A CHARISMATIC LEADER: ALTAF HUSSAIN

Charismatic leader is a person who has a vision (expressed as a idealized goal) that proposes a future better than the status quo, and is able to clarify the importance of the vision in terms that are understandable to others, is willing to take-on high personal risk incurring high costs and engages in self sacrifice to achieve the visions, has sensitivity to follower needs and respects others’ abilities and responsive to their needs and feelings, engages in behavior that is perceived as novel and counter to norms and has inspiring force. A charismatic leader is perceived as agents of fundamental change rather than as caretakers of the status quo.

Open a page of any newspaper online and start reading comments you will be surprised that moderators of these pages allow even those comments which will be forbidden for even an ordinary Politian but for Altaf Hussain comments of all types even unethical are accepted. As neutral observer I am unable to understand why no laws of ethics are followed when Altaf Hussain and his party is being discussed in their absentia in prime time shows in print media. I have decided to find out why propaganda is being made against him for this I have made a research and written this article on the basis of my findings.

Life of Altaf Hussain

Altaf Hussain was born on 17 September 1953 in Karachi. Altaf Husain’s grand-father, Mufti Mohammad Ramazan (Grand Mufti of the town of Agra, UP, India) and his maternal grandfather (Haji Hafiz Raheem Bhux) were reputed religious scholar in India. Nazir Hussain and Khursheed Begum, his parents’ belonged to same religious families migrated from Agra, India to Pakistan in 1947 and settled in Karachi.

Education

(Charismatic leader is a person who is educated and has a rich experience to nurture a vision that proposes better for his follower and society)

Altaf Hussain got his early education from Govt. Comprehensive School, Azizabad No. 8 Karachi and his matriculation in 1969 from Government Boys Secondary School. He completed his intermediate from City College Karachi and B.Sc from Islamia College. In 1974 after completion of his Bachelor of Pharmacy he enrolled for his Master’s degree, but could not complete his studies because the terrorists of Thunder Squad from IJT did not allow him to attend university.

Early career

(Charismatic leader is a person who knows about the pain of common people who struggles for earning bread and butter for their love one.)

Altaf Hussain began his career as a trainee at Karachi’s Seventh Day Advent Hospital. At the same time, he also worked for a multi-national pharmaceutical company. Between 1970 and 1971, due to childhood love with Army Altaf Hussain joined the National Service Cadet Scheme. Soon afterwards, during 1971 war all cadets were converted into the Baloch Regiment of Pakistan Army. The discriminatory experience badly hurt his feeling, after completion of training the cadets of NCC were released from the Regiment.

Contribution and sacrifices of Family members and his beloved mother

(A charisma is instilled in child by mother starting from cradle to youth)

Altaf Husain’s mother always advised him to be careful but did not ask him to stop his struggle which was at time fruitless and cause of problem for his family members. Though she was a lady with multiple health problems but she kept waiting for his return to home and always served him meals irrespective of what time of night it was. His mother’s determination can be gauged with only one example out of many in which, in 1978  government official through students advisor of KU and a few teachers contacted his mother to write an apology letter on behalf of Altaf Hussain, to ensure his release before Eid-Ul-Fiter, but she refused and fully supported her son’s resolve.

Political involvement

(Charismatic leader is a person who has a vision (expressed as an idealized goal) that proposes a future better than the status quo, and is able to clarify the importance of the vision in terms that are understandable to others)

Ideology and philosophy

At the age of 34 he gave the ideology of Practicalism and Realism. Altaf Hussain has made efforts to re-brand MQM as a national party. Today, it is the Pakistani parliament’s fourth-largest party with 25 lawmakers in the 342-seat National Assembly. Outside Pakistan after September 11th, 2001, the MQM has consistently presented itself liberal and enlightened & moderate. The effort abroad has captured the leap to legitimacy of a party once hounded by state security forces a mere eighteen years ago.

Altaf Hussain served as General Secretary and later as President of the National Student’s Action Committee at Karachi University on the discrimination meted out to all B.SC pass students for admission in B. Pharmacy. He was active member of PNA, and he was nominated as Chairman Action committee of FB Area. When the Prime Minister Bhutto was judicially murdered, Altaf Hussain observed that leaders of PNA forgot their purposes and most of them got their share as member’s martial law cabinet of Zia. He felt bad that the highest sacrifices were given by Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkar but PNA leaders forgot about the problems of these cities.

On 11 June 1978 Altaf Hussain established APMSO to provide relief to Muhajir Students. APMSO members and office bearers were ridiculed, harassed, and female members were even molested by followers of IJT. When APMSO won one seat in students’ election Thunder squad of IJT attacked on APMSO supporters and Altaf Hussain. The IJT followers even attempted to kill many of them including Altaf Hussain on admission stalls. Salute to female workers of APMSO who encircled and escorted Altaf Hussain and saved him from severe fatal injuries. Altaf Hussain called a meeting of office bearers and there he announced that he is winding up the students wing for the safety of members. During meeting few members started hitting their heads with the wall. The blood spread all over meeting room which compelled, Altaf Hussain to continue this struggle with new strategy. This strategy proved to be a deciding move for the APMSO members who began to mobilize the muhajir youth outside the educational institutions, gradually turning the initiative into a popular movement with a strong base in muhajir neighborhoods. The situation gave birth to the Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) on 18 March 1984, which afterward transformed into Muttahida Qaumi Movement on 26 June 1997.

Arrests, imprisonments and brutal torture:

(Charismatic leader is a person is willing to take-on high personal risk incurring high costs and engages in self sacrifice to achieve the visions)

During his political struggle, Altaf Hussain was arrested and imprisoned thrice.

First arrest

He was first arrested on 14 August, 1979 when he was attending a peaceful demonstration at Mazar-e-Quaid Karachi for the return of Pakistanis stranded in Bangladesh and severely tortured during arrest. On 2 October 1979, he was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment and flogging five times. He was offered several deals by the then government officials but he refused any deal.

Second arrest

Altaf Hussain was arrested the second time when he was returning after his historic address at Pakka Qila, Hyderabad on 31 October 1986 and was implicated in several criminal cases. His arrest enraged the people of Sindh, especially Karachi and they launched public protest in large scale for his freedom. Due to great public pressure, Altaf Hussain and his companions were released from Central Prison Karachi on 24 February 1987 and all the charges placed on him were unconditionally withdrawn.

Third arrest

Altaf Hussain submitted himself to the law enforcement agencies on 30 August 1987 on the condition that the arrests of his party’s workers should be stopped. During his imprisonment, MQM achieved great results in the Local Bodies election of 1987. Once again, government faced widespread movements by the people for the freedom of Altaf Hussain. On 7 January 1988, Altaf Hussain was released from jail.

conspiracy to destroy the image of mqm

A few persons from establishment and waderas and jagirdars did not like the popularity of MQM and thus on their advice few members from ISI and other agencies over-utilized their authority. They infiltrated criminals in MQM and started media campaign against MQM. Altaf Hussain complained to President of Pakistan Mr. Ghulam Ishaq Khan about the activity of those criminals from the platform of his party which Ghulam Ishaq Khan ignored. 

State sponsored operation  

On 19 June 1992 the Army started brutal operation in which thousands of MQM workers and supporters were killed and many of them disappeared. Altaf Hussain left Pakistan only a few months before this operation on request of his followers and members MQM to keep himself alive for the cause of MQM, which he followed reluctantly.

Killing of brother and nephew

During October 1993 to November 1996, a large number of MQM’s workers and sympathizers were killed extra- judicially. Among them, Altaf Hessian’s 66 years old elder brother Nasir Hussain and 28 years old nephew Arif Hussain were arrested by the law enforcement agents on 5 December 1995 and were kept in torture cell where they were brutally tortured for 4 days and then killed on 9 of December 1995.

Working for explanation of theory of Nation and Nationality

Altaf Hussain has explained the difference between nation and nationality. He is still trying to make the establishment realize not to repeat the same mistake of pushing a nationality to convert into a nation. As a result the community does not accept the boundary of the country and starts struggle for a separate boundary. He gives examples of Bengalis who became a nation after failing in their all attempt to change the attitude of sharing resources un-equally and un-judiciously. According to his theory he is afraid that Balochs are growing alienated from state injustice against them and their youth are working and being supported in different parts of the world to convert into a nation from Baloch nationality, it means breaking away from Pakistan.

Respect and trust enjoyed from followers:

(Charismatic leader is a person who engages in behavior as novel and counters to norms and has inspiring force)

Altaf Hussain is the only leader whose thousands of workers have set up undying examples for the coming generations by sacrificing their lives for the righteous struggle. They gave their lives but did not bow down before the forces of evil. The courage and staunch determination of such faithful and fearless workers is worthy of high praise. The worker and their heirs still love Altaf Hussain ignoring and rejecting the worst propaganda against him.

Core value of respect and care for the workers and their family:

(Charismatic leader is a person who has sensitivity to follower needs and respects others’ abilities and responsive to their needs)

Altaf Hussain did not let the supreme sacrifices made by his party workers go to waste. Altaf Hussain has sanctioned method and welfare process to take care of the well-being of the workers who have been murdered or disabled after torture by few individuals in police, and intelligence agencies etc,.

Fighting against the conspiracy of isolation, criminalization, and demoralization:

Altaf Hussain has worked tirelessly to fight with the conspiracy of keeping him and his followers in isolation and criminalization by infiltrating criminals and frustrating his all effort to make any sustainable change in the condition of his followers to demoralize them.

No personal ambition for being President, prime minster or any powerful position:

Altaf Hussain is the only leader who has never shown any interest for his personal gain. He has never nominated himself for any position in running affairs of state as prime minister or president and has announced he won’t do so ever.

Positivity and loyalty

Altaf Hussain, even after the killings of thousands of his workers and supporters, has never preached negative feeling against state and its organ and never injected the blood of hate and revenge in them. Altaf Hussain is the only leader who is instilling love and respect for Pakistan in his followers even after such brutal state sponsored operation and other biased treatment to his followers.

Philosophy of welfare by politics

Altaf Hussain is the only leader who has changed the meaning of politics. All political parties’ claim that if power is given to them they will serve the nation after that but Altaf Hussain is the only leader who started welfare organization first and then launched a political party next.

A disciplined man teaching discipline and ethics in politics

Altaf Hussain’s stances are based on reasons and logic and framed within the boundary of ethics. His followers are most disciplined political workers. He set a new trend which should be investigated how a political leaders inspires his followers without racial incite and religious sermons and without any unachievable promises.

farsightedness of altaf hussain

Altaf Hussain success lies in is analytical skill by which he reads what others fail to even sense unless they are trapped. His prediction about Talibnization of Karachi and Peoples Amman Committees’ as misguided missile was ridiculed at initial level. ANP and PPP tried to ridicule on this but they realized it when they were trapped in it. When ANP workers were killed in their own dominated areas by Taliban and PPP became alert when PAC removed all its banners and flags from Lyari and openly threatened to wipe out PPP support from lyari and PAC became the sole source of Bhatta and biggest organized criminal group in recent history of Pakistan. What he predicates is initially rejcted an dridiculed but time proves him right, his ability to inform and warn his workers and supporters from enveloping threats in future increases his popularity and love and respect for him.

Principled Unchanged positions

Altaf Hussain believes on equal rights and opportunities for all irrespective of color, creed, cast, sect, gender, ethnicity or religion. He strives tirelessly for tolerance, religious or otherwise and opposes fanaticism, terrorism and violence in all their manifestations.

His recent stance on the killing of Shia all over Pakistan is really a behavior of a leader who preaches on principled position.

Establishing branches of MQM all over world which has impressive output and acceptance by world:

Altaf Hussain has used his acute political skills to reach out to the Pakistani Diaspora in the United Kingdom (UK) after 1997.

Distance causes no impediments in reaching out to his followers:

Altaf Hussain has not allowed his absence from Pakistan to be a limiting factors, he has devised creative factors to reach out his followers faster than if he would have been physical present here. 

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