Just hours after the announcement of a merger between MQM and PSP, Mustafa Kamal, PSP Chairman, has brokered off the alliance, attacked MQM and has put forth allegations of the establishment interfering in politics.

There have always been whispers of you-know-who being involved in the politics of Sindh but Kamal, in his press conference, has explicitly unveiled the actors behind the scen. He alleged that it was the establishment which called upon his party to form an alliance with the Farooq Sattar-led MQM-P upon Sattar’s request. He further implicated MQM to still be a party under Altaf Hussain’s influence and that MQM-P was formed at the Rangers headquarters “under the supervision of the then DG Ranger”.

Let it be established that that this is not just something to shrug shoulders at and pass by. This is an extremely serious allegation and someone in such a responsible position as Kamal should not make it without proof. It also seems puzzling and retaliatory as Kamal himself has been accused of being supported by the establishment – by Farooq Sattar as well. There is a wide perception that on the helping hand that got Kamal to poach the electables from the disintegrating MQM-Pakistan, in the same way Musharraf had poached Patriots from the PPPP after the 2002 general elections to enable his hand-picked Prime Minister. His allegations against the establishment are also contradictory in light of his statement about MQM still being Altaf’s party, as the establishment is decidedly anti-Altaf.

However, one thing is undisputed; these allegations should prompt some very serious questions from the powers-that-be. Both MQM-P and PSP have pointed fingers at the military established for forcing this coalition; this cannot brushed under the table.

Considering the past precedence of Musharraf interfering in Sindh and the disastrous consequences of it, making Karachi a divided, high risk crime city, interference from the establishment in these elections should be greatly challenged.

Moreover, the establishment peeking into the democratic processes of the country violates the very essence and credibility of the anti-corruption and pro-law and order stance that the whole country is in line with. What happened to statements from the establishment reassuring us that each institution had its own defined role and would not go beyond its powers? What happened to “no threat to democracy”? By getting involved even the slightest, the establishment makes narratives of ‘anti-democracy conspiracies all the more credible.

Considering the pre-election engineering being done by the establishment here – they may not without merit after all.