LAHORE - Following the MQM saga of Rangers’ raid at Nine-Zero, a terrorism case against Muttahida chief Altaf Hussain and the PPP overtures to bail it out by way of taking it into the fold of the Sindh government, the PML-N government has adopted the policy of ‘wait and see’ to let the provincial government discharge its responsibilities first.

Though it is a fight between the MQM and the Rangers, the federal government, being in the central stage, is on the receiving end of the political and legal matters, particularly when the MQM has blamed the government for wreaking vengeance on it through the raid over its failure to win their support in the Senate chairman election. However, the Interior Ministry, without mincing words, has supported the Rangers’ raid on the Muttahida headquarters, terming it as per law and for the purpose of taking the hardened criminals into custody that were taking shelter there, besides justifying alleged recovery of sophisticated weapons.

Though MQM has alienated Saulat Mirza and would not mind if he is taken to the gallows on March 19 on the murder charges, his execution would not be without ramifications in Sindh as Umair Siddique, Faisal Mota, Ubaid and many others face the same charges, albeit, in higher or lower degree.

The Sindh government is in the picture at the moment to carry forward the case against Altaf Hussain, but help from the federal government is not out of question if necessity arises to effect his repatriation to Pakistan. What way the government would respond to this situation is a premature question at this stage. This may prompt the government to deeply consider political repercussions and legal requirements as well as law and order situation. In Sindh, MQM’s Dr Ishratul Ebad is the governor who acts under the President of Pakistan. If the situation turns against MQM what reaction would come from the governor and how the president would handle it is another feature of the episode.

Another dimension is purely the political plain as PPP is attracting the MQM to take it under its wings in Sindh. Naturally, the MQM’s joining the provincial government would enhance its influence with the support of PPP. Whether the Karachi operation could reach its logical end if the Rangers’ case against Altaf Hussain is pursued is concern of the Centre.

Despite all that the federal government is quite cool and looks at the Sindh Government to discharge its obligations. While talking to this scribe, Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid said the federal government has no role to play; the Sindh government and the court of law are quite independent to administer justice. As to the law and order situation, it also falls under the jurisdiction of the provincial government, he said. He added if MQM has any reservations, its members in the National Assembly have the forum of the Parliament for remedy. The minster termed it premature to say something at this stage when asked if the government meets the judicial requirement of bringing Altaf Hussain back through Interpol. He said it would be seen when that situation came. He said Pakistan is not being ruled by an individual, but the whole system of check and balance exists in which the judiciary is independent to fairly administer justice.

To a question on the Karachi operation, he said it was a unanimous decision of all political forces, including MQM, so there is no question of abandoning it midway. Karachi should be purged of criminal elements was the demand of every party and the needful would be done. He said all parties, including MQM, realise the significance of cleansing Karachi of criminal elements as it is for the sake of the country.

To a question about the expected PPP-MQM coalition in the Sindh government against the background of crackdown on MQM elements, Senator Pervaiz Rashid said they don’t have any problem with PPP-MQM government in that province as both are political parties and jointly running the government is the right of every party.