Is it wiser to dispose of a dead alliance or continue it on a respirator? That is the question for Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) to answer as it struggles to patch up relations between the two factions of the party.

For now, it seems a fragile truce has been formed. The two factions of MQM-P, one headed by Farooq Sattar and other by Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, appear to have mended their differences after Sattar visited the party’s Bahadurabad office. The split between the two factions was mainly over a different candidates for the Senate Elections, with Sattar favouring Kamran Tessori, and the faction headed by Siddiqui putting forward Farogh Naseem instead.

However, the division between the two factions of the party should not be chalked down to just a difference of senate candidates. The root causes of the conflict lie in a deeper, more irresolvable place. According to the Rabita Committee (Central Coordination Committee), most of the party has an ideological contention to the leadership of Farooq Sattar, which they allege is compromising on the MQM’s political culture and its fundamental facets of ideology. The whisper in the air is that Dr. Sattar was attempting to amend the party’s constitution to give him absolute control over party affairs, which propelled the rest of the party into mutiny.

It has been downhill for the MQM after Altaf Hussain’s fall, as the party has seen itself going from being Karachi’s main party to winning just a single seat in the Senate out of a projected four. Perhaps the fault in the party’s stars lies with its structure, which favours a cult-type power. With Altaf Hussain gone, it will be difficult to find an authoritative leader. Farooq Sattar, who does not have a safe constituency from which he can win, doesn’t command such authority, and thus, the party is rife with conflicts and divisions.

Even though MQM-P may have patched up for now, it is still an extremely delicate alliance and tensions are still hovering on the surface of the party. Electoral expediency has forced them back but the cracks are more visible than ever and the damage is irreparable. Even if the party resolves its conflicts and presents a united front, it is difficult that they will be able to make up for the lost time. Rather, the disgruntled MQM vote will most likely flock to PTI and PPP, the parties predicted to dominate Karachi this era.