KARACHI: In an unexpected turn of events for Karachi politics, rival parties Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) and Mutahidda Qaumi Movement- Pakistan (MQM-P) announced to form a political alliance and vowed to contest next general elections under “one banner, name, manifesto and electoral symbol”, ARY News reported.
Addressing a joint press conference at Karachi Press Club, MQM-P chief and PSP chief Mustafa Kamal announced the merger of the two parties who were once part of Altaf Hussain-led MQM.
“To solve problems of people of Karachi through collective efforts and to further our agenda of non-violence, we have decided to form a political alliance. We will decide the name and modalities of this alliance in future but one thing is for sure, we will contest next general elections under one name, one banner, one manifesto and one electoral symbol,” Farooq Sattar.
Sattar maintained that the modalities of this alliance will be crafted after meetings between the two parties.
‘It will not be MQM’
Upon his turn, Mustafa Kamal thanked Farooq Sattar and announced his agreement to form this political alliance and assured his workers and supporters that he will not resort to ethnicity-based politics as he promised in his March 3, 2016 presser.
He was of the view that ethnicity-based politics will only harm people of Karachi and will further divide the various communities living in the city so he “will not resort to Mohajir politics for the sake of Mohajirs”.
“Whatever the name of this alliance, it will not be MQM,” Mustafa Kamal assured all.
Kamal also took a jab at MQM’s former chief Altaf Hussain by saying that his incendiary speeches brought violence, unemployment and chaos to Karachi so such politics should be buried once and for all.
Ali Abidi Resigns, Amir Khan expresses anger
Rifts within Farooq Sattar’s MQM-P were visible as two of the main leaders of the party expressed their disapproval with party MNA Ali Raza Abidi announcing resignation from MQM-P and his NA seat.
Ladies n Gentlemen from the Holy land of Karbala, I announce to quit MQMP n resign from NA251 as this is not what I believed in n stood for.
— Syed Ali Raza Abidi (@abidifactor) November 8, 2017
Aamir Khan, on the other hand, maintained that he allowed his fellow party members to talk with PSP but they not only exceeded the mandate given to them but kept him unaware about this development.
Khan, who is in Dubai, maintained that he was told that MQM’s name and the iconic electoral symbol of Kite is not being ditched and now he will make an announcement regarding his political future when he will return to the country on November 9.
Musharraf’s Statement and Wassan’s Prediction
General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, in a video message, welcome the development well before the press conference and said that the alliance will prove to be a blessing for Mohajir community.
“I want to clarify that I have no sympathies with MQM but Mohair community, MQM has disgraced itself and I see no political future for MQM but it is good for the Mohajir community to unite as it has suffered in the past due to MQM. Now, I must express my actual thoughts on the matter, which is Pakistniat (nationalism), it is good for Mohajirs to unite but it should extend to unite all the communities living in Karachi,” said Musharraf in his message.
He added that this alliance could even bring in people from rural Sindh to beat PPP in Karachi and can even beat other parties on national level.
PPP leader Manzoor Wassan had predicted that there will be no MQM in future and that both PSP and MQM-P will merge, forming an alliance led by “someone from Dubai”.
Analysts say it could either be former Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad Khan or former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, who runs his own party All Pakistan Muslim League (APML).
Kamal’s bombshell on MQM
On March 3, 2016, Mustafa Kamal held a headline-making press conference after return to country and blasted the MQM founder ALtaf Hussain of several wrongdoings including criminal activities through hitmen to keep control of the city.
Addressing a crowded press conference in Karachi, Kamal had said, “We [party workers] took enmities for Altaf Hussain, but Mr. Hussain doesn’t care about a single worker or any Urdu-speaking person.”
Flanked alongside senior former party leader Anis Qaimkhani, he said MQM stayed in power despite worst performance from 2008 to 2013 just because of party’s organizational structure and modus operandi.
Farooq Sattar’s new faction
On August 22 the same year, senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Farooq Sattar announced that his party should operate from Pakistan alone, making it obvious to detach MQM’s Pakistan leaders from those in London.
The press conference was held a day after protesters, MQM workers, attacked the office of ARY News.
Sattar also categorically said that all the decisions will be made by party members in Pakistan, “what else do I need to say to elaborate the minus-one formula more”.
The press conference was held at KPC instead of MQM headquarters Nine Zero, which were sealed by the Rangers couple of days earlier.