As the second phase of the LG Polls dawns upon Karachi, MQM has put up its first display of street power against the Rangers to salvage what is left of the political party and regain momentum in the city. The MQM took out an emotionally charged rally to protest against the alleged illegal arrest of its workers. The protest rally commenced from Liaquatabad and was scheduled to culminate at the Rangers Headquarters located near Sindh Assembly, but police personnel stopped the participants that were being led forward by MQM's leadership near Numaish Chowrangi.

There were clashes between the police and the MQM workers, but common sense and sanity prevailed, which is quite rare in the party’s otherwise violent history. The senior leaders called off the party workers from entering the red zone after talks with senior police officials.

MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar, after calling off the charged party workers, went on a his usual political victimisation rant by glorifying his party as “the most disciplined and patriotic party which respects and recognise the law of the land and institutions.” But of course the tone of violence, threat and coercion, which is the signature of the political party, was recognised in the following sentence: “But there is always a limit to anyone’s patience.”

The MQM also reiterated on Thursday that it would not boycott local government elections and that its members would court arrest after polling on Dec 5 if this was what the law enforcement agencies wanted. This desperate attempt at reforming party image before the elections will not fool anybody. The people of Karachi have made it very clear, in the result of the first phase of the LG Polls, that it is more than happy to get rid of the MQM and its manipulative politics.