The MQM has once again pulled out of the federal and Sindh governments, this time because of the postponement of the AJK elections to refugee seats in Karachi, which it considers its stronghold, and where it felt it had good chances of success. The Governor of Sindh, Dr Ishratul Ibad, (MQM) has also resigned. The MQM has apparently not taken into account the fact that because the PPP had managed to persuade the PML-Q to join it, it had secured itself against any MQM attempt to deprive it of its majority by pulling out. This would not be the first time the MQM has threatened the government, though it is worth noting that it has not before pulled out of the Sindh government, where its real stakes lie. It must not be forgotten that it is not happy with the PPP in Sindh, at the provincial government, because of its failure even to announce a date for the holding of fresh elections, though it was not hesitant about dissolving the local councils, and thus depriving the MQM of its grip over the nazimships it was interested in. The MQM wants the local body elections held so that it can renew its mandate in these local councils, while the PPP prefers to continue ruling them through the provincial government, and presumably prefers not to have competing centres of power in the shape of the local councils. The distaste of the MQM for the PPP has extended to MQM chief Altaf Hussain expressing regret over the support the party extended to the PPP Chairman in becoming President. This alone, before the MQM Rabita Committee meeting in London, was an indication of the MQM going to leave the provincial government too, because never before has the MQM chosen to criticise the PPP chief. The likelihood of this being accepted by the general public is not very high, because the MQM support was extended over three years ago, and was done by the party very deliberately and in full consciousness of the person it had selected. Such criticism may well be unprecedented, not just for the MQM, and thus will probably mean that the MQM has decided to burn its boats and go into the opposition. The MQM is once again trying to position itself for elections. However, general elections do not seem likely because an MQM pull-out will mean the collapse of the government. The MQM lost that power when the PML-Q joined the government just before the budget was introduced, which was when the MQM also rejoined the federal government. The MQM should notice that whereas it left the government the first time over a hike in the petrol prices, by leaving over the Azad Kashmir elections in Karachi, represents a step backward in its attempt to go national.