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Friday, April 24, 2009

A hapless surrender and the MQM's big chance - A hapless surrender and the MQM's big chance

This is MQM's big chance to deliver. It must come out of its ethnic fold and prove its affiliation with the middle and educated classes of Pakistan, regardless of which province or part of Pakistan they come from. Instead of taunting the ANP with the legacy of Bacha Khan, it must demonstrably show the Pashtuns in Karachi that it is not against them but against extremism, no matter what garb it takes. It must reach out to the Punjabis, the Sindhis and the Baloch. The MQM has control over Karachi that few would deny. It must use its influence in this multi-ethnic, multi-racial, religiously diverse and cosmopolitan city to ensure its citizens peace and an equal sense of belonging. It must demonstrate to the rest of Pakistan the difference between tolerance and bigotry, between education and illiteracy, between the inclusiveness that Islam preaches and the exclusiveness that the militants practice.

If the MQM puts its heart and soul into making Karachi a model city built on the foundations of moral courage and the richness of diversity, it will be assisted by civil society and together we must stem the tide of extremism. We must build Karachi as an alternative, Jinnah's home, a symbol for the rest of Pakistan to emulate.


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