Former president Pervez Musharraf, in a video message on Wednesday, welcomed the formation of a political alliance between Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP). Musharraf, however, did so even before it was formally announced.
The video message was shared on social media from the official account of Musharraf's political party — All Pakistan Muslim league (APML).
Musharraf started the video message by expressing his delight on the merger of political forces representing the Mohajir community. He, however, was quick to clarify that he had no sympathy for MQM and didn't see any future of that party, but it was necessary for the Mohajir community to unite under one political umbrella.
The former president went on to say that he did not support community-based politics and preferred to do politics for the betterment of the country.
"If the factions of APML unite in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, and join hands with them [the newly formed alliance] then this will give birth to a new national-level political force," Musharraf said while presenting his formula for changing the existing political scenario in the country.
He urged all the communities living in Karachi and rural Sindh to unite under this platform, so that they are able to defeat PPP and form the government in the province.
Alliance or merger?
The announcement of an alliance between the political parties that, until recently, were highly critical of each other attracted mixed reactions on Twitter from politicians. MQM stalwart Ali Haider Abidi announced his decision to quit the party and vacate his NA-251 seat while the press conference was ongoing.
On the other hand, Faisal Sabzwari provided clarification that MQM and PSP had only formed an "alliance" and not announced a merger.
Senior MQM members Nadeem Nusrat and Mustafa Azizabadi did not hold back in hiding their displeasure over the announcement. They lashed out at the "establishment" and praised Abidi for quitting the party. Azizabadi claimed that "Muhajirs" will not accept this alliance.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) leader Asad Umar regarded the event as a long-formed conclusion.
Umar's colleague Naeemul Haque said there was "nothing wrong" with the announced alliance, however, he raised questions over the leaders' past.
The leaders of MQM and PSP set aside their bitter rivalry to announce that they were gearing up for the eventual consolidation of their political forces.
"The modalities of this alliance will be decided in the days to come," MQM Pakistan chief Dr Farooq Sattar had said while addressing a much-hyped press conference at the Karachi Press Club with PSP chairman Mustafa Kamal by his side.