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MQM-P, a difficult ally, decides to back the PTI-led government in the Center


News Analysis |

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) finally reached an agreement on Friday 3rd August. The former has agreed to support the latter in the formation of the government in the centre. The PTI will strive to implement the points mentioned in the agreement, said the convener of the MQM-P.

Interestingly, in exchange for MQM-P’s support for the upcoming federal government, PTI promised that a special federal package will be announced for Karachi, with an emphasis on the provision of water for its residents. Additionally, PTI agreed that Sindh police reforms will be implemented, a university will be established in Hyderabad, and constituencies identified by MQM-P will also be audited, read the memorandum of understanding.

An organized opposition against the PTI is likely to create a political framework in which the party will find it difficult to keep its allies with her or implement its idea of change.

There is also a point regarding the Operation in Karachi. “The Karachi operation shall be reviewed in totality and in consultation with all stakeholders. All parties should have a level playing field,” the agreement reads. The point is, however, that the MQM-P allegedly wants the security agencies to conduct the Operation according to its own wishes. As a matter of fact, Karachi remained under the shadow of fear and threats for years. But now the security forces have successfully restored peace in the city.

Read more: MQM to support PTI government

The MQM-P alleges security agencies of targeting their political workers and sidelining the party. The PTI has agreed to review the operation to provide an opportunity to listen to all the stakeholders. Political commentators opine that the PTI may have to face some unwanted political scenarios since the security agencies are not likely to spare anyone involved in targeted killing or kidnaping.

The MQM-Q has six National Assembly seats. According to the latest notification of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) the PTI is at top in the assembly with 116 seats. since Pakistan Muslim League-Q with four seats; Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) with two; Balochistan Awami Party with four; Awami Muslim League and Jamhoori Watan Party with one seat each have agreed to support the PTI, the party is now in a position to form government. Nine out of thirteen independent candidates have also joined the PTI.

The former has agreed to support the later in the formation of the government in the Center. The PTI will strive to implement the points mentioned in the agreement, said the convener of the MQM-P.

Politics of MQM: An Expression of Muscle-Power

The MQM was initially an organized ethnic political party in Pakistan which did seek the support of Urdu-speaking community in Karachi. Altaf Hussain, a student leader, organized the party to supposedly protect the rights of Urdu-speaking community and to avoid any unnecessary political intrusion into their area by non-Urdu speaking groups. There have been good and bad days for the MQM and its leader Altaf Hussain throughout their political journey.

But things become quite unmanageable when in 2016 Altaf Hussain made an anti-Pakistan speech. “Pakistan is cancer for entire world,” he said. “Pakistan is headache for the entire world. Pakistan is the epicenter of terrorism for the entire world. Who says long live Pakistan…it’s down with Pakistan,” Altaf had stated.  Right after his speech, the MQM got divided into MQM-Pakistan and MQM-London.

Read more: PML-Q decides to back PTI in Punjab

Farooq Sattar was made the head of the MQM-P who just after a few months developed differences with other senior leaders of the party. Things remained odd, Sattar offered his resignation several times, but the MQM-P could not get assembled.

Awami Muslim League and Jamhoori Watan Party with one seat each have agreed to support the PTI, the party is now in a position to form government. Nine out of thirteen independent candidates have also joined the PTI.

Later on, a petition was filed before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to remove Sattar as party chief. Khalid Maqbool was backed by many other leaders to be upgraded as the party convener. The ECP gave its verdict and removed Sattar. Mr. Sattar went to the Islamabad High Court but the decision of the ECP remained unchanged. Now the party has been divided into to two poles. One is led by Farooq Sattar and the major one is being headed by Dr. Khalid Maqbool.

MQM is known for using muscle-power to silence its opponents. Karachi has been almost a no go area for any other political party for a long period of time. The recent operations in the city provided the political parties an opportunity to get themselves counted.

Read more: PML-Q demands post of CM Punjab or deputy prime minister slot;…

MQM-P, a Difficult ally for the PTI?

Since the Military Establishment in Pakistan has more say in the affairs related to the national security, the challenge for Imran Khan is seemingly great. An organized opposition against the PTI is likely to create a political framework in which the party will find it difficult to keep its allies with her or implement its idea of change.

Experts and analysts now keen to observe that how will the PTI will manage to keep its allies while being at good terms with the establishment? And more importantly, how will opposition play its part in pushing the government into troubled waters through influencing its difficult allies?

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