Political masterstroke: After assuaging PML-Q, PPP wins back MQM

Published: October 6, 2011

Terms and conditions of MQM-PPP alliance agreed to in meeting at Sindh Governor House.

" Let us forget
the past and look
ahead. We have
decided to rejoin
the government to
provide relief to
the people,"
Sindh Governor
Ishratul Ebad. PHOTO: APP/FILE " You cannot
blame MQM for
being involved in
bloodshed. We
have investigated
it.  The allegations
are baseless,"
Sindh Chief Minister
Qaim Ali Shah. Terms and conditions of MQM-PPP alliance agreed to in meeting at Sindh Governor House.

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: In less than one day, President Asif Ali Zardari has gone from looking politically vulnerable to once again being at the helm of a large coalition. Hours after the Pakistan Muslim League Quaid announced that it would not be leaving the ruling coalition, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement announced that it would rejoin the treasury benches.

Events moved fast on Wednesday in what appeared to be a competition between the MQM and the PML-Q to see who could get into the president’s good books again first, in what appears to be a success of the Zardari’s strategy of using the support of one party to hedge against the loss of support from the other.

The PML-Q went first, releasing a statement to the press that the party would not be leaving the coalition after all.

“The alliance with the Pakistan Peoples Party will remain intact,” PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain was quoted in a press release as having said. “We will contest next election together with PPP.”

Most analysts had viewed the party’s move as largely one of political posturing, since the PML-Q cabinet members had submitted their resignations to Chaudhry Shujaat, and not Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, as is constitutionally required.

The MQM followed within hours, with Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad and Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah holding a joint press conference in Karachi close to midnight, saying that the MQM had decided to rejoin the ruling coalition in both Karachi and Islamabad ‘in the national interest’.

“We looked at the prevailing national and international situation and decided to rejoin government to work with government to redress all challenges faced by government in order to provide relief to the people,” said Governor Ebad. “Let us forget the past and look ahead.”

The MQM does not appear, at least on the surface, to have struck a hard bargain for rejoining the treasury benches.

“We have not demanded any additional ministries. Our ministers will continue their previous jobs in the federal and provincial governments,” said Governor Ebad. The resignations of the MQM ministers had not been accepted by either the chief minister or Prime Minister Gilani, allowing them to return almost at a moment’s notice.

At the press conference, both leaders credited President Zardari and MQM chief Altaf Hussain for their role in allowing the rapprochement to take place. The MQM has rejoined the coalition after having left it five times before.

“MQM not only supported us inside the assembly, but they helped government outside as well,” said the Sindh chief minister. “We have passed two and a half year and will support each other in rest of the time.”

The chief minister even went so far as to say that he did not believe that MQM was involved in violence across the nation’s largest city. “You cannot blame MQM being involved in bloodshed in country, we have investigated it. The allegations are baseless.”

The MQM appeared keen to present a united front in its decision, unlike the PML-Q, several members of which were reported to be grumbling about the decision by their party’s leadership, though none were willing to speak on the record about the matter.

Several PML-Q leaders even suspected their own party chief’s claim of having met the president. There were conflicting reports all day about whether President Zardari only spoke to Chaudhry Shujaat by telephone or whether the PML-Q chief only met the president’s aides.

The president’s spokesperson Farhatullah Babar confirmed that a meeting between Chaudhry Shujaat and Zardari took place, though there was no official statement released by the presidency, an anomaly from the norm.

Some political analysts believe that the reconciliation between the PPP and the MQM forced the PML-Q leadership to make a hasty decision. PML-Q insiders said Chaudhry Shujaat and his cousin Chaudhry Pervez Elahi had assured the party’s ministers that they would hold a meeting and brief them once they settle matters with President Zardari.

“We were waiting for this meeting. We were told that that Chaudhrys have left directly for Lahore and did not come back to their residence. Instead they issued a press statement announcing unconditional support for the PPP,” said one PML-Q minister requesting not to be named.

Many PML-Q leaders had been unhappy with their position in the ruling coalition, with many expressing their impression that the PPP had not lived up to its promises. The statement issued by the PML-Q media cell said that President Zardari has assured the party leadership that all their grievances would be addressed.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Oct 5, 2011 - 7:33PM

    President Zardari is a Master Player of the Chess.

    He knows how to break and make the coalition government.

    While PML-Q’s nominated ministers resigned and submitted their resignations to Chaudhry Shujaat, President Zardari has not only kept the coalition intact with PML-Q but at the same time he is also bringing MQM into fold.

    What a class master piece chess Mr. Zardari is playing to retain his government but at the same time no good news is coming for an ordinary citizen of the country, despite a lapse of three-and-half years of Zardari government.
    Recommend

  • Sindhdemandsjustice
    Oct 5, 2011 - 10:42PM

    With this decision, PPP can gain time to stay in power but PPP will loose much especially in Sindh because (i) People are suffering due to sheer incompetence and inability of PPP to handle severe flood and rain crisis in Sindh effectively (ii) To appease MQM, PPP is ready to bring notorious SLG system Sindh,which only favors MQM. (iii) Karachi a city of 150 Million people was made one district but Hyderabad a city of 2.5 Million population was divided into 4 districts.(iv) There is no clear vision for the development of Sindh.

    PPP-MQM alliance is based on power mongering not on the basis of serving people.People of Sindh has NO hope of any well being and prosperity from these two big parties of Sindh any more.

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  • buttjee
    Oct 5, 2011 - 10:48PM

    Over the years MQM has developed very serious addiction for staying in power and it is almost next to impossible for them to stay out of the Govt. for too long.. Their slogans and rhetoric about fighting against the feudal lords and siding with the poor are all fraud.

    Recommend

  • Cheeko Beeko
    Oct 6, 2011 - 12:12AM

    Both the political parties have again joined hands to make the coalition in the Federal Government as well as in the Sindh Government.

    What about the innocent people who lost their lives during the Holy month of Ramadan in Karachi?

    Human beings are not important in Pakistan, but what is more important is the coalition government in the larger interest of the sitting government.

    Power hunger people will remain there to maintain their status as Ministers or Advisors, no matter how many people are killed in Karachi or in Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Aam Aadmi
    Oct 6, 2011 - 12:19AM

    MQM Parliamentarians were doing strike in the parliament and walked out in the today’s session and in the night session they’ve joined PPP led government. No one understand what the hell MQM wanna do… three n half year have been passed and they’re still unable to decide whether they should be in Govt or in opposition… It shows they have poor leadership and poor mentality.

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  • Parvez
    Oct 6, 2011 - 12:22AM

    Having your cake and eating it too. In politics this takes skill – who’s bothered with principles.

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  • rehan siddiqui
    Oct 6, 2011 - 12:45AM

    I am neither shocked or surprised by the latest somersault of MQM. The reunion is to remain in power at all cost. The two alongwith PMLQ and ANP crooks are to enjoy loot and plunder the national wealth at the expense of poor hapless masses who themselves brought these thieves into power with the blessings of their master uncle sam and ghq. In Pakistan especially politician and political parties can be bought and MQM has perfected this art in the name of national interest and survival of democracy. I can only hope and pray to Almighty Allah to have mercy on 180 million poor oppressed people of the land of pure. Recommend

  • Babar F.
    Oct 6, 2011 - 12:55AM

    Political parties can join or break a million times if all one care & for any reason they come-up with. What people care is: What change have they brought in making the daily life easy for the Pak Citizens? The “Real Chess Player” is he who is respected and loved by the majority for the honest effort he had put toward the job he is given. For the people it’s: Enough is Enough__ Just get to the job of working on economic conditions, safety of life & property, productivity & export. Reputation of a country is attached to a Stable Economy. Avoid shortcuts at all cost. Remember: “You can’t fool all of the people all of the time”.

    Recommend

  • Oct 6, 2011 - 12:59AM

    It’s getting predictable and boring now.

    Recommend

  • Pak zindabad
    Oct 6, 2011 - 1:31AM

    We blame Army for assaulting over the decades, we blame institutions, we blame amercia, we blame west… but we never blame our selves.
    I think we (ppl of pak) are the reason of destroying pakistan and we are the responsible for nominating these politicians.
    Every single pakistani wish zardari to step down but some body come up and save him to get handsome amount of dollars and ministries of the most corrupt and incompetent people in the history.
    MQM being addict of the ministries and dollars come back again and now zardari would be more happy to make more money and distribute among addicts.
    We ppl cannot sacrifice, we can only sit in front of TV and watch the most illiterate ppl fighting. and sorry to say, media is not telling us the solutions but media is propagating these frogs.
    MAY ALLAH BLESS OUR DIGNITIES AND SAVE OUR COUNTRY AND UNITE US. AMEEN.

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  • Realist.
    Oct 6, 2011 - 1:37AM

    YET AGAIN*

    Recommend

  • Abdul Rahman Khan
    Oct 6, 2011 - 3:08AM

    MQm joined the government once again because it was his dire need to. Asif zardari badly needed MQM’s support to maintain his majority in the national assembly, more so when the PML-Q’s support to zardari government had, of late, become quite shaky. PML-Q had its own strategy and didn’t want to leave punjab to nawaz league in the wake of protest meetings against energy crisis.
    MQM is winner in the power politics once again. The only person to lose in the saga is poor Afaq Ahmad who will now continue to langluish in prison – one of the scoring points of MQM. Next, all target killers and criminals rounded up by the rangers in the current on-going operation will be let free in one way or the other – Rahman Malik zindabad. In one of my previous blogs, I said the names of the target killers and other criminals involved in serious crimes who were rounded up by the Rangers should be made public with their party affiliations.This way, the public would keep an eye and monitor the situation to prevent their being used to fulfil the conditions of the MQM’s rejoining. Now the public doesn’t know who were those criminalrs rounded up by the Rangers and who were of them were or were to be let off.

    Recommend

  • Tahir
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:06AM

    Yes in the intrest of Pakistan, like for 3 years, what great performance by the secular government. Terrorism decreased, loadsheeding, unemployment,HUMAN RIGHTS, economy… everything is going so well, I am so hopeful of this PPP+MQM alliance. NOT.

    Recommend

  • grain2315
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:08AM

    what will happen the next time this happy marriage suffers a divorce, how many will die than???

    Recommend

  • Saleem
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:08AM

    It is history of MQM to be with whoever is sitting at the throne. Everyone blames PPP for all the ills but fact is that PPP alliance with MQM, ANP, first with JUI (F) and now with PML (Q) is keep them in power. This alliance is responsible for what country is going through today. Walking out in assemblies is just a sham to show people that we are not responsible what government is done. Whereas fact is they are the government and they must be equally blamed for country’s situation.

    Recommend

  • UMER Z
    Oct 6, 2011 - 4:34AM

    Nice move by Zardari, using the Mirza Card then Afaq Card. MQM back in collation. Haha,
    Obama should take lessons of Political Science form Mr, Zardari.. But no good Economic Policy for the poor nation. No austerity measures, instead more ministers from different parties. People are the only opposition in Sindh, PML Functional is on board too…

    Recommend

  • ali
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:10AM

    Political masterstroke or shameless politicians…..plz keep voting ppp and mqm in…Allah’s wrath upon the nation…

    Recommend

  • Imran Hussain
    Oct 6, 2011 - 5:23AM

    This decision by MQM to rejoin government is for the peace, prosperity and development of Karachi and betterment of the common people.
    MQM is the only party in the current political scenario which has delivered for Pakistan and it’s an excellent news that common Pakistani will have a powerful voice in the government now.

    Recommend

  • Shahid Bajwa
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:23AM

    There is no need to create conflict at this time. I think it is MQM’s wise decision of rejoining govt. Pakistan needs an strong govt. to counter US aggression. I think this decision of MQM is indirectly supporting Pakistan Army and ISI who were in extreme pressure in past few weeks..

    Recommend

  • WASIM ZAIDI
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:30AM

    MQM has transformed her areas in Urban Sindh into world class places ; something everyone acknowledges and if politics is all about “giving it to people”, MQM did it!
    Sindh strong in order to bring stability in the country. “We can solve the problems of the people through our unity, Future belongs to MQM and PPP,It is hoped that the reunion of PPP and MQM parties for government alliance may bear good fruits for Karachi.

    Recommend

  • M. Khan
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:39AM

    MQM made a very sensible decision. The need of the moment is to maintain peace in Karachi which would be impossible without an MQM-PPP alliance. MQM always takes the smarter stance and makes the tougher decisions. Many people may not understand MQM’s actions and this decision might not be favorable to them, but Altaf Hussain understands very well the necessity of peace. They continue to look out for the greater good of the people and we look forward to MQM joining the government.

    Recommend

  • Hasan
    Oct 6, 2011 - 8:44AM

    @WASIM ZAIDI:
    “MQM has transformed her areas in Urban Sindh into world class places ; something everyone acknowledges and if politics is all about “giving it to people”, MQM did it!”

    Exactly where are these world class places?; and
    I have yet to hear anyone acknowledge the existence of these (purported!) places.
    Recommend

  • Murad
    Oct 6, 2011 - 9:36AM

    MQM is in for the biggest shock in its history when they face the public in the coming elections. They will be shocked as even their “mohajir” vote bank deserts them. It will be the beginning of the end of MQM.Recommend

  • Oct 6, 2011 - 7:26PM

    Those who are critical of Alliance are the same people who have done nothing for 30 years. The PPP-MQM coalition is the best alliance in the current situation.
    MQM and PPP alliance is essential for the peace in the country and especially in Karachi, heart of the country. All candidates take part in the elections to become MPA, MNA, Minister, so they can serve their people effectively. If someone is without power or out of democratic cycle like PTI and Jamat Islami they cannot do anything except strike, long march and hate speeches.

    When MQM and PPP relationship was broke, we have seen Taliban activities in the city of Karachi. They Attack on navy officers, CIA officer’s home and kidnapped law enforcement agencies officers. Target killing had been started. In these circumstances this is a best accord for the sake of Karachi & country.

    Dawar
    USA

    Recommend

  • Imran Azeem
    Oct 6, 2011 - 7:27PM

    King Maker and Power Breaker – MQM win this title once again.
    PML-N, bunch of politicians lead by a leader who always make late decisions.
    PPP, king of making political deals.
    PTI, agitators trying to find failed politicians to gain some weight in their balloon.
    JI, all hopes linked with future of Afghanistan.

    Recommend

  • kami
    Oct 9, 2011 - 2:11AM

    MQM ur decision to join govt id correct bcz u have taken 2.7 million votes.
    Poor people are with u.

    Recommend

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