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Saturday, May 23, 2009

MQM: From revolt to redemption Posted by Nadeem F. Paracha

Today the MQM operates as a well-organized liberal-secular expression of Karachi and Hyderabad’s middle and lower-middle-class sections. This does not mean that its militant tendencies have evaporated. As witnessed during the tragic May 12, 2007 violence in Karachi, MQM still maintains a militant streak – but then, so do the youth wings of the PPP, ANP, JI and PML-N.

But interestingly it is this streak that many Karachiites now believe may not be such a bad card to hold in the wake of the violent pressure being applied by armed militants across major Pakistani cities.

Does this mean that Karachi’s status as the last bastion of secular pluralism in Pakistan may as well be due to the secular muscle that the MQM flexes in this city?

The answer, most probably, is yes. But it is yet to be seen how this muscle shapes up against an enemy trained for ‘jihad’ and audacious suicide attacks.


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