A mohajir college boy named Altaf Hussein started a movement called mohajir Qoumi movement later changing it to Motaheda Qoumi movement (MQM). Before becoming part of the Sindh Assembly through votes in 1988, riots broke out in karachi in 1985 after a mohajir girl going to college was run over by a bus being driven by a Pashtun. The MQM manipulated and capitalized on the mohajirs extreme frustration to promote their ethno-militant agenda. However, whenever they were challenged by Law enforcement agencies they demanded a separate province for mohajirs and adopted a pro-india and anti-partition narrative. Subsequently, they held hostage Karachi for more than three decades, turning it into an MQM empire. Brutal tactics and killings were employed to silence opposition and remove any resistance. A startling revelation came into front during Sind Rangers’ operation regarding MQM militant wing and India role in supporting violence in Karachi. The Altaf’s MQM era is finally over and Karachi has again become a city of lights, however, the memory will haunt us for a long time.
Let us now analyse the journey of another group known as Pashtun Tahafuz Movement
It initially emerged as Mahsud Tahafuz Movement (MTM) changing its name to Pashtun Tahafuz movement (PTM) lead by Manzoor pashteen. It started off as the movement for the rights of the people of the war-torn area of South Waziristan. PTM attracted large crowds in their early days by highlighting genuine issues of the worn torn tribal districts. However, soon the movement was hijacked by hard core nationalists and Pro Afghan lobbies pushing the mainstream tribal population away. Their narrative became increasingly anti-state and anti-establishment. The movement thrives on slogans such as “Ye Jo dehshath Gardi Hy Es k Pechy Wardi Hy” and “Lar O Bar, Yo Afghan”. PTM just like MQM has become a proxy, in PTM case, it is propagating the narrative of Afghanistan. Sounds similar, right?
Let’s now see some of the other similarities between Altaf’s MQM and PTM. As for MQM, its leader Tariq Mir has confessed to the London metropolitan police about its party’s links with the Indian spy agency RAW. According to a press conference released by the ex-DG ISPR, PTM collected funds from NDS on 31st march 2019 for the funeral ceremony of Arman Looni preceded by fundings from RAW. Afghan president Ashraf Ghani on his twitter recently urged the Pakistani authorities to release Manzoor Pashteen who was briefly arrested, further strengthening the doubts that the movement might be taking funds from NDS. Its frightening, right?
Now, the most important question is that will PTM become violent as MQM ultimately was. There are scattered voices among PTM, calling for such methods, threatening state publicly. Will it turn violent is a million-dollar question? PTM leadership should learn from the past and tread carefully, they have already lost the popular support. They will entirely finish, if they do not adopt. PTM leadership needs to condemn Afghan support terming it intrusion in Pakistan’s’ internal matter to shelve the image of NDS and RAW proxy.