Home Global Village Why Nadeem Nusrat’s desertion from MQM-London is not significant?

Why Nadeem Nusrat’s desertion from MQM-London is not significant?

Nadeem Nusrat
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News Analysis |

According to sources, Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) convener in London Nadeem Nusrat has parted ways with Altaf Hussain. He has moved to the United States with his family.

Media reports in Pakistan are split over what exactly has happened. According to Dawn, the rift over financial matters forced Nusrat to take the decision. However, according to Tribune, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London (MQM-L) leader Nadeem Nusrat has denied reports that he has parted ways with party Chief Altaf Hussain.

Desertion by Mr. Nadeem Nusrat from London Rabita committee (if true) might be a significant blow for Altaf Hussein but it has no significance for neither MQM-P nor Pakistani politics

Nusrat said he was currently undergoing treatment for cancer in the United States. He added that he had been unable to participate in party affairs for some time because of his sickness. “I will become active in the party again after my treatment,” he said.

Read more: Are MQM factions thinking of uniting against PPP for 2018 elections?

News of divisions within MQM London Rabta committee have been rife since 2016 when Altaf Hussain’s anti-Pakistan speech led to the separation of MQM Pakistan chapter under Farooq Sattar from the Altaf led MQM-London.

Prominent London Rabita Committee members Wasay Jalil, Inbisat Malik and Zulfiqar Haider have already left MQM and the possible desertion by Nadeem Nusrat will exacerbate problems for the party Chief.

Is MQM-London Important Anymore?

After Altaf Hussain’s explosive diatribes against Pakistan and the military establishment in August 2016 and the subsequent crackdown by police and security agencies on MQM sector offices; Senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Farooq Sattar said that his party should operate from Pakistan alone. This was a reference to the leadership of MQM under Altaf Hussain, who controlled the party from London.

MQM-London members in Pakistan are now considered ‘terrorists’ and ‘RAW agents’ and even MQM-Pakistan have stopped owning them

Speaking at a press conference on August 23, 2016, Sattar accepted that “there is a problem” and that Hussein’s frequent apologies after incendiary statements are an issue that needs to be resolved.

Sattar made another dramatic statement about disassociating himself from the party in London, saying he has categorically said that all the decisions will be made by party members in Pakistan, “what else do I need to say to elaborate the minus-one formula more”.

Read more: MQM-Pakistan slams Altaf Hussain for seeking help from Indian PM Modi

Soon after this major development, Pundits predicted an end of MQM-Pakistan dominance over Pakistan’s largest city and the breakup of this party into various factions. Mustafa Kamal led Pak Sar Zameen Party (PSP), formed on 23 March 2016, was expected to make gains at MQM’s expense. However, this did not happen. Except for a few low-level MQM-Pakistan party leaders, no major desertions took place and it remained intact under the leadership of Farooq Sattar.

Assad Umer, a PTI party leader said that MQM-Pakistan is now a changed party and the one which could be engaged in dialogue on important legislative matters. He was referring to the separation of MQM-P from Altaf Hussain

Although MQM-Pakistan has kept control in its constituencies, it did have major repercussions for Altaf Hussain’s control. Criminal elements within MQM, who according to sources drew inspiration and support from London, were left exposed and at the mercy of security agencies who quickly apprehended them after a major crackdown in Karachi. Altaf Hussain has been slated for using criminals not only to keep opponents at bay but also to control dissidents within his party.

Imran Farooq case is a prime example. The security operations have severely hampered Altaf Husain’s ability to use force to coerce his party members and opposition parties in Karachi. This, in turn, has given more freedom to MQM-Pakistan under Farooq Sattar to maneuver in the complex politics of Karachi city and to consolidate the hold of his faction not only in Sindh but also in the center.

Read more: Farooq Sattar warns Census Commissioner over Sindh government’s political designs

Imran Farooq case is a prime example. The security operations have severely hampered Altaf Husain’s ability to use force to coerce his party members and opposition parties in Karachi

MQM-Pakistan holds enough seats in the parliament that it can play ‘kingmaker’ role on occasions. Recently, PML-N  had to take it on board for major amendments to the constitution and other matters. The recent election of Shahid Khakan Abbasi as the new Prime Minister saw PML-N leadership holding meetings with MQM-Pakistan for its support.

Moreover, in a recent bid to replace the opposition leader, PTI also held talks with MQM-Pakistan Chief in an effort to gain enough votes. Surprisingly, both the parties agreed to such an eventuality and held a joint press conference to iterate support for each other. While responding to journalists, Assad Umer, a PTI party leader said that MQM-Pakistan is now a changed party and the one which could be engaged in dialogue on important legislative matters. He was referring to the separation of MQM-P from Altaf Hussain.

MQM-P seats in National Assembly has provided it with a leverage which it used to take major concessions from PML-N such as receipt of development funds, the release of party workers from jails and allocation of important provincial ministries to MQM-leaders in Sindh.

These major developments have signaled an end of Altaf Hussein’s absentia controversial control over one of the largest parties in Karachi. Altaf Hussain made inflammatory remarks against Farooq Sattar and even threatened him indirectly in one of his many speeches with ‘consequences’.

Read more: Farooq Sattar and Amir Liaquat on exit control list?

Sattar made another dramatic statement about disassociating himself from the party in London, saying he has categorically said that all the decisions will be made by party members in Pakistan

Long speeches and verbal threats by Altaf Hussain is an indication of his helplessness and inability to influence politics in Pakistan anymore. MQM-London members in Pakistan are now considered ‘terrorists’ and ‘RAW agents’ and even MQM-Pakistan have stopped owning them.

In August this year, Altaf Hussain held talks with anti-Pakistan US Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher and exiled Baloch leader Khan of Qalat at the MQM’s International Secretariat in order to work together for the “common cause”. This gave credence to speculations of Altaf Hussain being a ‘RAW’ agent and further isolating MQM-London elements in Pakistan.

Read more: Scotland Yard drops charges against Altaf Hussain? Why?

Desertion by Mr. Nadeem Nusrat from London Rabita committee (if true) might be a significant blow for Altaf Hussein but it has no significance for neither MQM-P nor Pakistani politics.


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