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IRONIC as it appears, the PML-N’s victory on May 11 has opened up new opportunities for the MQM. The PPP was all but routed, but the MQM managed to hold its ground — something the PML-N found it had no reason to bewail. With the Sharifs firmly in the saddle in Islamabad, the Muttahida can now bargain with the PML-N and put pressure on the PPP. This is perhaps the second irony, for the MQM, though never in a position to form a government on its own, had been part of the provincial coalition for five years, and there is no reason why it should not join hands once again with Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to reflect a rural-urban balance in the provincial set-up. However, the MQM’s choices have not always been consistent. It has previously walked out of coalition governments with both the PML-N and PPP, and even when in government its tactics have often resembled those of an opposition party.

On Friday, Mamnoon Hussain and Ishaq Dar met Dr Ishratul Ibad and Senator Babar Ghauri at Governor House, and then visited the party headquarters at Nine Zero. The party announced its support for Mr Hussain’s candidacy for the presidency, and the PML-N reportedly offered it a federal slot or two. With the Sindh PPP wooing the party leadership, the Muttahida at the moment has the upper hand. Unfortunately, the larger picture is being ignored in this politicking. The problems that torment the teeming millions of urban Sindh do not appear to matter; the party should look beyond cadres’ welfare and having stakes in the law enforcement machinery. For this, a broader, more mature vision that gives precedence to the welfare of the people in its constituencies should inform the party’s political moves and tactics.

Comments (2) Closed

Cop Jul 28, 2013 12:41pm

For the party like MQM, ruled by a king settled abroad who never visited locals since last two decades, welfare of the people is no more than joke.

sabeeh omer Jul 28, 2013 02:13pm

I am an Urdu speaking from Karachi but a staunch supporter of PML(N). I have been saddened by the new love found between the one time arch rivals. I do not think that PML(N) was in need of MQM's support to ensure numbers for the success of its presidential candidate. Moreover, with the falling reputation of the MQM amongst the Urdu-speaking Karachites PML(N) should have pondered over this unholy alliance. Letting MQM to vote for PML(N)'s Presidential candidate was one thing. That was MQM's decision. A visit by some Muslim League Parliamentarians to the Sindh Governor or the Nine Zero after the election to express gratitude was one thing but to visit the Nine Zero and offer MQM to join the Federal Government is another story. PML(N) had another very valid reason to keep a distance from the MQM. Until such time as the charges against Altaf Hussain did not get clearance from the Scotland Yard it was prudent for Nawaz Sharif not to date with Altaf Hussain. Although MQM has stated AS ALWAYS that their support is unconditional yet one of their first moves would be to demand slots in the Federal Government and that also of ministeries that tend to be lucrative. Further down, their wish-list will expand. More demands, followed by threats of resignations and sitting in the opposition. How much would PML(N) would be willing to yield? It is nothing new for on-lookers. Romance with the MQM has never been lasting. It will very soon tire of PML(N) and will be looking elsewhere for a new date. The loser in this un-holy alliance is none other than the PML(N) which has put its reputation, credibility and future at stake. But alas!