MQM is still the target of the establishment’s ire over the content of Altaf Hussain’s last speech, even though its leaders have expressed their disassociation from their former leader and have expressed a willingness to allow investigations to find the culprits behind the attack on ARY’s office. Farooq Sattar’s latest press conference on Saturday indicated that the party was not happy that its offices remained sealed, and that its workers were picked up seemingly at random, even when no proof existed for the involvement of those arrested. Altaf ‘bhai’ suddenly became Altaf ‘sahab’ and a “complete and total disconnect” from his leadership was used as a basis for allowing MQM to continue its political work.

MQM’s victory in the mayoral elections only proves that the people of Karachi are still looking to the party to stay in the mainstream of Karachi’s politics. As long as it has the people’s mandate, and has removed its connections to Altaf Hussain, MQM should be treated as the political representatives of many of Karachi’s huge population base. Why are its head offices in nine-zero, and nineteen others still sealed then?

The most important thing to keep things from quickly spiralling out of control is to not alienate the party, at a time when it is finally inches away from ridding itself of its tether to the politics of violence and overall antagonism of Altaf Hussain. Hauling workers that had nothing to do with anti-Pakistan slogans is only counter-productive at this point.

The entire country should understand that MQM has within it dedicated patriots that are actually looking towards the betterment of the country. The entire party cannot be looked at through the anti-state elements lens.

And as far as the rapidly expanding schism between the various blocs created in the mohajir vote bank is concerned, Mustafa Kamal has been using Mr Hussain’s borderline seditious speech and his subsequent excommunication from MQM’s leadership role as a springboard to increase his own support base. And it’s working too, by the looks of it. The Pak Sarzameen Party’s latest acquisition from the ranks of MQM is yet another MNA, Asif Hasnain. This desertion will have an effect on MQM’s internal structure, for while none of these leaders are key to MQM’s future, each member lost in a growing pool of workers and leaders that are resentful towards the party is likely to chip away at MQM’s political ambitions in Karachi and beyond.

MQM remains besieged on all sides by its enemies, but this can be a catalyst for its own rejuvenation, provided it takes steps in the right direction.