The fall of the Gilani government is in the hands of one man, MQM leader Altaf Hussain, who despite his party’s desperation over the regime’s corruption and bad governance is not willing to take the initiative of any in-house change, it is learnt.
The Monday’s visit of Senator Ishaq Dar, a close associate and relative of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, to Nine-Zero, the MQM headquarters in Karachi, to condole the death of Dr Imran Farooq was meant for sharing MQM’s grief and sorrow, but this public interaction between the two parties has improved their relationship.
No politics was discussed but it was still a major political development to see a key PML-N member visiting the Nine-Zero after relations between them touched all-time low in 2007 when in an all parties conference, convened by the PML-N in London, the MQM was condemned for the May 12 massacre. After the London APC, which adopted a resolution against the MQM, this is the first significant open interaction between the two parties.
Background interaction with certain key members of both the parties shows the MQM leadership was pleased to see the PML-N sharing its grief and publicly declaring that the PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif too sincerely condoled the death of Dr Imran Farooq.
Earlier, Dar and MQM Senator Babar Ghauri had worked hard in their respective parties to subtly kill the adjournment motions, which the two parties had filed with the National Assembly Secretariat against each other. However, they could not stop the otherwise exchange of some harsh speeches by Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Farooq Sattar in the National Assembly.
What would happen in the days and weeks to come is not clear as yet to the two parties. However, at this stage despite their utter disappointment with the performance of the government to which the MQM is a junior partner, none of them is willing to take the initiative of the making a move to remove the Gilani government.
Besides far from being comfortable to talk such issues with each other, both the PML-N and MQM are not sure if an inhouse change would really work. A recent interaction of this correspondent with top-most leadership of both the parties, found both of them really worried but without having any viable strategy to pull the country out of the present quagmire.
“What should we do,” was the question that both the leaders posed to this correspondent. Will they meet together with other political forces to think over the situation and come up with a joint strategy, is a major question that both the parties are pondering.
According to a senior MQM leader, if the PML-N convenes a meeting of all parties, the MQM would be more than willing to attend the same for the sake of the country’s future. When asked why the MQM does not convene such a meeting of different political parties, the MQM source said: “Because we think on our request all parties may not sit under one roof.”
On the other hand, the N-League now really desires to get rid of the present regime but does not know how. A PML-N source claimed that some three months back, an MQM leader offered to some N-League leaders to join hands with the PML-Q and the MQM to oust the Gilani government but the PML-N did not give much attention to this offer. The MQM sources, however, did not confirm to have made any such offer.
Neither the MQM nor the PML-N wants to carry the blame of removing the government alone because of the main reason that these parties are unclear if the present government is replaced, the new one would be stable enough to face the challenges facing the nation today.
Everyone knows that the moment Gilani government falls, Zardari will be a sitting duck because after the 18th Amendment, he has no power. Once his party’s PM is removed, his continuation in the Presidency or resigning will then become immaterial.
Some in the PML-N want from the MQM to withdraw its support to the PPP government, thus leading to its collapse, which would lead to mid-term polls. With the PPP in the opposition, the PML-N would have to sit with the PML-Q, MQM, ANP and others to form an unstable government that in such a scenario would not be able to deliver. After having wasted almost three years by parliament, whatever N-League has to do in case of an in-house change would be too little to pacify the frustrated masses.
According to a political analyst, any government that replaces the current one through an inhouse change will be bound to fail because it would immediately be under attack from all corners, facing monstrous challenges like suicide bombings, target killings, MQM-ANP clashes in Karachi, no money in the treasury, rising food prices leading to suicides, pacifying and rehabilitating 15m flood victims, and doing all this amid national impatience and high expectations stoked by daily barrage of ferocious TV debates, forcing the government to become preoccupied only with firefighting and responding to crises.