Pak Sarzameen Party comes into being. Whither MQM?

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ANSAR MAHMOOD BHATTI

On March 23 Mustaf Kamal along with his cohorts announced to form a new political party named Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP). The former MQM members, some of them even big guns, have already joined this new party while greater efforts are under way to bring more and more people to this newly-born outfit. The creation of this party has led to speculations about who will ultimately head this party and what will be the future of Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM)?

As regards the future of MQM many analysts believe, this party has little political future in the coming days. The minus one formula seems to have worked at last in eliminating any future role of Altaf Hussain in Pakistan’s politics and the MQM will gradually be obviated from the political scene.

Those on the PSP’s side will want this party to make its inroads in the national politics and spread in other cities of Pakistan. The MQM never actually succeeded in strengthening its support base outside of Sindh. It did try to open offices in others cities but for a host of reasons it could not muster a suitable response. Probably, the PSP despite the fact that it will still comprise Mohajirs, had to be given a new name in order to make it a national party in the long run.

Ostensibly PSP will need a leader of national stature and repute to spearhead it to the national scene. Of course Mustafa Kamal does not wholly meet this criteria nor does the sitting Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad. One cannot say with certainty, however there appears a strong likelihood of merger of President Pervez Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League and PSP, so we can gues who may head the PSP.

With regards to the future of PSP, it can only survive provided it is able to transform itself into a national party sooner rather than later and secondly if it brings some veteran political leaders in its fold. Otherwise it may end up like MQM or all such parties that come into being as a result of wheeling-dealing. As we know, MQM was created in mid 80s to counter Pakistan People’s Party primarily in Sindh province. And to the satisfaction of the creators of MQM, their idea really paid the dividends and thus PPP was contained considerably in Sindh and especially in Karachi. But interestingly the MQM specter then swept away Jamaat-e-Islami also – a party which had traditionally been very close to the establishment. As a result, the Jamaat-e-Islami is struggling in Karachi and elsewhere in the Sindh since then.

Suicide attack in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park

The latest carnage in the heart of Punjab has shaken the nation yet again. The mass murder of 72 precious lives in a Gulshan-e–Iqbal public park, evidently aimed primarily at the Christians celebrating the Easter in the full knowledge that it will include a large number of children epitomizes the mindless brutality of the militant violence. While the war on terror and the successful Operation Zarb-e-Azb had severely dented the capacity of the terrorist yet the situation still remains complex and grave with the cancer of extremism spreading all over.

The armed forces soon after the Lahore tragedy spared no time in deciding to launch an operation to go after terrorists no matter wherever they are hiding and whosoever is their supporter. This is a timely decision because Punjab considered the hub of militant and terrorist outfits, and despite military’s recommendation to start operations in Punjab as part of the National Action Plan against terrorism was being ignored earlier. The government has now also endorsed this operation, which ostensibly is a praiseworthy move. We hope these operations will receive unanimity in views so as to rid the country of terrorists and their facilitators.