MQM-P infighting

Questions over legality of several recent party decisions have already angered several longstanding members of party

May 15, 2024


The controversy surrounding the election of Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui as MQM-P chairman has highlighted the fragility of the once-mighty regional party. On Sunday, the MQM-P’s ad hoc central committee “unanimously elected” Siddiqui as the party chairman, a move that some disgruntled leaders claim is a violation of the party’s constitution. It is also notable that nobody else was elected by the committee, or at the very least, was considered worth mentioning — the notification only spoke of Siddiqui.

Questions over the legality of several recent party decisions — most notably the dissolution of the coordination committee — have already angered several longstanding members of the party. They already accuse Siddiqui of sacking the committee without taking party workers’ opinions into account, and former members of the dissolved coordination committee have told news outlets that decisions of the sort that Siddiqui has been taking require a two-thirds majority of the coordination committee. This includes dissolving the committee. So, according to them, there is no way Siddiqui could even have been elected. However, in the absence of a formal challenge, whether or not it was legal is less important than whether or not it will be accepted by the rank and file. Interestingly, Siddiqui’s opponents have accused him of trying to become a strongman, so successfully challenging him would undercut their own claim.

The infighting may not have gotten serious attention even a few years ago, when it looked like the party was on the brink of collapse. But now, the MQM is technically the second-largest party in the federal treasury benches, making it a key ruling party ally. Internal upheaval could have national-level consequences. We should also note that PTI leaders and supporters, in particular, will be watching closely how the ECP reacts to the MQM-P’s infighting, considering the hoops they had to jump through due to their own questionable internal election practices. Compared to the MQM-P’s internal restructuring, the PTI’s rejected elections were positively transparent.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2024.

Like Opinion & Editorial on Facebook, follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all our daily pieces.



Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ