Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is facing the most profound challenge to its existence as a party on the political landscape of the country since its founding in a hospitable and indolent province of Sindh in the 1980s.
The fallout created by a BBC report claiming, inter alia, that it had received funding from India is fraught with unimaginable consequences and dangers for the party.
A possible answer to the question how this dangerous controversy will play out in coming days, weeks and months in relation to India-Pakistan, UK-Pakistan and UK-India relations requires one to excise and examine the BBC report with a measure of objectivity and fairness in order to arrive at a plausible, however relative, conclusion.
According to well-established standards of journalism, a formal report and a news story are the two human activities which start with the climax. The BBC report under discussion is one such report which seems to have done this job with a view to persuading its readers to do something; and its readers include both the British and Pakistani authorities.
Though the report is an objective piece of investigation insofar as its structuring is concerned, it tends to transmit an impression of bias or a tilt towards a particular side by describing its source as a ‘Pakistani official’. It has probably been done on purpose with a view to protecting the official British sources who may not wish to be dragged into a bilateral dispute or tiff between the two or three sovereign states. Or, Owen Bennet Jones, the author of this report, who earned MQM’s displeasure by running a story against its leadership last year, has been lured into a trap by a section of the Pakistani establishment that MQM believes is baying for its blood.
The MQM and its supremo, Altaf Hussain, are already under investigation by the Scotland Yard for alleged money laundering. The murder of its founder secretary general, Dr Imran Farooq, in London has also resulted in allegations of its party chief’s involvement in this crime.
The BBC report has enormously deepened the controversy that was created by Altaf Hussain’s keynote speech that he delivered at an international conference organised by the Hindustan Times Leadership Initiative in 2004 in New Delhi where he criticised the two-nation theory that forms the basis for the creation of Pakistan.
The BBC report has also created new doubts about MQM’s commitment towards the integrity of the country. The party, therefore, is required to come clean without any loss of time; and it will be required to take whatever course that it deems is appropriate, including a legal action against BBC, to repel the attack that the BBC report has inflicted on its honour and integrity.
The federal government, in the meantime, is required to deal with the situation with utmost care and prudence for it is fraught with grave consequences for not only MQM and its supporters but to the very present of the country that is deeply mired in the cesspool of uncertainties.
Source: Business Recorder