his arrest caused the usual stir in halting all life in Karachi. Roads were jammed, shops closed and basically all activities came to a standstill as the city sat in terror. The violence that comes with such news is nothing new. People ...

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“Altaf Hussain has been arrested – get home, now!”

1:20 pm, Tuesday, June 3rd It was a regular weekday with the familiar hustle of an office facing tight deadlines. Some people had finished their lunch and were chatting over tea about the upcoming football world cup. Others were just about to tuck into their food and planning out the post lunch work plan. A colleague broke the news, the possibility of which had been discussed in hushed tones many-a-times. Breathlessly she spilled the words: “Altaf Hussain (Chief of the MQM Party) has been arrested!” All was left aside and everyone started checking social media for updates. Some turned on the news ...

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Caught between conspiracies

Members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have decided to show solidarity with their leader, Altaf Hussain, by demonstrating their street power on May 25, 2014 in Karachi. The MQM chief has been under investigation, for money laundering charges, in London for nearly a year now. Though the UK authorities have been unable to prove the charges with substantial evidence, for the time being, Altaf’s accounts have been frozen. Like any other political party, MQM’s major source of income is through donations, which it collects from its supporters locally and around the globe. Altaf  Hussain, the party chief who moved to ...

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MQM: Misunderstood even after 30 years

On March 18, 1984 the first political entity for the Mohajirs called the All Pakistan Mohajir Student Organisation (APMSO) evolved into a full-fledged political party now known as the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM). The party was renamed to Muttahida Qaumi Movement in 1997. And tomorrow, March 18, 2014 it will be exactly 30 years since the MQM came into existence. However, the question remains – out of all political parties in Pakistan, why is the most intensely negative judgement directed towards the MQM? There is no simple answer to this question. However, in order to get to the crux of the issue, one needs to take ...

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Lahore: No gas to turn on the heat, so if I froze to death, would I be a martyr?

I woke up this morning and found out that, for the fourth consecutive day, there was no gas at home – none whatsoever. The stove fluttered to life for merely a second before going out and I understood that turning on the heater would be a waste of time. The equation was simple – no gas, no heat. I would have to resign myself to a cup of tea. I knew that as long as we have our electric kettle and chai (tea) – the answer to all Pakistani problems – we would survive. The key word here is electric, of course. There was no electricity either. And this ...

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