ISLAMABAD - Abrar Saeed - With cold shoulder given by major opposition parties regarding participation in the proposed roundtable conference of Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the chances of holding a result-oriented event seems grim, but the move has greatly helped MQM achieve many targets including mending of fences with its arch rivals in Karachi and boosting its image as a national party.

Background interviews with the leaders of various political parties and other icons of power centre in the country transpired that MQM had initiated the move to enter into dialogue with their political opponents, mainly in Karachi and to dilute the existing tension with them.

Despite clear-cut no from PTI and tacit no from PML-N regarding participation in the roundtable conference, MQM has not dropped the idea of holding the event, but even if they failed to organise it the party has achieved their main targets like cooling down their arch rivals in port city of Karachi while projecting their image of a national political party instead of a regional one, by extending invitations to FATA and Hazara leaders, besides touching all the mainstream political parties in the political arena in the country.

Sources in MQM dispelled the impression that the party had come up with the plan at behest of their senior coalition partner, PPP, with the aim to divert the mounting public pressure on govt for its failures as well as core issues confronting the nation. These sources further said that after being disappointed and ditched by the senior coalition partner PPP, MQM has changed its strategy and showed olive branch to the worst enemies of the past and took lead in going to their offices to involve them in evolving ‘national agenda’ to steer the country out of prevailing crises.

The sources in MQM said that party leadership was clinging to the coalition government just for their survival, otherwise none of their major demands were met by PPP and they have been kept on promises since their joining of the ruling coalition. Political analysts saw the MQM move as wise and timely because MQM could not confront all the major political forces, particularly in Karachi, as the continued violence and unrest in the city is dwindling their strength in the port city, once considered to be their stronghold. MQM leaders’ meeting with ANP, Jamaat-i-Islami and Sunni Tehreek clearly indicated that they wanted to bury the ugly and hostile past and have violence-free fresh beginning, particularly in Karachi, surely their mainstay in parliamentary politics.

Similarly by stretching out to the mainstream political parties and other regional parties like FATA leaders, where the Political Party Act was extended recently, and the leadership of Hazara Tehreek to fortify their image of a national political party as well as to carve out some political clout in these areas.

Party sources informed TheNation that the leadership sincerely wanted to bring parties on one platform and for that matter they went to even those political parties which remained quite hostile against them in the past. MQM leadership was not disappointed by the cold shoulder given to their call by some political parties and they would continue their efforts to look for solutions facing the nation, these sources said that added that the party leadership was least bothered if they would fail to convene round table conference as by initiating the move they have completed their national duty.

To a question about the other targets the MQM was aiming at, the sources close to the party leaders said that of course they would be reaping political benefits out of their move but once again reiterated that the real objective before the party leadership was to provide a platform to the political parties to workout strategy to steer the country out of prevailing crises as they considered that no party alone could tackle the multiple problems of grave nature facing the country.