News Analysis |
Yesterday, the lesser known brother of Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Mureed Hussain Qureshi was in the news for all the wrong reasons. While his clip dominated the social media in which he was slapping a devotee, later on, he made news when he attacked his brother openly during a religious ceremony.
The Urs ceremony at the shrine of Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya was spoiled by the antics of Mureed Hussain. Mureed Hussain first slapped a devotee that would become the groundwork of a larger altercation. According to reports, Murid wanted to start washing the grave without his brother, the devotee who was entrusted with the rosewater and other implements required, refused to hand them over until Shah Mehmmod arrived. The enraged Murid then started slapping the devotee despite the man’s apologies.
Later on during the opening of the Urs, Mureed Hussain created a scene on the stage. He took the mike after behaving rudely with his brother. In his address, Mureed Hussain alleged that “Shah Mehmood knows nothing about religion. He should have led funerals and prayers if he has really a link with this shrine, but he is busy in seeking votes for Imran Khan.” Mureed Hussain said, “I tell you all that I have a spiritual relationship with this shrine while you have just a political relationship with it.”
As soon as Shah Mehmood Qureshi asked Makhdoom Mureed Hussain Qureshi the reason behind his late arrival, he became furious and a heated argument broke out. In a fit of rage, Makhdoom Mureed Hussain Qureshi went away from the urs ceremony.
He said, “None can stop me from being associated with this shrine,” said Mureed “my father has handed over this seat to me.” He asserted that it was he who had given the custody of the shrine to Shah Mehmood who had later misused it. Mureed also claimed that he has been receiving death threats.
Shah Mehmood however, remained calm and later replied that this was a religious ceremony and not a platform of accusations. In his response, he requested the organizers to start the ceremonies.
Shah Mehmood and Mureed Hussain have a tense relationship. The Urs in 2016 was also marred by a fight between Shah Mehmood and Mureed Hussain. The spat happened when Shah Mehmood Qureshi was about to wash the mausoleum of Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya while his brother reached late in the ceremony. As soon as Shah Mehmood Qureshi asked Makhdoom Mureed Hussain Qureshi the reason behind his late arrival, he became furious and a heated argument broke out. In a fit of rage, Makhdoom Mureed Hussain Qureshi went away from the urs ceremony.
Mureed Hussain has attacked his brother time and again. His attacks largely revolve around the custody of the RukhneAlam shrine which is currently under the guardianship of Shah Mehmood.
The cause for Murid Hussain for joining the PPP was differences with his brother and the PTI leadership. According to sources, the PTI leadership had given him no assurance that he would get the ticket for PP-219 in the next election.
Observers assert that the current acrimonious relationship is largely due to the political ambitions of Mureed Hussain. Mureed Hussain is currently affiliated with the PPP. He was the joint PML(N) & PPP candidate in Punjab Assembly’s PP-219 seat (Khanewal) in a 2008 by-poll but lost to independent candidate Karam Dad Wahla. The seat was vacated by Shah Mahmood Qureshi who had retained his National Assembly seat. Murid, later on, joined the PTI briefly before reverting back to the PPP in 2012.
The cause for Murid Hussain for joining the PPP was differences with his brother and the PTI leadership. According to sources, the PTI leadership had given him no assurance that he would get the ticket for PP-219 in the next election. Taking advantage of differences between the two brothers, PPP’s leaders managed to bring him back to their party.
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Shah Mehmood had at that time stressed that he had no differences with his brother and it was his brother’s democratic right to join any party.
Another factor that is given is the custody of the shrines present in Multan. The Bahauddin Zakariya Shrine is an important landmark that bestows much power to its custodians. Shah Mehmood was its custodian until November 2014 when he was removed. In the politics of the Sufi venerating lands of the South Punjab, linkages to the great Sufis is often a major factor in electoral battles. This is evident by Shah Mehmood’s custodianship of the Shahrukh-e-Alam shrine which is what Murid wants.
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However, despite the laid-back attitude of Shah Mehmood, it seems that his brother is not backing down from wrangling him in both public and private.