MQM in disarray

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Over the past few days, an invective-filled exchange has been taking place in Karachi that has brought into the open the internal turmoil convulsing the MQM, while also involving those political factions that have broken away from it. Many of the things being said about the party and its Byzantine, often bloody, internal workings were once discussed in hushed tones; now these stinging allegations are being repeated on national television. The latest in a series of episodes was sparked on Monday when former Karachi city mayor and current head of the Pak Sarzameen Party Mustafa Kamal unleashed a barrage of allegations against Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad. The tough-talking PSP chief accused the governor of indulging in ‘massive corruption’ and providing ‘oxygen’ to Altaf Hussain.
The normally mild-mannered governor has responded in kind, levelling similar charges against Mr Kamal. The latest salvo came on Thursday, when the PSP leader called for a probe against the allegations made against him. Mr Kamal laimed he had approached Mr Ibad for a possible political alliance when the former returned to politics in March; apparently, their stars were not in alignment, which explains the venomous exchanges. At present, it is clear that the MQM has split into four distinct factions — in addition to the Haqiqi faction: the loyaist group in London that has rallied around Altaf Hussain; the Farooq Sattar-led MQM Pakistan.