KARACHI: As the merger of factions of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) almost looks certain, rival parties have called it a work of ‘political engineering’ devised by the ‘powers that be’ and being executed by former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Asif Ali Zardari.

The opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-i-Islami strongly criticised the ‘political manoeuvring’ wondering over the leaders of the different MQM factions who had ‘agreed to sell’ their ideology due to their fast receding popularity.

PTI’s parliamentary party leader in the Sindh Assembly Khurram Sher Zaman called the MQM “a relic of the past” and said that the recent meetings at Governor House for the merger of its factions were nothing but a ‘drama’.

“The existence of the MQM in Karachi has become a relic of the past,” he said in a statement.

“The recent meetings in Governor House are nothing but a political drama. The MQM caused most damage to the people of Karachi in the past. The party had made the city a living hell and everyone is well aware of its crimes. It’s not very long ago when Dr Farooq Sattar was questioning Wasim Akhtar that where he had spent Karachi’s money as city mayor.”

PTI, JI see involvement of ‘powers that be’, former president Zardari

He said the MQM leaders used to call each other ‘evil’ and over the past five years their politics had been badly exposed which was rejected by the people of Karachi.

The political situation in Karachi today without MQM, he said, was much better than the past.

“Imran Khan lives in the hearts of the people of Karachi. The PTI will wipe out all these political parties in the upcoming elections. Mohajirs know that the so-called leaders of the MQM are not their true representatives,” said Mr Zaman.

Jamaat-i-Islami Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman described the attempt to merge MQM factions as “a Zardari-Tessori move” spotting the two who brokered the deal between various factions and splinter groups of the party saying it would ultimately benefit the PPP.

“Merger among various factions of a political party is the right of a party, but the unnatural forced merger of various groups of the MQM was a different case,” he told a press conference.

“Asif Ali Zardari and Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori are brokering a deal for the merger and their active involvement exposes the nefarious agenda behind the scheme. This merger, though, is bound to reverse in near future.”

He said that the political move was played to plunder the resources of the economic hub of the country.

He added that the next step, if the merger took place, would be depriving Karachiites of a very bright future, due rights, development and progress only for the sake of monetary benefits and perks to a few key leaders of the MQM and the PPP leadership.

He claimed that key officials at the K-Electric and some retired officers were playing nefarious roles under the Zardari-Tessori doctrine.

“Why didn’t you put forward the condition of an empowered local government set-up in Karachi at the time of regime change, when you were bargaining for ministries and perks,” he asked the MQM leadership.

Published in Dawn, December 31st, 2022

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