BY JAVED ZAHEER


            TORONTO: During elections dramatic changes do occur and have occurred. Itís a game of strategy and understanding. The Conservative Party of Canada and MQM Canada joined hands recently to ensure an effective and stronger voice for the people. If both work together sincerely and closely, they are capable of turning the tides.

            The leaders of both the parties met in Toronto and finalized the action plan. The MQM or Muttaheda Qaumi Movement is one of the strongest political parties of Pakistan.  It is based in Karachi but serves the people of the whole country. Because it has roots in the people, fights for the common people, their fundamental rights and survival, it was targeted and no stone was left unturned to crush it completely.

 Because of support of the people, it managed not only to survive but became very powerful. It is fighting for a just cause and thatís why the number of its supporters is increasing very fast. It is the cause, which is its strength, and the people understand this. They voted and gave every kind of sacrifices for the supreme cause. Thousands of Muttaheda workers and supporters were mercilessly killed and tortured. They have written their history with blood. It is a matter of pride for the Conservatives Party of Canada to have found such a partner. Only test and time will prove it, if given a proper chance and support.

The MQM Canada, under the dynamic leadership of Dr Syed Ali, prepared a 27-page document, highlighting priorities and genuine problems of the community and the people, and presented it to all the leading parties. They waited for a response. The Conservatives took the initiative, stepped forward and extended the friendship hand with the assurance that it will study and work sincerely to implement the 27-page document, all promises and commitments. With spirit and determination both can do a lot for the people and the country.

The MQM Canada represents Pakistanis but in Canada it is assuming leadership of the Asian community. It plans to work on wider scope with the people and for the people, irrespective of communities. It has proved in Pakistan and is capable of proving here as well.  It is the only party in Pakistan which has strong roots worldwide, particularly in the Indo-Pakistan Sub-Continent. Most of its workers and supporters are Urdu speaking people with families divided during the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan. Many have died and many are still longing to see their near and dear ones, separated by the partition.       

            On June 19, 2004, the MQM Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada organized a BBQ in Thorncliffe Park, near the Thorncliffe Park Public School in Don Valley West. It was a very successful plan as thousands poured out of the buildings and actively participated in sharing the lovely party and messages of both the parties. The queue was so long that I was scared to go near it and despite waiting for hours my turn did not come. The weather too was plan.

 David Turnbull, the Conservative candidate for Don Valley West riding, and his wife were present there and mixed freely with the people. They could not have imagined that MQM could have gathered so many people without much effort. The volunteers were super active and served the people with smile.  They came out with a purpose---to serve the cause and the people.

Even after the elections, irrespective of the results, both the parties must work jointly for the people at all levels---municipal, provincial or federal. Priorities must be understood and problems solved. The MQM has struggled and succeeded in the worst conditions, imagine what it can do in the best conditions. It is duty of every responsible citizen to support any positive move of any party or person. We need a true leadership and a strong party so that the people and the country could benefit in the real sense.

 The sword of accountability hangs over all and this they must never forget. If they make mistakes they must pay the heavy price. They must make sure not to repeat the past mistakes, must respect the wishes of the people by turning the promises into realities. The lessons must be lessons properly for the sake of practicality.

The South Asian community needs to understand the system properly. They must work with one mind based on complete faith, trust and confidence. They must learn to tolerate and support each other, irrespective of their differences. The South Asian candidates face a great setback when it comes to spending money and fund raising. Most of them are not in a position to spend huge amounts and there is a lack of fund raising sense in the community.  People for their own sake must come out and help each other if they want a true leadership to emerge from their own community.

Without true leadership of their own, they wonít be able to get proper representation or place in any field---private or government. They wonít have a proper voice and continued to be neglected and discriminated.

Parties like the MQM Canada or any other could help them tremendously by planning and working in an organized way and effectively. They must have the voice,  strength and the capability to become a powerful organ.. You have the right to form or choose your true leadership, party and platform. For Godís sake do it in your own interest.

  You are in Canada, one of the best countries of the world. You have all the rights, freedom and equal opportunities to progress and progress.  Here you are ensured better quality of life and career. Here you can build yourself and generations and help your people back home as well. From here you can build your country of origin as well. This all can happen provided you understand the people and system and join the mainstream.