In 80’s a protest demonstration was going on at Karachi’s Regal Chowk, the then Hyde Park of Pakistan, against the military rule of General Ziaul Haq. A large number of police personnel were alert at the Chowk and were waiting for green signal from high ups to break the protest.
After receiving green signal from the high ups, the police personnel broke the protest and arrested the participants. A photographer snapped a police DSP grabbing a Karachi University’s professor, who was among the protesters, from his collar and whisking away. The very next day a newspaper carried out the picture with the caption: DSP VC PhD.
On October 22, a former Professor of Karachi University was taken into custody from outside Karachi Press Club, the present Hyde Park, by law enforcement agencies and was taken away.
The professor in the centre of the protest and subsequent arrest in 80’s and on October 22, 2016 was Dr Hassan Zafar Arif, a former professor of Karachi University’s Philosophy Department. Interestingly, the man is now member of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London’s (MQM) interim Rabita Committee, which was constituted at a time when the MQM founder and supremo Altaf Hussain is in hot water as his party back in home disowned him, omitted his name from party’s constitution and flag and even went to the extent to demand his trial under Article 6 of the constitution for his incendiary speech outside Karachi Press Club on August 22, 2016.
Dr Hassan Zafar Arif has never been in MQM or supporter of the MQM founder Altaf Hussain’s ideology throughout his life. He has been a diehard leftist and struggled for his ideology and ideals. He is a novice in the MQM as he joined the London-based MQM just a few month ago.
Very few people would be aware of the fact that Prof. Hassan Zafar Arif was one of the brains behind the successful first homecoming rally of Benazir Bhutto Shaheed in 1986. He was one of the strategists of the successful homecoming rally, then regarded as largest in term of participants in the history of Pakistan.
Zafar Arif was dismissed from Karachi University’s for his leftist ideology.
Later, Zafar Arif left PPP and in 1990’s joined Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Following the August 22’s incendiary speech of Altaf Hussain, MQM-Pakistan-led by Farooq Sattar emerged. Since then Altaf’s loyalists are in disarray and in a bid to counter the Farooq Sattar-led group, they constituted a parallel body and Zafar Arif was their natural choice for leading the new body in Pakistan. At the time of his joining MQM, Altaf Hussain warmly welcome Prof. Arif, stating that he was very happy as his teacher was joining MQM.