After appearing for final exams of Bachelor of Commerce from Karachi University, Mr Aajakia went to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to work for Riyad Bank from 1984 to 1987. He has to again move back to Karachi due to mother’s sickness.
Due to prevailing injustice in Pakistan meted out to Mohajirs, he could not get a good job in Karachi. Mohajirs are those migrants, who migrated from India to Pakistan in 1947. Even their 2nd & third generations were called Mohajirs (immigrants), a social blot of sort and were maltreated in Pakistan. This indifferent attitude of the Government and the Society of Pakistan shattered Mr Aajakia who then decided to migrate to Sharjah, UAE in 1988 to work with National Bank of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE.
“This world belongs to everyone with equal rights and duties towards each other. No one has the right to demean other and consider oneself superior. Let’s respect all lives and make this earth a liveable place.”
The search of a dignified life for himself and his family did not end there. In fact it all began. In 1990, he decided to move to Europe and came to Belgium to start a new life. While living in Belgium in 1996 he obtained French citizenship. Until 1999 he lived in different cities of Belgium
Marriage, family and more destinations
Mr Arif Aajakia got married to a Karachi girl in 1999, in Karachi and moved to Madrid, Spain. In 2000 again came back to Belgium. In 2001 he was blessed with a daughter, born in Gent, Belgium. Journey of life was taking him to places. He moved to Amsterdam, the Netherlands where in 2003 he was blessed with his second child, a son. The next stoppage was Amiens, France in 2003, where the family lived till 2005.
A sojourn to Karachi and Mayor of Jamshed town
In the turn of event in 2005, Mr Aajakia moved back to Karachi, where he contested elections as a MQM’s (Muttahida Qaumi Movement*) party candidate for Naib Nazim (Deputy Mayor) of Jamshed Town, Karachi.
Jamshed Town was most populated town in Karachi, with an estimated population of 1.7 million people. In 2006 after Mayor of Jamshed Town, Col. Tahir Mashhadi became a Senator in Pakistan Senate, Mr Aajakia contested and became the Nazim (Mayor) of Jamshed Town.
He was blessed with his 3rd child, in 2007 in Karachi.
The MQM had been the flag bearer of Mohajir nationalism in Pakistan since the party’s founding in 1984 and were considered “anti-national” in Pakistan. Being a member of MQM within his own country was not safe. Therefore on his party’s advice, Mr Aajakia resigned as mayor as there was a persistent danger to him and his family’s life there.
Back to Belgium and present nest, London
After the brief two years stay in Karachi and having tasted the Pakistan’s Political role, Mr Arif moved back to Belgium in 2007. Some five years later in 2012 he decided to move to London, his present home.
The birth of a Human Rights activist
Previously known as Muhajir Qaumi Movement, The Muttahida Qaumi Movement is a secular political party in Pakistan that was founded by Altaf Hussain in 1984.
MQM was 3rd largest political party of Pakistan, whose leader, Mr. Altaf Hussain was living in exile in London. MQM was struggling for equal rights for Mohajirs of Pakistan. In June 1992, Pakistan’s brutal & oppressive army started a military operation in urban centres of Sindh province of Pakistan, against Mohajirs in general & MQM workers in particular. Extra judicial killings by army & police became order of the day. Fundamental human rights of Mohajirs were suspended
While living in Belgium, Mr Aajakia was contacted in 1994 by MQM which wanted him to represent them in International forums to highlight the violation of human rights. he started representing MQM in European Parliament, United Nations and other European parliaments, think tanks, NGOs and European Media.
He attended United nations Human Rights Commission in 1995 in Geneva, Switzerland. Since than, he have been a regular participant of UNHRC till now. There were two annual meetings of UN Human Rights Commission of 6 & 3 weeks.
He also attended many working groups meeting like UN working group of Indigenous Peoples’ rights, UN Working group on Minorities, UN Working group on extra judicial Killings and many more. Went to attend UN World conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa in 2001 for 2 weeks. United Nations Human Rights Commissions were terminated in 2006 and were replaced by United Nations Human Rights Councils, having 3 sessions every year, for 4 weeks in March, 3 weeks each in June & September. Mr Aajakia has been attending those sessions since 2007 till last year, when he had to come back to London from mid-session of March due to Covid-19.
Mr Arif aajakia has worked very closely with European Parliament, Belgian Parliament and had one to one meetings with many Senate members, political groups and working committees of European Parliament in Brussels & Strassbourg.
Went to meet Dutch, French, German, Swedish & Italian parliamentarians in their countries and attended Republican Party annual Summit in New York, USA in 1997, which was attended by George Bush (he was not elected as president at that time), New York Mayor Guilliani and Governor Pataki.
Visit to India in 2004 with MQM leader Altaf Hussain
He also attended Hindustan Times annual leadership convention in New Delhi, India in 2004, which was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and was attended by Ms. Sonia Gandhi, Foreign Minister Natwer Singh, Sri Lankan President, British Prime Minister John Major, US Secretary of State Henry Kessinger, Imran Khan and many more. Indian Industrialist Mukesh Ambani, Nandan Adani & Ms. Muzumdar, alongwith J&K Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah & Umar Abdullah were also participants of that conference.
During his stay in New Delhi in 2004, I had honour of being part of meetings of Mr. Altaf Hussain with former Indian Prime Ministers Vajpayee, IK Gujral, Home Minister LK Advani, MPs Nirmala Deshpande, Rajive Shukla and Senator Najma Heptullah.