KARACHI: A woman MPA of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, who is said to have acted as a bridge between certain disgruntled lawmakers of her party and the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party during the Senate elections, announced that she was joining the PPP on Tuesday.

Heer Soho — who has returned to the Sindh Assembly for a third time since 2002 on a seat reserved for women from the MQM platform — told the media that she had joined the PPP the day she attended a dinner at the Chief Minister House.

Ms Soho, originally from Thatta, had met the PPP high-ups at the dinner on March 2 — a day before the Senate polls.

Another MQM lawmaker, Naila Munir, while disclosing in her video statement issued on March 3 that she did not vote for MQM-P candidates because of infighting between Dr Farooq Sattar and the Bahadurabad group also confirmed that Ms Soho took her to the CM House at the dinner.

MPA Shazia Javed ‘tries to end her life’ following social media criticism

Graffiti terming her a “traitor of the MQM” also appeared in part of her home district. After MPA Bilquis Mukhtar, who had joined the Pak Sarzameen Party when the MQM was still united under the leadership of London-based Altaf Hussain, Ms Soho is the second woman lawmaker to quit the Muttahida.

In her brief talk with the media, Ms Soho said she would hold a press conference soon to reveal why she left the MQM. However, she said that women were not being respected in the MQM-P. Although Ms Soho did not elaborate, sources said she was referring to a recent incident in which another woman MPA of the party was ridiculed and mocked on social media in such a manner that she allegedly tried to end her life.

MPA Shazia Javed, whose first husband MQM worker Farooq Patni aka Dada was killed in an alleged police encounter over 22 years ago, was brought to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital unconscious on Monday evening.

She was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital and later shifted to a ward for treatment.

Her son told the media at the hospital that she was under a lot of stress following the Senate election. He said she “wasted” her vote, but did not cast it for the PPP.

He also said that his mother did not try to end her life.

On Tuesday, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital’s medical superintendent Dr Anwar said that he believed that in the prevailing political situation, “it is possible that she was experiencing severe mental stress”.

“She will be discharged soon because [while treating her], we didn’t feel for a moment that there was any danger to her life or health,” said the hospital MS, according to Dawn.com.

The sources said that Ms Javed was upset with a tweet by MQM-P provincial lawmaker Kamran Akhter, who is now associated with the Farooq Sattar-led PIB group, in which he criticised her for what he called betraying the “blood of martyrs” and giving votes to the party of “killer” of her first husband.

In another tweet, Mr Akhter also termed Ms Soho a key character behind “selling” women MPAs’ votes.

The sources said that frustrated with the fight between the MQM-P groups many lawmakers had already decided to part ways with the two factions and to stay neutral.

Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2018