The ‘revolutions’ of PML-N and MQM

Published: January 9, 2011

Both parties have the perfect formula to continue the status quo and make absolutely no changes to the political system.

You know your country’s politics is in the dumps when two of the most dictatorial political parties start talking about revolution and then start pointing fingers at each other.

I mean – seriously! The audacity with which the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) talk about revolution is simply amazing. And, it’s not as if they are small political parties. The PML-N prides itself as being a national party whereas the MQM is working its way up to becoming one or at least making claims of becoming one.

Dynastic party systems

The fact is, the PML-N’s internal party structure revolves around one person and at best the way the political party is run can be called dynastic. The Sharif family treats the party as part of their business empire.

In comparison, the MQM has had the same leader for the last two decades and their executive committee has been more or less the same people who started out initially.

Now based on this, any neutral observer would know that both of these parties have the perfect formula to continue the status quo and make absolutely no changes to the political system. Given that, it is just wrong when these parties talk about launching a revolution.

My first question is how?

Given their party structures, that have remained the same for decades, how do these guys plan to start a revolution? Even if they did try starting one, wouldn’t that inherently include revamping their own party structures, to be more democratic and accountable? From where I stand, I think if they haven’t done anything like that within their parties for two decades, it’s highly unlikely they are going to do it anytime soon.

What exactly is this revolution?

Secondly, when these guys talk about the revolution, they can apparently bring about, what exactly is it? I mean they can talk about it all they want, but what is their definition of a revolution?

At any given point in time, has anyone of them spelled out exactly what their proposed revolution would include? As in what would be the road map of such a revolution and its contents?

Again, I haven’t heard or seen anything concrete from both sides in the last few months or even years.

So given that these guys have no plan and no road map for their rhetorical revolution, why are they repeating the same beat over and over again? Why do they keep assuming the people of Pakistan are dumb?

Stop saying ‘revolution!’

My only request to both of them would be to, continue doing whatever they wish to do as I honestly don’t care, but can they kindly stop using the word ‘revolution’ for perpetuating their own brand of bullshit?

Please understand that saying ‘revolution’ five times in a speech does not mean you are leading one. It just means that you like the word too much and are using it as a cover for your crap.

Finally, remember that even the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) claims that they revolutionised the system, since they have been in power. And the revolution they claim to have brought about pretty much includes them being in power and staying there for as long as they can.

So, if that’s the revolution the MQM and the PML-N are talking about, then thanks but no thanks; we are already paying the price for the PPP revolution. But if they genuinely have a plan, then lay it on us. We will listen. But for the love of God, stop using the word ‘revolution’ in vain.


Adnan Khalid Rasool

Currently the Deputy Executive Director Center for Enterprise, Trade and Development, Adnan is also a political analyst working mainly on electoral politics and political campaign management. He tweets at @adnanrasool

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

  • Mahad Farooqi

    **The answer to your question regarding the road map for the Revolution being spoken widely by MQM lies in bringing the rule of common masses to the country whilst putting an end to aristocracy, corruption, disparity, injustice, extremism and last but not least, nepotism and cronyism, for which MQM has been endeavoring.

    Furthermore, to elaborate on the party structure of MQM, it is an ideological movement that adheres to the philosophy of QET Altaf Hussain. The reason being that he was the only person in the history of the country, who after the country’s inception laid down the concrete foundation of a society in which equity, equality should hold prominence. Hence, the party workers (read: Saathis) follow QET Altaf Hussain for his acumen and sagacity. Another important fact that needs to be quoted here is that no relative of QET Altaf Hussain who occupies any key position in the party as well as the government along with the fact that the middle-class is being represented in the parliament by MQM alone.

    Here again, I am appalled by the insularity of the author who contends that the word ‘revolution’ is being used as a source for rhetoric by the MQM. One needs to look at facts and self-analyze the rigor with which the MQM has been transforming its pro-people agenda into reality. The recent decision by the PM to reverse the decision of POL price hike is one of the many examples of MQM working for the betterment of Pakistan. The PM’s decision followed by MQM’s decision to sit on the treasury benches which averted the imminent political vacuum in the country also exhibits the MQM’s vision for the empowerment of people.**Recommend

  • Asif

    I’ve given up on MQM and never really trusted PML-N. They are all scamming us common people. These two parties don’t even know the meaning of democracy.

    Imran Khan is the one man I have 5% hope in, until someone better comes along. Recommend

  • Saad Duraiz

    Couldn’t agree with you more Adnan!Recommend

  • S. Ali Raza

    What is your definition of a revolution and reformation? Recommend

  • http://- salahudddin

    MQM is entirely different then rest of parties & itself a revoulution . MQM nominates only talented youth belongs to middle & lower class families to send them in parliment who then become ministers and nazims & serve the people . have you seen this great change in corrupt polotical system of pakistan ever before ? Altaf Hussain is the only leader who never keep his eyes on chair , i mean instead of fighting to becoming president , prime minister or governer , he only lead the people what the actual leaders should do . dont you think it is different attitude then other corrupt political leaders who only eye on chairs & loot the national money ? moreever in its central coordination committe atleast 40 new faces have been included in past 3 years who All belongs to middle class . they are not only urdu speaking but also from sindhi , punjabi , pakhtoons , balochi . siraiki & hazara community . Altaf Hussain never nominate any of his relative to any party & Government position . Mustafa kamal who was serving as telephone operator at nine zero , elevated to city nazim on merit & the whole world witnessed how he made a difference . i call it a revoloution where i common man even me can become minister , MNA , MPA purely based on merit & without spending nothing in elections. So Dear please bear in mind these facts , there is NO comparasion between PML-N & MQM in terms of revoloution . MQM itself a revoloution in a true sense. just think & evaluate . Recommend

  • Liaquat Ali

    To agree or disagree with a political party is everyone’s right. That’s why there are so many of them to cater to different people’s varied inclinations.

    However, intellectual depth of an analysis shows only when the author spends (wastes?) some time to inject such depth in his analysis.Recommend

  • Dr.Imran

    I think Nawaz Sharif can improve the Economy to some extent . But MQM basically is a Racial Party. Altaf Hussain must now Come Back to Pakistan if he is Popular Leader , But still i say he is a bold Speaker and have the Chrisma of being Primeminister of Pakland and he should come back.Recommend

  • Mariam

    Cannot say about MQM, but any government led by PML-N wont be different from this present government. NS got a chance twice to rule the country and which “revolution” did he bring then? Recommend

  • Manzoor Chandio

    PPP is the only revolutionary non dictatorial democratic party in Pakistan. Jiey Bhutto, Jiey Zardari, Jiey Bilawal!Recommend

  • Ehtisham Rizvi

    When the government takes all the land away from the mighty land owners in all four provinces, and simply distributes it among the common man, it will be called a revolution. It shouldnt even matter if they legaly own it, just snatch it away from them, the top ten richest ‘wadaira” should be begging for alms on the street, thats what I call a revolution.Recommend

  • Ali

    Generally, prime ministers and ex prime ministers are judged by their leacy.
    Sharif and company have ruled Paksitan for 2 terms, approaching 8 years. Can he please go on television and tell us what he achieved in that time frame. Can he menstion specifically economic growth, education standards, health indices, fiscal position i.e. debt levels & foreign reserves , new infrastrucutre built in his tenures both prior to and after he ruled the country.
    He should not be able to mention the nuclear bombs, the last I checked the program was initiated well before he came to power and he was not part of the team of scientists and engineers that built it.
    If he took up this challenge I can guarantee you that he would never come to power ever again!Recommend

  • immymud

    You need to do so many other things to become a “Merit” to any position, i am sure you understand what i mean…???Recommend

  • immymud

    @Manzoor Chandio:
    Huhhh…… may God bring mercy on people like you..!! Recommend

  • Hassan

    The MQM has been bringing revolution to a cinema near you for 22 years (its still being fine tuned)…..and as for PML N you have seen their version of revolution twice (im sure you didnt like it). People bring revolution not political power brokers.Recommend

  • Mairaj

    how much time you guys have to spend like that, I mean posting your thinkings here will do nothing, we have to move up & GROWN UP as well to make a change

    almost above 40% of our population don’t have access to internet, and let suppose if 60% have access of internet, then what you guys think that 60% will read these blog posts?
    the answer is a big NO

    we have to come on roads to make a differenceRecommend

  • Mairaj

    totally agree with youRecommend

  • Sultan Ahmed

    Both are failed in this arena,
    one is living abroad and second has wealth abroad.
    position is very clear,
    both have equal score.Recommend

  • Hmmm

    Some comments are really laughable. This middle class mantra sucks. They pretend it ina way that any other social or income class than middle class is not right. By the way, MQM does not represent the middle class. The middle class generally tends to be isolated from the political scene.

    I wonder if BAbaar Gahuri, Senator AbdulHaseeb etc are the true representatives of the middle class. Recommend

  • abdullah

    what martians will come den ????????
    good or bad. thatz all we got.Recommend