Muttahida Qaumi Movement (Pakistan)

Country: Pakistan
Details of Formation: The MQM was founded in 1984 or 1985 (sources differ) by Altaf Hussein. It had its origin in a Mohajir student organisation at Karachi university (UCDP). This student organisation was called All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organisation (APMSO), and Altaf Hussein had been a leader of APMSO. Most sources mention the elections of 1987 as the first time the MQM became pro-government, winning the local elections in Karachi and Hyderabad; it also had the support of General Zia ul Haq. In 1987, it joined the national coalition government of Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP).
Details of Termination: The MQM had repeatedly become anti-government and joined the government again a few years later (see other information coding). The latest date the PGM became (again) anti-government was in 2013 when it announced that it quit the federal and provincial government.
Purpose: Most Presidents or Prime Ministers aligned with the MQM because they needed the support of the MQM party to form a stable government. General Zia, and later the Chief Minister Jam Sadiq Ali, used the MQM to persecute the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). However, the MQM must have served other purposes at other times, as in late 1980s it was part of a government with the PPP itself.
Organisation: The leader of the MQM is Mr Altaf Hussain, who fled to London after Operation Cleanup in 1992. Most of the MQM party leadership is located in London, but is in constant communication with the MQM branches in Pakistan (UCDP). The MQM has been linked to various Presidents and Prime Ministers. It was supported by Zia ul Haq; later, the MQM leader had a direct contact to Ms Bhutto in their PPP-MQM alliance. It was connected to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who relied on the MQM for parliamentary majority and the Chief Minister Jam Sadiq Ali, appointed by Sharif, who used the MQM against the PPP. When the MQM supported Sharif in 1997, it made a deal with him asking for releases of prisoners and compensation for killings, in return for their support. President Musharraf gave the MQM a lot of leverage in return for its support for Jamali. Musharraf appointed Irshatul Abad of the MQM, who had previously been in exile, as governor and withdrew the cases pending against him.
Weapons and Training: --
Size: --
Reason for Membership: --
Treatment of Civilians: tortured and killed political opponents. Another news source mentions rape and extortion. In 1992, the Chief ministership Jam Sadiq Alli used the MQM to persecute the PPP, with the blessing of the president and prime minister. The MQM used torture cells and murders against other ethnic groups. In 1998, the group seemed to have only little control over its members.
Other Information: The MQM was called until 1997 Mohajir Qaumi Movement. It is a movement of Mohajir immigrants who came from India after partition. The group repeatedly lost its PGM status over time. It first became a PGM when it entered the local administration in Karachi (UCDP), and was allegedly supported by General Zia ul Haq. In 1988, it joined the government of Benazir Bhuttos PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party) (UCDP), but MQM left the government on 23 Oct. 1989 to support the opposition. It became pro-government again under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, entering a coalition government with PML-N, which was then a leading party. In 1992, feuds between members of the MQM emerged and the military began to crackdown (‘Operation Cleanup’) on the MQM; the government defected and supported its rival MQM-haqiqi (cf. separate PGM). In 1993, MQM boycotted the elections, claiming that the army was intimidating them. In 1997, the MQM was a coalition party of the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Moslem League (PML). MQM demanded many concessions in return for its support, and when Sharif did not deliver, violence augmented. In October 1998, the MQM, marked by low control of the MQM leadership over its members, killed Karachi's most prominent mohajir social workers, Hakim Said and the government of Sharif subsequently moved against the MQM. After the 2002 elections, the MQM joined its previous enemy in a coalition with the military government of President Pervez Musharraf who lifted the ban on the MQM to enter MQM-haqiqi-held areas. Despite strong tensions between the group and the government in 2006, the MQM remained a PGM until 2013. These are the dates when the MQM was a PGM, in brackets the accuracy of the date: 1987-11-01(month) - 1989-10-23(day), again a PGM from 1990-11-06(day) – 1992-06-01(month), then again from 1997-02-17 (day) – 1998-10-01(month) and finally from 2002-10-01(month) – 2013-02-01 (month).
References: Uppsala Conflict Data Program. “MQM.”

Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD