As the dust settles on Mustafa Kamal’s glorious return to Karachi and politics, it was hoped that his intentions and plans going forward would become clearer in the immediate aftermath. However, this is far from what is actually happening, and the ex-Karachi mayor does not seem to have thought this through. The return has been all bang and little substance. In an interview with Waqt News, when asked about the future and what his strategy would be when attempting to establish his party in mainstream politics, his answers were mostly a rehash of statements used in his first press conference. Additionally, while he made tall claims about making his new party a unifying force in the country, he also stated that it would use the term ‘mohajir’ to establish its identity. The contradiction behind this is hard to miss.

Mustafa Kamal’s future in politics is still unclear, even though he might think that things will automatically fall into place. A national movement that unifies all sects, politics parties and helps implement the perfect sort of local governance system does not come through conviction only.

Kamal has stated that he has no intention to approach any leaders, and considering the party he used to represent has no influence beyond Karachi, his plans might be too grand in the present. Long run issues aside, there are immediate concerns such as what the next move would be. This new party will not be too different from his last if he is planning on establishing it by using his name alone.

The MQM’s response has not done itself any favours either; Mustafa Kamal’s accomplishments as mayor were denounced by saying they weren’t ‘rocket science’ by MQM’s mayoral candidate and Farooq Sattar gave a thinly veiled statement about supporters and their families being forced to change their loyalties. Sattar’s subtlety will not be lost on anyone; the MQM is pointing to the establishment and the argument behind this assertion is not altogether devoid of sense. The MQM leadership needs to look deep within themselves to assess its future however, because Altaf’s contribution to the party’s cause is only making it harder to stay relevant. MQM’s control is dwindling in Karachi, and it does not matter who engineers this; it is in the party’s best interest to look to protect itself and maintain political relevance. However, with Altaf firmly in control, Mustafa Kamal does not have to do much to ensure the steady downfall of MQM.