Asif Ali Zardari’s decision to side with MQM in its battle is politically prudent. He yet again proves his political acumen and foresightedness. He is the first, of all political party heads, to realize that the operation against MQM foretells the fate of other players in Karachi, Sindh and the entire Pakistan.
Holding the “enemy” back at the gates is the only way to preserve the questionable fashions of other political players in Karachi. Unfortunately for MQM, it is them who were at the gates at the time of invasion, it is them who now guard these gates and they are falling, desperate for reinforcements. If MQM henchmen can be convinced or motivated to spill the beans on their masters, what’s to stop the PPP beans from being spilt too. The culture of mafia politics in Karachi is not exclusive to MQM. An operation against militants that began with MQM will not stop with just them.
It might just be a little too late for Mr. Z. Shrewd as his decision is, it may not be enough to stop the overwhelming force backing the operation. It would be wiser to wait your turn than to expedite the inevitable and bear unnecessary bruises.
The decision will however make other political parties see what Zardari sees. It will not be surprising to see these leaders follow suit and stand up in defense of MQM’s “democratic” rights. Leaders of parties from other parts of Pakistan from Punjab, Balochistan and KPK may be the last to see what is coming. They may cheer the Karachi clean up and put the cleaners on a high moral and constitutional pedestal. Only when the cleaning starts elsewhere, will they too attempt to take shelter behind democracy and constitution.
What really matters however is where the masses stand. The masses want a cleansed Pakistan, no question about it. But they have been victims of their own gullibility in the past, it has proven to be the most effective weapon to divide, delude and defeat them. Rest assured the weapon will be used again. Are we ready?