KARACHI- Whatever is unfolding at the political horizon is according to the script written by the players who really matter in the affairs of the feudal and tribal democratic Pakistan. The local power brokers have to meekly implement their game in letter and spirit.

According to the script, these players want a smooth transition of power to next elected government, no matter what the consequences. In the backdrop of the game plan, the political parties, both ruling or opposition, exploited the masses and the resources to hilt for their own advantage.

In Sindh at the fag end of five years '(mis)rule', the MQM, a major coalition partner  has decided to part ways with the PPP and sit on opposition benches with a view to getting its pound of flesh in the caretaker setup, that would be in place soon.

However, the MQM’s move at this stage has created many doubts about the party’s real intentions. It is being interpreted as a fixed fight which in the end would benefit both the major coalition partners.

Chief of PML (Functional) Pir Pagara, at a public meeting in Hyderabad in December, had  predicted that a plan has been prepared to deprive his party of the slot of the opposition leader and give the same to the MQM. He advised the MQM not to become the part of the devious PPP game plan.

Now that it is almost decided that the seat of the opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly will go to some MQM nominee, the major losers are the PML (F) and the the PML-Likeminded group headed by former chief minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim.

Karachi, which is known as mini Pakistan, industrial hub and economic engine of the country, has now become the safe haven for 'agent saboteurs'. However, political analysts says that as both the PPP and the MQM remained busy in politicking during the last five years, the non-political forces have made inroad in Karachi.

The ground realities are that these non-political actors consolidated themselves in district West, East and South and raised their organizational structure. Analysts closely monitoring the changing political landscape of Sindh believe that offstage players want the PPP and the MQM cut to size.

The city has 19 national and 38 provincial assembly general seats and MQM has been  winning a majority of these seats for the last more than two decades.

Analysts point to the enhanced activities of banned outfit of KPK in

Karachi. It signals a significant tactical shift. Previously, the outlawed outfit used Karachi as an organizational hub, drawing new recruits and financial resources from the city to fuel its operations in the tribal belt and seeking sanctuary in its endless squatter settlements.

The militants are collaborating with criminal gangs that operate out of Lyari for fund raising through extortion. While most extorted funds are collected on behalf of the city’s competing political parties, an increasing share is diverted to fund the TTP’s militant activities, primarily as a result of agreements between militant and criminal groups.  The MQM has repeatedly warned against the growing Taliban threat.

However, given the city’s charged ethno-political context, the party’s warnings have been dismissed as anti-Pakhtoon propaganda.  Since most Taliban militants are ethnic Pakhtoons and tend to seek sanctuary in Pakhtoon- dominated areas, the MQM’s anti-TTP rhetoric is perceived as a way to justify infiltration of rival ethnic areas.

The PPP, meanwhile, has downplayed the Taliban threat in Karachi, with the Interior Minister repeatedly blaming foreign actors for terrorist attacks.

This too is politically motivated. Given the alliance between the PPP and the ANP at the federal level and in Karachi, the PPP was reluctant to alienate the ANP by drawing attention to the militant presence in ANP constituencies or calling for security operations that would primarily target Pakhtoon neighborhoods.

Despite all the support the KPK based party received from concerned quarters, the secular ANP lost huge grounds in Pakhtoon dominated areas. Not a single flag of the party founded by Frontier Gandhi Khan Ghaffar Khan was seen in Sohrab Goth, Ittehad town, Kunwari colony, Pakhtoonabad, Katri Pehari Qasba colony, Pirabad, Sultanabad, Quidabad, Sherpao colony etc. Now Taliban under the name of Amn Lashkar dominated theses areas.

They said now the militant would contest coming general elections from

Pakhtoon dominated areas under different names.

Lyari has remained a PPP forte, which comprised one national and two provincial assembly seats. Former Sindh home minister Dr. Zulfikar Mirza had patronized People's Amn Committee and equipped the gangsters with sophisticated weapon. But now it has slipped out of the hands of PPP and is playing in the hands of the forces which really matter. It is unique in the history that a criminal gang has given birth to a political wing with the nomenclature of People's Amn Committee.

The PPP has also lost its hold on Malir, from where the party won one national and two provincial assembly seats since its inception. This is due to wrong polices of the leadership.

Observers say that local leadership of the MQM awakens from the long hibernation when the powers that be have squeezed the political size of the party in its bastion, Karachi, and ostensibly restricted it to district central.

Now much water has flown under the bridges and election results would be far different from the past for the two parties.