ISLAMABAD: The troubled relationship between the ruling Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is not new and had been prevalent for almost two years, reveals WikiLeaks.
A secret cable sent by then US consul general Stephen G. Fakan in Karachi to Washington through its Islamabad Embassy on February 9, 2010, shows that both the Pakistan People’s Party and the MQM had constantly been discussing the contentious issues of the local government system in Sindh and the law and order situation in Karachi with the Americans for two years.
According to the cable, the members of the two parties have been blaming each other for the continued violence in Karachi during their separate conversations with the US diplomats.
Moreover, it shows the Americans believe that the terrorist attack in Karachi on Ashura and several recent periods of elevated target killings in the city have been the backdrop to the debate on the future of local governance in Sindh.
The cable also added that former Sindh Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza was ready to accept the MQM’s demand to retain the Nazim-based system introduced by Gen Pervez Musharraf.
The PPP also requested an MQM list of people whom it trusted to be appointed as administrators.
The agreement between the PPP and the MQM in January last year over the appointment of caretaker administrators in place of Nazims had surprised the US which is evident from the cable which says: “In an unexpected development on January 16, both parties agreed to appoint caretaker administrators – but again without a formal mechanism to execute that decision.”
“Coalition partners (MQM and PPP, with the ANP on the periphery) have yet to agree on a path forward, instead seeking extensive amendments to the existing governance system and working to diminish the other party’s strength in Karachi and across the province,” it says.
“This violence pits the MQM against the PPP on law and order – Karachi Nazim Mustafa Kamal versus Sindh Home Minister Zulfikar Mirza, each blaming the other for not suppressing the onslaught,” says the cable.
Through the same cable, the US consul general informed his bosses about the February 2 proceedings of the Sindh Assembly when Dr Zulfiqar Mirza in a “fiery speech” blamed the MQM for Karachi’s target killings prompting the latter to stage a walkout and hold a news conference.