A murder that would matter

Hardly would a murder in a posh and reclusive area of London matter. But the stabbing to death of a high-profile political activist in asylum does matter.

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Published: Sat 18 Sep 2010, 9:01 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:52 PM

An astute Pakistani politician, as he was, Dr Imran Farooq’s exit will mean a lot for his constituency and the country. The fact that a person who had lived in the shadows for the last 20 years was killed and that too in the safe haven of his choice, is quite disturbing. He was the second-in-command of Pakistan’s ethnic Urdu-speaking party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, and that makes him larger than he was on the landscape of exile and politics. Ostensibly the brain behind MQM’s rise as the third major political force, with Imran Farooq ends an era of behind-the-curtain brinkmanship that had kept Pakistan’s largest cosmopolitan city on tenterhooks. The fact that Karachi is cool and composed, despite millions of supporters and a disciplined party to mourn his death, is highly appreciated.

Karachi, of late, has gone through the worst of its times. The memories of killing of more than 150 persons in the backdrop of a MQM parliamentarian’s murder are still afresh. Moreover, the tendency of the heterogeneous city to fall in line at the hands of unscrupulous elements’ mischief makes it literally unpredictable. In such a discourse, the MQM’s call for caution and peace, as it mourns its fallen leader, is a positive development.

One hopes the 10-day mourning announced by the party would pass peacefully, as it will be a befitting tribute to the person and party that had struggled for civil liberties and democracy. Resorting to indefinite closure of businesses and bringing the society to a standstill will not help. At the same time, the party should beware of opportunists and miscreants who can misuse this moment of grief and high-temper for obvious purposes. The unfortunate incident in London needs to be investigated, and the party would be better advised not to sniff for collaborators at home. Peace and prosperity in Karachi is for what the MQM maestros had gone in exile. There is no point in jumping the gun.

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