Why did Mustafa Kamal turn his back on MQM?

Published: March 14, 2016
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His press conference reminded me of his arrogant behavior that almost all of us had seen many times on the social media. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/ EXPRESS

It is evident from his previous behaviour on public media and private meetings that he had an anger problem, along with narcissistic personality traits. PHOTO: REUTERS His press conference reminded me of his arrogant behavior that almost all of us had seen many times on the social media. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/ EXPRESS

In the first week of March, when Karachi was approaching its colourful tea festival, Mustafa Kamal returned to Karachi from Dubai. Mustafa Kamal is not an unknown name, especially in Karachi, where he was the City Nazim from 2005-2010. He was nominated to this post by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and was affiliated with the party for almost 28 years. He left the party when he was serving as MQM senator in the Pakistan senate.

During his time as City Nazim, Mustafa Kamal was able to complete many projects with the help of MQM’s supporters and workers. Without their support, the projects may never have reached completion. When these projects were being promoted, there were many who started a campaign against the party, and its leader, as they were fearful of the MQM’s rising popularity.

Before becoming the Mayor of Karachi – Mustafa Kamal was the provincial minister for information technology minister. But after becoming the City Nazim of Karachi, he was made responsible for a fund of Rs300 billion, a huge responsibility that was tasked to him.

According to Mustafa Kamal, who spoke at a press conference after his return to Karachi, neither did he abuse any of these funds nor did, MQM supremo, Altaf Hussain avail them for his personal advantage.

Kamal was made the treasurer of this fund because he was elected as the MQM City Nazim of Karachi. He was amongst the most important members of the MQM and, during his last days in the party, he was also taking care of the funds of Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation (KKF), the charity wing of MQM.

What, then, went wrong with the man who was once the party’s blue eyed boy? What made him return to the city and blast his party’s leadership, the same leadership that awarded him with all that he can claim are his achievements today?

In his press conference, Mustafa Kamal highlighted the famous incident of May 2013 in which many senior party members were mishandled by workers and the reason was Altaf Hussain’s anger towards them. At the press conference, Kamal expressed his discontent with such treatment. While, I believe his protest was valid, what I don’t understand is, why did he single himself out? We didn’t see other senior members with such outbursts and immature behaviour. This could have been resolved as a family matter.

Unfortunately, what this press conference reminded me of was his behaviour, one that we have all witnessed many a times over social media. An example of this is the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital episode. During their inauguration ceremony, a woman approached Kamal, considering him a public representative, and complained to him about the treatment condition at the hospital. Instead of addressing the poor woman’s concern, he is seen to have yelled at her.

This incident, unfortunately, was not the first of its kind. Many other party workers, and journalists, have witnessed him misbehaving with different people.

Another famous incident was when he abused a fellow guest on a TV talk show.

On the one hand, Mustafa Kamal is seen praising and even kissing the forehead of Altaf Hussain, and then suddenly accusing him of being a RAW agent, completely out of the blue. The exact motives of this type of outcry are obviously not very clear, but the people of Karachi, especially MQM supporters, are still trying to figure out whether he is acting on someone else’s agenda.

Kamal was a hard working person, very motivated towards the task given. His past and present reveal that he cannot be a leader. Good administrators are not born, they are trained. But leaders are born with leadership qualities.

Emanuel James Rohn, an American entrepreneur said,

“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humour, but without folly.”

Farheen.Rizvi

Farheen Rizvi

The author is a supporter of the MQM, has a Bachelors in business management from Iowa and a Masters degree in international management from the University of Maryland. She works for US based charities like IMHO and SUN while based in Virginia. She tweets @farririzvi (twitter.com/FarriRizvi)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ali

    Mohajirs should understand this fiasco is creating divide amongst themselves. A divide between Good Mohajir and Bad Mohajir. They should understand this before it’s too late and deal with the situation accordingly.Recommend

  • Kaleem Raza

    If Mustafa Kamal was sincere for people, he would have humbly stayed within MQM and tried to resolve the things that he saw were bad for the party. It seems like he is doing all this for personal fame and satisfying his ego which is unfortunate considering that MQM is the only party in Pakistan that brought middle class and secular people to forefront.
    He has now become a tool and a pawn in the hand of the very people who basically want control of the money that Karachi generates and is 70% budget of Pakistan. Pity he does not understand the MQM’s ideology remains strong within its supporters and personalities does not matter.Recommend

  • Bairooni Haath

    The ugly truth is that all parties in Pakistan except the MQM were created by the Pakistani military. Bhutto’s PPP was created by Ayub while Nawaz and PML was a Bonsai democrat planted by General Zia. Imran Khan’s PTI is the latest creation of GHQ. The Pakistan Army never stomached that the MQM rose without its blessings, hence the with hunt it launched in Karachi 2 years ago. The breakup of MQM, you guessed it is orchestrated by the party in green uniforms which rules Pakistan.Recommend

  • Bibloo

    He has an agenda. There were a lot of cases registered against him.
    Making it impossible for him to come back and live a normal existence.
    Plus more cases were going to be registered,…against him by PML-N
    Now all cases have been withdrawn. Or simply allowed to die out.
    So he is, suddenly, free and clear !!! So you wonder……Recommend

  • ovais

    apnay hi banday ko zaleel .. dont forget he was the blue eye of MQM and everything is 100% trueRecommend

  • Fahad Raza

    This is damage control at worst. It is the first time in the history of Pakistan that political scene has seen a mass exodus of this kind from a political party. MQM would have done much better if it had not compromised on its principles and would have not persued a terror cell to controll the population of karach plus its own assets like Tariq Azeem, Imran Farooq etc. Now since the cat is out of box its NO USE defaming those who were they hailed as Heroes. The leader are the ones who do not abandon ship but they face the storm. Altaf is out of country since 1990s and MK is here NOW.Recommend

  • Batman

    and you mean Altaf Hussain was born-leader ? lolRecommend

  • Syed Asad Ali

    Growing up in Distt. Central in the midst of turbulent 90’s, I have witnessed the decadence perpetrated by Altaf Hussain and cohorts. Posters adorn my neighbourhood “Jo Quaid ka Ghaddar hai, woh maut ka haq daar hai” and street justice meted out to the opposing lot was quite a norm back then. Azeem Tariq, Badar Iqbal, Shehzad Mirza, Abdul Raaziq Khan , Imran Farooq (the list is pretty long if I start counting opposing Pol. entities!)Perhaps the writer was still a toddler or not even born back then. Now living in self-exile after spending nearly 35 years since my birth in Karachi, I realize the injustice done to the Karachi esp. us the Urdu speakers not by others but by our so-called representatives, i.e., MQM. Mustafa Kamal may turn out to be a bigger loony then Altaf Hussain. But who cares! e
    veryone has a shelf life so does Altaf. The saddest part is the ugly legacy AH will leave behind…..Recommend

  • http://www.jaaliangrez.wordpress.com Saira Z.

    You have built the whole narrative on a single shouting event and that “Ullu ke pathay” wali video. You’re cute, but naive. I can show you 100s of videos of Altaf Bhai swearing like an inebriated sailor. Please don’t start. :)Recommend

  • Fahad Raza

    May I ask on who’s instructions was Mustafa Kamal defending the leader who couldn’t string two word without being drunk? May I inquire why was a zealot like Mustafa Kamal protecting a Party with a terror cell funded by RAW ? May I know how now, this celebrated patriot can be judged when he cried in remorse to where was he lead by the lunatic Leader ? and to this “Suddenly out of the blue” is a grotesque lie when Mustafa kamal left that party some 3 years ago or may be for some the shock is overwhelming to make sense of the time passed. Recommend

  • Sheraz Khalid

    I sympathies with the writer.Recommend

  • imran

    “The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humour, but without folly.”

    Do you think Altaf Hussain fits in this definition after watching his speeches and MQM policies since 2007. Loyalty is good but blind loyalty stands you with illiterate masses living in villages. Love Muhajir, Love Karachi, Love Pakistan. Do not worship one manRecommend

  • Husain Sabbir

    You whole post becomes null and void upon your closing argument.

    There is no study in the world nor a single statement by any influencing personality that leader are born not made. This is the biggest myth that MQM supporters are carrying for decades with no substance in their logic.

    Leaders are always made never born.Recommend

  • Anwaar

    “Imran Khan’s PTI is the latest creation of GHQ” … proof?

    “Bhutto’s PPP was created by Ayub” … proof? …(i think bhutto created it out of spite for Ayub?? maybe m wrong… )

    And the MQM was dying until Musharraf lend it His hand and they rose to glory.. so GHQ again :) …Recommend

  • raees

    Repenting over negative norms of past association is not bad. Such people can be taken as witness, but they do not qualify morally to lead the people again. If Karachites are fed-up with MQM in real they must generate fresh, intelligent and innocent leadership to lead the nation. May MQM come out of this test with dignity.Recommend

  • imran

    True there should not be any divide but who brought the party and the nation on the stage where people begin to think for alternative. This is only our beloved leader Altaf Hussain who dam care for the future of his own people. Manzil nahi rahnuma chahiye what a stupid slogan. why there was rally for Zardari? Why there was Mr. Rehman Malik changed decisions of Altaf saab every time? What he was black mailed for?
    What Muhajir got after sacrifices of thousands of young boys. MQM not even fight for separate province. When ever there is any threat they start using Muhajir card and talk about province and the moment threat gone they forget the cause and start working for personal benefits.
    Now change is must either thru Mustafa Kamal or else.Recommend

  • Acorn Guts

    Didn’t you previously also attempted to defend a particular speech of Mr. Altaf here through a blog as well? I’m afraid this second attempt isn’t any better either.

    Let me explain.

    “What, then, went wrong with the man who was once the party’s blue eyed boy?”

    And there you gave yourself away. A genuine blogger would ask the question ‘what, then, “changed” the man who was once ..’ The fact that you are predisposed to interpret Mustafa’s step as ‘wrong’ puts a huge question mark on the intention of this blog.

    If purpose of this blog is simply to defame Mustafa, then I’m afraid you can’t use one or two instances of his poor choice of words to discredit him from ever becoming a leader. If that were so, the Mr. Altaf would have never become a leader that he once was – and we all agree that he was once a tremendously popular leader.Recommend

  • Farrukh

    LOL You nailed it! These ALTAFIST want to kill anyone who dare to speak against their Altaf Hussain.Recommend

  • Farrukh

    Born in Pakistan Ordinance Factory – WAH LOLRecommend

  • Parvez

    One has to see what name does Mustafa Kamal & Co. give to their new party………my guess is that it will have the letters MQM built in…..because in essence that is who they are…..a Leopard cannot change its spots.Recommend

  • Patriotic

    the author is not only MQM supporter she is an office barrier of MQM with multiple portfolio. You can not expect from her to write the blog in support of SMK this blog is based on biased views
    Recommend

  • Patriotic

    Geo Saira yoh nailed her in one setence Recommend

  • Ali Abid

    The question was “Why did Mustafa Kamal turn his back on MQM ?” where as the article is about “Can Mustafa Kamal be a leader ?”
    Mustafa Kamal was never been a leader he might be a good administrator with his MQM team but various events has shown that he is not a good skills to handle people.
    “Why did he turn his back on MQM ?” is very clear that he was left with many little hopes in MQM for future and he left the party when it comes under certain pressure, he turn out against MQM when it was under intense pressure, that also shows that he is not even loyal to his past friends.Recommend

  • Ali Abid

    The question was “Why did Mustafa Kamal turn his back on MQM ?” where as the article is about “Can Mustafa Kamal be a leader ?”

    Mustafa Kamal was never been a leader he might be a good administrator with his MQM team but various events has shown that he is not a good skills to handle people.

    “Why did he turn his back on MQM ?” is very clear that he was left with many little hopes in MQM for future and he left the party when it comes under certain pressure, he turn out against MQM when it was under intense pressure, that also shows that he is not even loyal to his past friends.Recommend

  • Ali Abid

    The question was “Why did Mustafa Kamal turn his back on MQM ?” where as the article is about “Can Mustafa Kamal be a leader ?”

    Mustafa Kamal was never been a leader, he might be a good administrator with his MQM team, but various events have shown that he does not even have good skills to handle people.

    “Why did he turn his back on MQM ?” is very clear that he was left with many little hopes in MQM for future and he left the party when it comes under certain pressure, he turn out against MQM when it was under intense pressure, that also shows that he is not even loyal to his past friends.Recommend

  • Khawaja Ikram Ul Haq

    he was a good mayor and many Karachi projects were completed even without him…Karachi as every one knows gets huge government resouces and has huge resources of its own…what probably no one notices is that altaf does not allow anyone to get above him even when he is in bad health and should be retiring…there are numerous people associated with the mqm who have suffered his wrath…if u beat up anyone and or have someone killed than u gain the enmity of their entire families…in democracy the quality is that there is always another option and Mustafa wants to be that option in Karachi…upto now altaf has frightened everyone into subjugation…altaf’s era is going to end one way or the other and the better leaders always create the future in their own way…there are so many mqm wala’s lying around having nothing to do…Mustafa has the reputation and could pick up all the people sidelined by the mqm and create an alternate since the mqm wont allow any opposition from other parties…Recommend

  • Karachi team

    The only significant difference between this blog on SQM and the last one on AH’s telling his ladies audience how a child is born,is that this time it states plain and clear that Farheen Rizvi is a MQM supporter.Pity you are born late otherwise you would have broken the record of being a Hitler or Mussolini supporter,just committed to all die hard Facist leaders!
    Just evaluate what MQM has given to Karachi or Sindh under this mad man AH during their almost three decades of rule in one way or the other.Yes,Karachi recvd dead bodies of youngsters,strike calls lasting few days sometime,baths or black mail money,Baldia Factory fires; this list is almost endless,all done to please AH a drunkard and vindictive evil monster!MQM was created by Zia ul Haq’s to serve his policies of alienating rural and urban Sindhis from each other.Also,to create Karachi a trouble spot so that all investment here are taken by their owners to Punjab.AH most obligingly did this with thousands of his near fanatic followers like Farheen in tow.Then the next military dictator,Musharaf used it for his own power base,again the simpleton Muhajirs waiting to be in Paradise one day.In short the whole MQM episode is a sad part of our history with all kinds of crimes,kidnapping,killing,looting,burning private properties,etc as part of the package.I was born in Karachi and have witnessed all this daily ongoings by MQM in the last three decades.With SMK at least there is some hope that a new beggening may emerge but with writes up like Farheen’s it seems it maybe a far fetched dream.Recommend