Altaf Hussain : Coming to terms with mortality

Yesterday Altaf Bhai made a statement (and here) that he may be martyred by none other than foreign powerful forces. For a person who has sought asylum and comfort in the west and has spent his life blaming (rightly or wrongly) punjabis, sindhis, pathans, haqiqi, army and ISI, dissident groups for the ills facing his people, it construes an absolute U-turn from past policies to point finger towards west most probably US considering his latest outburst where he said that he would have ended all relations with US (according to a ticker on GEO though I cannot find the news now).

Normally, he would have asked his workers to keep an eye on their sworn enemies i.e., Pakistanis of non-mohajir origin _pathans, punjabis etc (the usual suspects) after he is martyred so that his followers carry forward his mission. However, before his impending martyrdom he is pointing fingers at US. What gives?

For those who do not live in Karachi or have not lived in Karachi, they cannot assume the magnitude of this statement. Had he been killed before making such a statement, it would have consolidated his followers against pathans, punjabis etc and would have lead to worst rioting this city would have ever seen (and it has seen more than its share). However, after this statement, his followers would be like a ship without a rudder for two reasons :

  1. Mainly because he has not groomed a successor and it may result in territorial fights amongst various MQM MPAs for control over land and bhatta and
  2. forever groomed and trained to consider non-Mohajir Pakistanis as enemies and the suddenly to have distant US as a very abstract enemy may not be a strong enough concept to keep MQM followers from disintegrating into various factions.

Any ideas or conspiracy theories on this change of heart? One theory that comes to mind after the news emanating from the west that Imran Farooq was murdered by MQM as he was about to join Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League and lend it his full vocal support is that Altaf Hussain does not want MQM to give support to Musharraf. There could be two reasons:

  1. He may have been asked to play second fiddle to Musharraf which Altaf bhai’s ego would not want to do or
  2. being used to extracting benefits and promises on account of his large number of seats in provincial and national assembly, Musharraf and his (apparently western) backers are not willing to concede the requested gains to MQM for their support.

Hence, the powerful forces in west may have decided that Altaf has become too big for his shoes and its better to take him out and Altaf Hussain realized that his time on this earth is up.


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