With hardly a few weeks remaining before the prevailing dispensation completes its term, the tussle that has been the hallmark of the MQM-PPP alliance in Sindh has resumed, this time over withdrawal of cases against gangsters of the Lyari gang war. The Rabita Committee’s decision to boycott the Sindh Assembly’s session followed the city police chief’s announcement that he was under pressure to quash cases against them. The MQM demands that the cases against these criminals should not be withdrawn; its stand is justified.

With the approach of the general elections, the factor of winning constituencies at all costs seems to be the order of the day; even if it means patronising hoodlums who could impact the polling process of the areas where they enjoy sanctuaries. It is only unfortunate that the PPP could think this factor to be of any importance. Lyari might be its stronghold, but does that mean showing leniency to these serial killers who happen to live there and elsewhere. This time around, the MQM must show it is not business as usual; it will be far better if it sits on the opposition benches rather than remain part of the ruling coalition. If it takes a split to keep those bandits behind bars, it is worth it.