With apology to Shakespeare, ‘Uncertainty Thy Name Is Politics’ especially when it comes to Pakistan which saw a U-turn late Wednesday as Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) joined hands for the upcoming elections.
Addressing a joint press conference, top leaders of the two parties i.e. Farooq Sattar and Syed Mustafa Kamal announced to form a political alliance that will go into the next general elections as one party under a unified manifesto and with one election symbols. This is a quite good step in the right direction. If pursued with sincerity and purity of intention, both the parties are surely headed for a merger. If not, the applecart is bound to be upset sooner or later, even before the elections take place or immediately afterwards.
Mustafa Kamal revealed to the packed press conference at Karachi Press Club, to the astonishment of all, that the two parties have been in contact with each other for the same purpose for last six months. Hence, Kamal and Farooq Sattar led the journey that all of a sudden burst forth from August 22 to minus-Altaf Hussain, founder of the MQM. Now, the circumstances are headed to the very minus-MQM itself—a visible future.
However, Dr. Farooq Sattar clarified that the two parties will continue as separate political parties to reassure the respective stalwarts on either side. Two instances were reported from the MQM-P side where Amir Khan voiced strong reservations and Syed Ali Raza Abidi, on the spur of the moment, declared severing ties with his party, saying, “This is not the MQM-P for which I stood up.”
Amir Khan, who is currently abroad, made public his reservations and said he will make any decisions after talking to Dr. Faooq Sattar. According to Amir Khan, it was not the decision about which he was consulted with in the party’s main decision-making body.
Both the major players in urban areas of Sindh have reached a consensus to bring to a halt the reign of tirade and broadside which they launched from time to time against each other. They sensed that their wrangling is leaving bad taste in the mouth of those who matter most as political entities for their future survival.
MQM-P was at sea as it was consistently losing its members of national and provincial assemblies as well as the general workers to the PSP being led by glib and agile Syed Mustafa Kamal.
Quite surprisingly, former President Pervez Musharraf, in a freshly released video, said all the ethnicities including Sindhis, Punjabis, Biharis, Mohajirs and others living in Sindh should come into a larger coalition with a sole objective to defeat Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in Sindh.
Musharraf also pointed out that the MQM-P itself sullied its name.
Under the present circumstances of bated influence of the MQM in the backdrop of rifts and conflicts emerging from the party rows, different political quarters began to seek their own clout in the mega city with eyes wide set on building up loyal electorate.
The PPP was striving to re-gain its lost stronghold in Karachi. Conditions were going from bad to worse for MQM-P as its four members met former President Asif Ali Zardari within two last days. One can rightly surmise further dent to the MQM-P in the run up to the elections.
Meantime, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is going to demonstrate its political muscle in Karachi in December and will attract thousands of Karachiites that will create insurmountable power waves across political horizon.
Having held power-packed rallies in interior Sindh, the PTI has already rattled the PPP’s nerves in Sindh. The fact was manifested by flurry of statements by the PPP leaders soon after Imran Khan left the province.
Kamal was previously heard on national media demanding the MQM-P members to resign from their respective posts and positions in order to get themselves re-elected. He was right in his demand. I believe there are no electables in MQM-P as they were elected only because of Altaf Hussain.
Cutting the long story short, the candidates jointly fielded by Mustafa Kamal and Farooq Sattar will have to prove their mettle as there will be no Altaf-like mantra at their back. Sindh’s urban areas will be biggest and fiercest battleground in the next elections. Let’s see who wins in Karachi in 2018 elections, if they are being held in the same year.
Story first published: 11th November 2017