Timeline: A history of MQM

Published May 25, 2013 05:18pm

LASTFIRST

1984

March

The All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organisation launches the party, Mohajir Qaumi Movement.

1987

November

MQM formally enters politics, after winning local municipal elections in Karachi and Hyderabad.

1988

November

The MQM swept the 1988 election in Sindh’s urban areas and entered into a cooperation agreement with PPP, enabling it to become part of the government.

1989

October

Differences developed between the PPP and MQM after dozens were killed at an MQM congregration by Sindhi nationalists, and the alliance fell apart in the wake of ensuing violence. The MQM lent its support to Nawaz Sharif’s Islami Jamhoori Ittehad instead.

1990

October

In the 1990 election, MQM again emerged as the third largest party forming an alliance and a coalition government with PML-N, the leading party at the time.

1992

January

MQM chief Altaf Hussain leaves for London for medical treatment. He has not returned since then.

June

The army launches the infamous ‘Operation clean-up’, ostensibly to rid the city of terrorism. The operation targeted the MQM in particular. As a result, a breakaway faction known as the MQM-Haqiqi emerged. Meanwhile, party leaders went into hiding and party offices were shut down.

1993

October

Elections are held once again. The MQM boycotts the national assembly polls, but sweeps provincial elections, and once again allies with the PPP in Sindh. Their participation was despite on-and-off action against the party all the way till 1996.

1997

February

Benazir Bhutto’s government is dismissed on charges of the murders of MQM workers in fake encounters by the police. The MQM wins national and provincial assembly seats in the 1997 polls, and allies with PML-N again.

July

After much deliberation and delay, the Mohajir Qaumi Movement changes its official name to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

1998

October

The murder of Hakim Sayeed, a famous Pakistani philanthropist leads to the imposition of Governor rule in Sindh. The MQM and PML-N’s alliance came to an end.

2002

October

The then President Pervez Musharraf, who had overthrown Nawaz in a military coup, held elections. The MQM performed well, and became a coalition partner of its arch enemy, the military government.

2006

January

MQM threatens to quit the coalition government, ostensibly over army operations in Balochistan. It later retracts the ultimatum.

2007

May

MQM was accused by anti-Musharraf parties and sections of the media for instigating violence on the streets of Karachi when Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry arrived in the city to address a lawyers’ meeting.

2008

February

In the 2008 election, the party again became part of the ruling coalition government at the centre and in Sindh — once again with the PPP.

2012

December

The MQM’s office in London was raided in connection with Farooq’s murder.

December

MQM chief Altaf Hussain criticised the judiciary and said that judges of the Supreme Court should apologise for their remarks about delimitation of Karachi’s constituencies or face consequences.

December

The Supreme Court ordered the MQM chief to appear before it in person and explain why he should not be charged with contempt for “his contemptuous assertions against the judiciary”.

2013

January

Hussain files an unconditional apology, which was accepted by the apex court.

February

The MQM announced that it had decided to quit the federal and provincial governments in protest against what it described as the ‘negative attitude’ of the PPP.

February

The Sindh People’s Local Government Act, 2012 is repealed. The act had been seen a major prize for the MQM for its oft-broken alliance at the centre and in Sindh for providing for a separate local government system for its powerbase of Karachi.

May

MQM sweeps elections across most of Karachi and in parts of lower Sindh. Allegations of rigging in NA-250 bring MQM-PTI tensions to the forefront, with polls delayed there.

May

The London Metropolitan police launched an investigation against the MQM chief following complaints by hundreds of British and Pakistani citizens.

May

Following the death of PTI office bearer Zahra Shahid Hussain, the tensions between the two parties continued to flare up after PTI chief Imran Khan directly accused Altaf Hussain of her murder. MQM boycotted the polls in NA-250, and PTI won the constituency’s provincial and national seats.

May

MQM’s Karachi Organising Committee is disbanded, in an apparent reaction to ‘hooliganism’

May

The MQM’s Rabita (Communication) Committee was disbanded. The decision was made by the committee itself and was approved by Hussain, according to MQM. The decision followed the party chief’s proclamation to rid the party of ‘corrupt elements’.


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