My Life's Journey: The Early Years 1966-1988

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9780199063413: My Life's Journey: The Early Years 1966-1988
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Based on a long interview of Altaf Hussain, the present day Chief of the now Muttahida Qaumi Movement (previously Mohajir Qaumi Movement), this book is an account of the protagonist's life and political career up to the year 1988. It provides illuminating insights into the rise of a powerful political party and its charismatic leader. Hussain's early encounters with prejudice against a straggling group of immigrants from India known as 'Mohajirs', his disillusionment with religious parties and their claim of impartiality towards all fellow Muslims soon led him to create a robust and coherent political party from the amorphous group of people who were given the name of 'Mohajir'.

Not only is this book invaluable as an early blueprint of the MQM's future development and concerns, it is also an impressive record of how an individual, with the help of a small group of friends, generated political consciousness among people who felt powerless in their adopted country, and helped them to stand up confidently for their rights-and later, for the rights of other unprivileged people.

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Review:

a welcome addition to the literature on the intranationalist clashes in Pakistan. It is an essential read for anyone interested in Mohajir struggle and politics. (Muslim World Book Review)

About the Author:

Altaf Hussain was politically active from a very young age. While attending the University of Karachi, he served as General Secretary and later as President of the National Student's Action Committee. Hussain founded the 'All Pakistan Mohajir Student Organization' (APMSO) on 11 June 1978. The APMSO was formed as a student rights group campaigning for the rights of Muhajir students at the University of Karachi. It later gave birth to the Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM), which transformed into Muttahida Qaumi Movement in 1997. On 19 June 1992 the Pakistani government launched the first army operation against the MQM in the wake of which a parallel organisation was formed. He converted the MQM from Muhajir Qaumi Movement to Muttahida Qaumi Movement, to accommodate members from other ethnic groups.

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