I have seen many writeups in Pakistani doing comparison between AAP of Indi and PTI of Pakistan. Most of them came up with the same analysis which I agreed as well that PTI is nowhere close to AAP in terms of performing after the elections. Although AAP is in the beginning of its ruling time in Delhi and so is PTI in K-P, but the things that most people compared was the implication of their pre-election promises as well as the leaderships’ stance on common men issues.

But what we all missed is the comparison between MQM of Pakistan with AAP of India. AAP’s manifesto is mostly revolving around the common man of India, like electricity rates, water supply, security for women, better education and health system and justice for all. Although PTI was formed as “movement for justice” in 1996 couldn’t perform much when got into power in one province after recent election.  In my view this was one the biggest achievement for any political party to form the provincial government and come out as second largest political force in the National Assembly. I would say first election because most of the time Khan has chosen to stays out of elections or didn’t have presentable candidates or proper agenda if ever chose to contest in the elections.

Currently, K-P Is facing is facing the issues like crippled economy due to terrorism and worse law and order situation and increase in extortion and illegal activities in Peshawar. But more or less this is the issue of the whole country not just one province.  After winning the election on tall promises like formation of local government system within 90 days and reformation in education and police system and peace talks with enemies Khan turned out to be a demagogue.

For me the most awful step from PTI was when they became the signatory of the agreement of barring women from voting in Bannu before election. The agreement was signed by not only PTI but by ANP, PPP, JI and other religious groups. But for PTI supporters it was heartbreaking because party had opportunity to get support from the youth including young women who were dancing with joyously with the hope that their leader will bring the real change in the country.  They were hoping to see PTI will work for their rights not bar them voting rights. After the election process, people witnessed him supporting hand full of Taliban who killed thousands of Pakistanis and protests against the drone strikes.  He used certain issue to camouflaged PTI’s performance in K-P and never came out with the strong stand on common man issues on any level.  

Now if we analyze MQM’s situation in Sindh after years of politics, then there are some interesting aspects.  First of all MQM’s founding history is somehow very different from any other political party in Pakistan.  When in 1988, newly born force entered in the parliament of Pakistan, they selected tyros instead virtuosos of politics and this is what recently AAP of India did in their first election. AAP in their manifesto has emphasized on the devolution of power to the lowest level where people of local area can keep check and balance on the schools, primary health centers and Police force. On this side of the border, MQM has proven the support for devolution of power for local body system and through performance in local government through the team led Mustafa Kamal. MQM has always supported the primary and secondary education and Police system under local government which gives chance to locals from all level to participate in political culture and serve the areas.

The letter written by Altaf Hussain to Tony Blair back in 2001 which stirred Pakistani media was nothing but the demand to support the party in achieving the equal participation of urbanites of Sindh in provincial government, equal rights for urbanites in the common spheres of life like education, government jobs and in Armed forces and the demand of local policing in Karachi and other urban areas.  Another demand made by him was full autonomy of the provinces, while federation only keeping the Defense, Foreign Affairs and currency control with the equal representation of all provinces in these affairs as well.  Interestingly, in these crucial departments Hussain not only demanded the rights for urban Sindh but for all four provinces, which is commonly practiced in many western countries.

The recent speeches made by  Hussain in Hyderabad and Karachi which once again stirred Pakistani media and establishment were nothing but the demand of abolition of Quota System in Sindh and equal distribution of resources among the people of Sindh. The counter demand was to handover the local administration of urban Sindh to urbanites’ representatives and declares that part of Sindh as Sindh 2. If the USA can have South and North Carolinas and South and North Dakotas then why Pakistan can’t have Sindh I and II? Hussain made the demands to whether local or international establishments revolve around the people of urban areas of Sindh and Pakistan as well.

Therefore, my conclusion would be that newly born political force of common men in India which is called AAP (Aam Admi party) is more like MQM of Pakistan. Both parties are led by a common man and brining the common men as representatives and raising the rights and issues of common people of both countries. This is all unlike PTI who depended on the virtuosos of politics from all those parties whose policies are disliked by the leader of PTI during his toddler days of politics.

Writer is a social worker and a political analyst based in USA.

Tweets at:@farririzvi