Pakistan National Assembly is scheduled to elect its new leader of the house or prime minister on 5th June. The three proposed names are that of Mian Nawaz Sharif of PML-N, Makhdoom Amin Fahim of PPP and Makhdoom Javed Hashmi of PTI.
Election of PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq and Murtaza Javed Abbasi to the posts of speaker and deputy speaker of the assembly respectively has already set the stage and filing of nominations by PPP and PTI members seem a ritual. In fact this may be an exhibition of strengths held by the three leading parties. MQM’s decision to support PML-N has added additional weight to Mian Sahib, who already enjoys simple majority in the house.
Some of the critics say that filing of nominations papers by PPP and PTI is not a good omen because the country needed a consensus leader of the house who enjoys complete support on issues facing the country, worst being stopping drone attacks and overcoming energy crisis.
Many of the political pundits were little confused when MQM decided to sit on opposition benches but extending support to Mian Sahib clearly shows that the party wishes to sail in two boats simultaneously.
It also confirms the conspiracy theory that MQM just can’t afford to sit on opposition benches.
However, extending support to Mian Sahib can pose some serious problems for MQM in Sindh, where PPP is all set to form the government.
Another conspiracy theory is that extending support to Mian Sahib is part of the grand plan to retain the present governor of Sindh in the office. This deal can save Mian Sahib from a possible embarrassment of governor Sindh not ready to receive the elected prime minister at Karachi airport.
While some political pundits say that supporting Mian Sahib does not bode well for MQM, others say that supporting Mian Sahib is the only way to avoid operation against the party.
One can still recall Mian Sahib had said in the past, “If I come into power I will establish military courts in Sindh”. Even at that time it was taken as a potential threat for MQM because such operations were not aimed at rounding up PPP or ANP activists.
Some of the critics say that Mian Sahib has accepted the NP proposed person as Chief Minister of Balochistan just to avoid confrontation. Following the same strategy Mian Sahib may also concede to some of the demands of MQM Just to maintain peace and tranquility in Sindh, the life line of Pakistan.
The history shows MQM enjoys enough power to bring Karachi to grinding halt at the shortest notice. It is clear that if MQM opt for this confrontation with the PML-N, it will also be joined by PPP and ANP to bring the party enjoying the largest mandate under pressure.
It is not only the residents of Karachi but the entire Pakistan that wants peace to be maintained in the city so that economy of the country can be put on track. Keeping the city normal is also a must for ensuring collection of taxes. Karachi continues to contribute nearly 75 per cent of the total tax. Similarly suspension of activities at two ports of Karachi can cause disruption in the movement of import/export consignments.