Friday, April 11, 2008

Altaf Hussain Resigns as MQM Chief for an Hour

Karachi might want to brace itself. According to Geo News, Altaf Hussain has 'stepped down from the leadership of the MQM', citing his inability to assert control over the riots on the 9th of April. According to his resignation letter (tendered to the Rabita Committee) he is angered and disappointed by the party's failure to keep the peace.

From the report it appears that he has left the explosive issue of his successor to the MQM Rabita Committee. Or then again, he could just take back his resignation, which the party workers at Nine Zero are already chanting for.

On a side note, Altaf's phone-in resignation speech has been interrupted due to technical difficulties, namely the line getting 'cut'.

Geo is desperately trying to speak to the party leadership, but apparently they're all busy trying to get Altaf back on the phone, and the speakers.

There is a lot to be said about the intra-MQM factionalism that contributed (or even led to) the May 12 riots. That same factionalism is likley the main factor that lead to the April 9 riots and now Altaf's apparent resignation. It is no coincidence that these developments immediately followed the recent attempts of reconciliation between the PPP and the MQM.

UPDATE at 16:53 GMT (NB): There has just been an announcement that the MQM Nazims and the MQM MNA's will also resign en-masse unless Altaf Hussain withdraws his resignation. This is all pretty disingenuous.

UPDATE at 17:08 GMT (Ahsan): I don't think this as momentous a development as the headlines would suggest. Altaf Hussain is trying to send a costly signal, to use game theory parlance, of his preferences to cooperate with the PPP. Only it's not actually a costly signal; Altaf Hussain would just have us believe it is. He'll be back - if ever really left - within 24 to 48 hours following mass protests from the MQM faithful and a conciliatory and bhai-bhai phone call from Zardari. But for those of you who live in Karachi or Hyderabad, I'd stay indoors for a while.

UPDATE at 17:33 GMT (NB): Ahsan and Arif Rafiq are proven correct as Altaf withdraws his resignation following much crying and wailing from party supporters and Altaf Hussain. Nice one Altaf Bhai, you had me going for a minute. Albiet 10 days late.

My thanks to Ali Mate for the initial information and updates. And also for the joke above which I have shamelessly appropriated.

UPDATE at 18:35 GMT (Ahsan): Well, that was over quicker than a 16 year-old's first time. If you're going to put on a show, Altaf bhai, at least make it last a little bit longer. What am I going to do for entertainment on the weekend?


Anonymous said...

I'd say Karachi should still brace itself. Forgiving Altaf has been replaced with Angry Altaf. Then there was Sad Altaf. Now he's Angry Altaf again.

Expect lots of distracting noise, dramabazi + violence in the coming weeks.

Ali said...

watch fox news on the weekend for entertainment. actually shows like the o'reilly factor are quite horrifying, watch some of the other shows, with their 'hot' anchors. oh yeah, as to your berlusconi post about 'hot right wing women' - there's one example, fox news. i have a couple of 'hot' right wing classmates, although many ppl might think they're hot, i don't particularly find them attractive.

Ali said...

oh and NB:
thanks for the shoutout (reewind! BO! BO! BO!). i'd now like to be known as the khwari formerly known as ali mate.

Anonymous said...

ahsan, contrary to what you may believe, this occasion is indeed momentous, but for admittedly different reasons.

you made a prediction, and it came true.

celebrate. because in all likelihood, it'll be another 24 years before you have the chance to do so again.

Ahsan said...


very clever. but you should know i correctly predicted arsenal beating liverpool in the champions league.

Ahsan said...

whoops, i meant liverpool beating arsenal.

Nikhil said...

you were helped by 2 VERY dodgy penalty decisions.

i'd hardly call that vindication.

also, i hate you.