The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has been like a roller coaster ride; it has been taking sudden turns, left and right, speeding up and slowing down, leaving passengers clueless about what they should expect next and gasping for some sort of stability or consistency. It would’ve been extremely exciting if it weren’t a lot more than just fun and games. Is it siding with the status quo? Or does it support the PTI-PTA duo and the glue holding them together? Maybe both? Or neither? Is its stance very confusing because there’s confusion in the MQM quarters? Or is it a thought out strategy, which always works in ways incomprehensible to those unaware of the nature of the game?

Only Mr Altaf Hussain can ask for a technocratic government for breakfast, a martial law for lunch and demand a British democracy for dinner before going to sleep and waking up again with a fresh menu. The party’s shamelessly overt display of selfish politics has become its trademark, making it ever more challenging to take its positions seriously, for they may change at any given moment. But one must take the MQM seriously. It is real, even more so for Karachi, and being right or wrong can only mean so much. Its role throughout the current political impasse has been expectedly disappointing. Perhaps the best one can say about it is that it could’ve still managed to do worse.

Then there is the Karachi operation, something, which has always been a source of both discomfort and displeasure for the party; the two don’t always go together. Since the ‘operation’ began a year ago, the MQM has been complaining about illegal arrests and extra-judicial killings of its workers. After the raid on its office on Wednesday, it has once again come out strongly against the alleged discriminatory and unlawful actions of the Rangers. It has been holding protests and sit-ins in various parts of Karachi, demanding the immediate release of arrested workers as well as an end to what it deems actions driven by ethnic bias. The MQM chief, while speaking on the matter, advised the COAS General Raheel Sharif to reign in the paramilitary forces to avoid disastrous results.

Is there any body or mechanism available to verify the MQM’s repeated allegations against the Rangers and Police? Or will the customary practice of airing two irreconcilable versions of the same story continue unabated? These are serious accusations, which require more than political reconciliatory statements to be dealt with. Neither the MQM nor the law enforcement agencies are spotless. If the arrested workers are involved in illegal activity, present them before a court of law, provide evidence and ensure convictions. If they have been wrongly detained absent any proof or legal cover, the authorities responsible for the action must be held accountable. Mudslinging and chest-beating will not achieve anything.