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National News
August 07,2017

MQM Pakistan: Back to national politics

Qaseem Saeed

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Muttehida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) temporary office at Bahadurabad was crowded with reporters and cameramen.

Entire party leadership was sitting in drawing room, awaiting a delegation from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

The delegation was led by retired Lt Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch, accompanied by Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair.

Hours later, the same host would receive another delegation and that is from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) at the same location.

Ruling party in Centre PML-N and ruling party in Sindh PPP both sought support of MQM-P for their candidate for Prime Minister. It was a busy day for MQM-P but it was the most anticipated business.

Back to Pavilion
Going through sporadic events last year, MQM-P found itself isolated in the national arena of politics.

The party was choked right after the anti Pakistan speech of its founder on 22 August 2016.

“MQM is doing politics in Pakistan. All of its decision will be made in Pakistan,” Farooq Sattar said while talking to Geo News two days after parting ways with Altaf Hussain.

But a mere statement did not end the miseries for MQM-P.

From divorcing Founder of the party to the party reorganization, from double checking loyalties of workers to shifting party headquarters twice in less than a year, MQM-P was left high and dry.

Helpless MQM-P lost two by-elections on Provincial Assembly seats; PS-127 and PS-114.

With sealed party offices and crackdown on workers, fourth largest political party in Pakistan strived for the breathing space but demons of its past continued to haunt. Strangled political party could not have contributed on national issues like Dawn Leaks and Panamagate.

Blessing in Disguised
Ouster of Nawaz Sharif as a result of Supreme Court verdict in Panama Case triggered constitutional crises in Pakistan. Nonetheless, crisis for PML-N was an opportunity for MQM-P. How?

The election in National Assembly for new Leader of the house was a blessing in disguise for MQM-P. Weight of 24 MQM lawmakers in National Assembly was lucrative for government as well as for opposition.

Suddenly, significance of MQM-P soared. Both Government (PML-N) and Opposition (PPP) sent delegations to gain support of MQM-P. Being itself in opposition MQM-P surprisingly threw its weight behind PML-N.

The Bargain
Later, Farooq Sattar and Co. met PML-N candidate for Premier in Parliament lodges. Meeting was followed by announcement of MQM-P support to PML-N.

MQM-P was once again in a limelight. It was a conditional support though. Farooq Sattar along with other party figures presented a list of demands to federal government.

Restoration of sealed offices, development packages for Karachi and acquittal of arrested workers were the chief demands.

The party has somehow managed to make itself relevant in national politics, almost an year after eventful day of August 22 which led to its creation.It claims that next chief minister in Sindh will belong to MQM-P. Time and only time will tell.


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