Now know­ing Mustafa Ka­mal is ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary


NOW that Mustafa Ka­mal has held an im­pres­sive rally at Jin­nah Bagh, mis­un­der­stand­ing mis­con­cep­tions, or con­fu­sions pre­vail­ing in minds, must have been con­sid­er­ably cleared. He came with an idea about pro­vid­ing a po­lit­i­cal plat­form to the peo­ple for the at­tain­ment of their rights as in­de­pen­dent cit­i­zens of an in­de­pen­dent coun­try, and col­lect­ing peo­ple from far and near, has suc­ceeded to a very great ex­tent in his mis­sion.

Doubts how­ever, may still be per­sist­ing in the minds of quite a large num­ber of peo­ple as to his ob­jec­tives, or­ga­ni­za­tional set up, tar­geted ar­eas in terms of lo­ca­tion and seg­ments of so­ci­ety, and whether he is ca­pa­ble of achiev­ing what is ex­pected of him? Quite nor­mal, Ka­mal, af­ter all a new en­trant to pol­i­tics, a dicey arena in­deed. Such ques­tions will arise, but at the same time, he should be given time to prove his worth.

Loaded with sim­i­lar ques­tions, I sought an ap­point­ment with him, but be­fore con­vey­ing to read­ers as to out­come of that meet­ing, let me ex­plain in ad­vance that I and Ka­mal were to­gether in Sindh cabi­net from early 2003 till 2005 when he be­came the mayor of Karachi, but we re­mained tied in re­la­tion­ship of mu­tual re­spect, and af­fec­tion, and in­deed that clicked well. Ka­mal, Anees QaimKhani Dr Sagheer Ah­mad, all were happy and em­braced me.

Those claim­ing that he was all alone, streets around his house on Khaya­bane Se­har in the heart of the De­fence So­ci­ety, wore a de­serted look, would be ad­vised to visit the place again with open mind. When I was there at the dead of mid­night, al­most an hour af­ter mid­night, I was sur­prised to see al­most a dozen TV vans lined up in front of the Ka­mala house. In­side the 500 square yard house, were peo­ple throng­ing from bed­rooms to sit­ting rooms and meet­ing places.

Not an inch was avail­able for me to move. Tele­phone kept buzzing con­stantly on in­sutr­ment with Ka­mal, and of his col­leagues. Call­ers fran­ti­cally wanted to en­quire about his party, now named as Pak Sarzameen, his mis­sion and whether he needed their help or sup­port. His ad­vise to all of them was “just waite”..

The meet­ing, though short, of about 30/35 min­utes, but al­lowed us enough mar­gin to di­late on vi­tal sub­jects. The con­ver­sa­tion helped an­swer many a ques­tion. Need­less to re­mind here that from the be­gin­ning, Ka­mal was can­did and clear in his mind about what he was sup­posed to do. Look­ing back, it could be said with­out any fear of con­tra­dic­tion that he did re­ally jus­ti­fied fully the trust re­posed in him.

No flat­ter­ing, no un­wanted ac­co­lades, but Ka­mal has al­ways been clear in his per­cep­tions. He dis­charged both his as­sign­ments—of a min­is­ter in Sindh cabi­net, and as fa­ther of a city, be­set with prob­lems of se­vere mag­ni­tude. .

Chal­lenges were hor­ren­dous in na­ture, but he dis­charged his du­ties to the fullest sat­is­fac­tion of his own self, Gen­eral Pervez Mushar­raf, Pres­i­dent of the coun­try then, to Gover­nor Ishratul Ebad, and MQM found­ing fa­ther, Altaf Hus­sain. The mas­sive face up­lift of the world’s 6th big­gest city dur­ing the short pe­riod of 5 years he was in con­trol of civic af­fairs, Karachi changed com­pletely, com­pa­ra­ble to a very great ex­tent with any mod­ern city of the de­vel­oped world. With­out the help and back­ing or per­son­al­i­ties men­tioned above, he may not have ac­quired the de­sired re­sults, but ig­nor­ing his own ef­forts and ded­i­ca­tion in com­plet­ing his as­sign­ments, would be sheer dis­hon­esty.

Crit­i­cism has sur­faced about the at­ten­dance of his maiden rally on 24th April in Karachi, but those har­bour­ing such ideas, must give the al­lowance to him that this was his first-ever rally, needed tremen­dous or­ga­ni­za­tion at ev­ery level, mo­bi­liz­ing peo­ple, ar­rang­ing funds etc;, be­ing care­ful in pick­ing words to com­mu­ni­cate with the au­di­ence. All th­ese re­quired in­ge­nu­ity, which was pro­foundly dis­played.

In my opin­ion, some mi­nus points may well have sur­faced, but over­all the rally was a great suc­cess. Ka­mal and col­leagues were gen­uinely happy. The turn-out was tremen­dous.

Records and news­pa­per re­ports are full of ap­pre­ci­a­tion of a young man, work­ing un­tir­ingly for 18 hours a day, and tak­ing rest for just cou­ple of hours, that too to be with his mother on death bed.

Dur­ing the con­ver­sa­tion we had, Ka­mal came out can­didly in his per­cep­tions, which were also vivid dur­ing in­ter­views he gave to var­i­ous tele­vi­sion chan­nels. Con­cen­trat­ing on Mo­ha­jir cause, he knew would limit the scope of his op­er­a­tion. He talked there­fore of en­tire Pak­istan, from Karachi to Khy­ber, and points be­yond to the moun­tain­ous North. At the same time, he is con­scious of his obli­ga­tions to his own com­mu­nity, which had some­how been dealt a raw deal, not now, but over a long pe­riod of time.

In one of the in­ter­view he even re­vealed that nei­ther he him­self, nor Anees QaimKhani, Waseem Aftab, ad­vo­cate Anees Ah­mad, or Raza Ha­roon, will be in the cen­tral ex­ec­u­tive, to be founded soon. Yes off course, he him­self and close as­so­ciates, per­ceiv­ing the con­cept of a real Pak­istan party, and nam­ing it as such, would be vig­i­lant about their du­ties, and obli­ga­tions.

The cen­tral ex­ec­u­tive or coun­cil, what­ever the nomen­cla­ture, it would com­prise of all shades of opin­ion, and rep­re­sent­ing all com­mu­ni­ties in­hab­it­ing Pak­istan. That alone would help it ac­quire na­tional ap­peal and grow in stature. Lastly, I, as a me­dia man my­self, feel up­set some­time about the use of ter­mi­nolo­gies in print or elec­tronic me­dia, like dis­senter or rebel. Such brands or la­bels would be rel­e­vant only if he had de­serted the party for larger ben­e­fits.

He had re­signed his sen­a­tor­ship barely af­ter six months, and then quit his job as chair­man of the MQM’s char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tion, called the Khid­mate Khalq Foun­da­tion. He moved qui­etly to the Gulf fi­nan­cial cen­tre of Dubai, and was back home again to “lib­er­ate the peo­ple” who in his opin­ion were “chained” to a serve or slave mind­set. Voices are still be­ing heard whether he would suc­ceed in his mis­sion. God Almighty knows that. Ka­mal’s job is to work harder and harder, and leave ev­ery­thing to his Cre­ator. Faith in Almighty is al­ways re­ward­ing.

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