The All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organisation launches the party, Mohajir Qaumi Movement.
MQM formally enters politics, after winning local municipal elections in Karachi and Hyderabad.
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.
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.
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.
MQM chief Altaf Hussain leaves for London for medical treatment. He has not returned since then.
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.
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.
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.
After much deliberation and delay, the Mohajir Qaumi Movement changes its official name to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
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.
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.
MQM threatens to quit the coalition government, ostensibly over army operations in Balochistan. It later retracts the ultimatum.
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.