It’s dirty and low, it’s PTI vs MQM. Clearly, MQM Chief Altaf Hussain was upset with the PTI over its comments on the JIT report concerning the 2012 Baldia fire tragedy when he lashed out against the party during an address to supporters. He had every right to speak against the PTI, criticise its opportunistic politics and defend his party against allegations of involvement in the incident that claimed that lives of 258 people. But, could that have been done without accusing the PTI of running a “brothel” under the garb of sit-ins in Islamabad? Did he have to pass unjustifiable, derogatory remarks against PTI Information Secretary Shireen Mazari?

While it is true that this paper published a report which revealed that call girls were visiting the dharna site to find customers, the report never claimed that all female participants of the sit-in were sex workers and all males were enjoying their services; the impression Altaf Hussain gave during his speech inviting cheers and applause from listeners, which is extremely disappointing considering the party’s claim of being a representative of the ‘educated’ middle-class. The fact is that Mr Hussain’s remarks were uncalled for, totally inaccurate and utterly disgraceful. Nothing short of an unconditional apology to PTI and particularly Ms Mazari would suffice.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan responded by calling Mr Hussain a “psychopath” and his party a terrorist organisation. Mr Khan’s anger is understandable, but there are serious doubts over his sincerity. The PTI has never had qualms with disrespecting women when its the party doing it to others. The treatment extended to female reporters belonging to Geo News at PTI shows never prompted the party to do anything more than issue empty words of condemnation. Its behavior on social media is by far the worst compared to any mainstream party. The PTI Chief himself is no role model to be followed when it comes to etiquette and use of appropriate language. Mr Khan’s many speeches containing derogatory remarks, unverified accusations and direct threats are a matter of record.

The PTI prefers to remain in conflict. In Altaf Hussain, the PTI Chief has rediscovered a cornered old foe, a villian, fighting whom would make it look like a hero. The sit-ins ended with PML-N emerging victorious. Now, the PTI could have shifted its focus to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa but revolutionaries don’t govern, they beat the war drum and jump in to fight monsters. Mr Khan has said that he is going to take on the MQM and sort out Altaf Hussain once and for all. We’ve heard all this before. Mr Khan tried before and failed. During his jalsas in Karachi, Mr Khan chose not to utter a single word against the MQM. The MQM has accused the PTI of attacking it on behest of those with the mighty, elusive finger. The PTI doesn’t mind taking instructions, that much is well-known. But whether this is the case here cannot be confirmed at this point. It is important to remember that all this inconsequential, unnecessary bickering is taking attention away from the issue of terrorism and implementation of the National Action Plan.