Opportunity to rejoin conventional politics
MQM-P, created in 2016 out of necessity to distance the party from its estranged, unpredictable and exceedingly dangerous founder Altaf Hussain, has over the years, secured a valuable space for itself in Karachi and Islamabad’s political arena. Its departure from the original MQM was the only way to survive politically as the party, after operating as a criminal organization that terrorized Karachi for over a decade through rampant gang violence, extortion and a general instillation of fear in the city, had to be acted against through a security forces operation. So severe was the damage inflicted by the Altaf Hussain led MQM that the faction that emerged from the party’s split, MQM-London, had been unable to rejoin active politics until yesterday, after a period of five years as it announced two senior leaders as members of its coordination committee. MQM-L will however still have to contend with a necessary ban on speeches by its leader by PEMRA, as he has on multiple occasions incited violence in Sindh’s capital.
There is no harm in allowing MQM-L to restart its politics, as it is its right as a registered political party in the country to do so. However, there can be no allowances made for it to return to its old ways and create another security crisis that has to be dealt with. It must work within the confines of the law of the land and will have to be extra careful and conservative in its operations as it would already be treading on very thin ice. Recent political developments in Islamabad that have led to an alliance between the PPP and MQM-P have largely been welcomed as the agreement between the two major political parties in the city is, at least on paper for the time being, targeted towards better administration of the city leading to an improvement in governance and infrastructure development. The MQM-L undoubtedly still represents a section of the Muhajir community and therefore is a relevant player in Karachi’s political sphere. It should use this opportunity of reentering the political sphere by acting as a responsible political party that respects the rule of law to regain its position in Pakistani politics.
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