Blog: Is MQM Pakistan a fifth columnist in Opposition?

June 13,2017

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Gone are the days when federal ministers used to rush MQM’s headquarters and government wouldn’t waste a second to coax MQM whenever the political party was unhappy.

Today’s MQM Pakistan is different from what it was.

Struggling to maintain its unity and losing elections of labor unions (KPT, Port Qasim and KDA) one after another, fourth largest political party of Pakistan is strangled in its local affairs.

Since 22 August 2016 split – when founder MQM delivered anti Pakistan speech and MQM Pakistan distanced herself from her father – MQM’s key role in national politics is barely seen.

However, year 2016-17 has been a great deal for national politics in Pakistan as number of major events took place.

Panama leaks episode qualifies as the top issue on national platform.

Almost every single party came up with a reaction on the panama papers crisis.Parliament stood bipartisan. Finally, Supreme Court of Pakistan gave verdict that suggested formation of JIT to probe Panamagate. Being in opposition, MQM Pakistan came up with diluted stance.

MQM Pakistan held separate internal meetings in Islamabad and Karachi to review SC verdict. The post meetings press statement accepted apex court verdict and asked other parties to do so.

It was after 12 days that Farooq Sattar succumbed to a popular demand and said as he addressed lawyers,“While supporting stance of Lahore High Court Bar, I would suggest Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and this is a suggestion not a demand, that he should now decide (his fate). Listening to the opposition is his responsibility and I believe he will decide in the light of this suggestion.”

This was the statement coming out from a third major political party of opposition in national assembly.

MQM Pakistan’s leader did not even use the word of “resignation” for Prime Minister that showed his hesitation for “to be or not to be”. While PPP and PTI are at full swing against the government and the premier but - sitting in opposition being a silent spectator – isn’t MQM Pak’s role appears to be of “fifth columnist”?

Chapter of Panama leaks was not closed yet that another jolt shook the government.

Dawn Leaks stirred a nationwide debate and PML (N) led government found itself again under the hard waters. This time MQM Pakistan’s MNA Ali Raza Abidi broke silence in a talk show. “Dawn leaks report, along with reports of other commissions, should be made public,” he said.

Other than above mentioned statement, no concrete position was taken by MQM Pakistan.

Neither in full opposition nor enjoying perks of government, MQM Pakistan stands harmless and numb with 8 senators and 24 MNAs at national spectrum.

Due to the neutral or non-align behavior of MQM Pakistan, the political party did not benefit of joining either camp. Nonetheless, it was not as strong as to invite considerable weight on its side.

Despite all such neutrality (i.e. apparently going in favor of treasury benches), MQM Pakistan has failed to gain anything from government. The party is not even given time to meet Prime Minister to convey its concerns despite various attempts.

Poor lobbying swayed MQM Pakistan away from its legacy it once enjoyed.


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