The MQM is what it is. The PPP knew what it was getting into when it entered into a coalition with it in the aftermath of the 2008 elections. Feigning surprise, showing rage or acting like some sort of aggrieved party isnt, therefore, going to cut it. If political expediency (or a genuine change of heart, take your pick) made the PPP jettison its previous declaration of never entering into a coalition with the MQM, the party should have been well-prepared to deal with the intricacies and nuances of coalition politics.
Sindh Home Minister Zulfikar Mirzas diatribe against the MQM at a recent gathering of businessmen was perhaps uncalled for. The choice of words, in particular, left much to be desired. By articulating the apprehension that other ethnicities will, in reaction to the MQMs alleged wrongdoings, gang up against the Urdu speaking community, Mirza perpetuated the MQMs own spin and risked alienating his own partys not insignificant Urdu-speaking vote bank. Furthermore, the JUI(F), otherwise no masters of the fine art of reason, did make sense when they pointed out the ruling partys double standards: firing Azam Swati for a public spat with another cabinet member but retaining Mirza despite an equally vicious public outburst against an ally party.
Reacting to the MQMs publicly expressed reservations, the PM has barred Dr Mirza from issuing such statements and has made efforts to placate the MQM. The ruling party would be well advised to mend fences with not only the MQM but also explore options to engage the JUI(F). We are treading on previously unchartered territory. Rocking the boat at this critical juncture would not do our nascent democracy good. Moreover, instability in the nations commercial capital is just about the last thing the country needs right now.