Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)

Founder
Altaf Hussain
Party Flag
Party Symbol

Introduction
Muttahida Qaumi Movement generally known as MQM, is a political party in Pakistan founded and currently led by Altaf Hussain. It originated as an ethnic student organization in 1978 from University of Karachi . The students movement later turned into an influential political party of Sindh. Later on July 26, 1997, MQM officially changed its name from Muhajir Qaumi Movement to Muttahida Quami Movement. MQM is infamous for its frequent involvement in terrorist activities although its leaders routinely deny such accusations. International organizations such as the UNHCR and the United States Department of State frequently cite examples of MQM's involvement in terrorism, especially within Karachi, Pakistan's commercial center.
History and Background

Muhajir are ethnic Urdu speaking Muslim linguistic group that migrated to Pakistan after independence in 1947.Muhajirs were welcomed in Pakistan,Liaqat Ali Khan(first Pakistani Prime minister)himself a muhajir is said to have fast forwarded muhajirs to/in civil service.Before 1947,most of businesses were owned by hindus,their departure was followed by allotments of businesses to selected group of muhajirs(Urdu Speaking). After the death of Liaquat Ali Khan, the rise of military intervention in governmental affairs and public sectors cornered Muhajirs.

General Muhammad Ayub Khan seized the presidency of Pakistan in a military coup amid political chaos. General Ayub Khan allegedly was against the special treatment for Muhajirs on important positions in civil service, bureaucracy and local government that lead their over representation. The subsequent administration of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto went on to nationalizing businesses.

Muhajirs only constituted 7.44% of the Pakistani population.Formerly their settlement in business hubs(marred by alligations of politically motivated steps),notably the portal city of karachi, gave them influence well beyond their numbers in the population.This created resentment in other ethnic groups of Pakistan, and in order to accommodate them, the administration of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto enforced a quota system at university and governmental level. Successive . This affirmative action by the government of Pakistan was resented by the Muhajirs, who preferred the former special treatment.

Current Status

MQM initially targeted just the Urdu speaking people, who migrated to Pakistan after the independence in 1947. Since 1997, it has started to aim downtrodden masses at the national level, with a manefesto to improve low social and economic status of the Sindh. Although it has turned into a national political party, working in all major cities of Pakistan, its representation in non-Urdu speaking areas remains negligible.

MQM boycotted 2001 municipal elections but participated in 2002 national election and secured most of the urban areas seats in Sindh province. Altaf Hussain supported, General Pervez Musharraf's U-turn on Afghan-policy after 9-11 attacks.

In August 2005, Haq Parast candidates, supported by MQM, won the municipal elections in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpur Khas and many other cities of Sindh. The daily Dawn editorial

At present, MQM is an ally of President Musharraf in federal government but still has its own viewpoint on various issues including LFO, Kalabagh Dam and NFC Award.

MQM tried to change it's policy which restrained it to Urdu speaking people recently,opening offices in other provinces including Punjab(formerly MQM was famous for anti punjab attitude)with no sucess.This policy according to various circles is an attempt by musharraf to strengthen his rule and has badly backfired. MQM was sucessful in winning two seats in Azad Kashmir national assembly,although most of pro-mqm votes were casted in the camps established for earth quake survivors in karachi and there was allegations of rigging but results were not challenged in courts