The Mirza ‘exit’

After his many verbal exploits, it looks as if Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza is taking a step back from the political trenches. Frankly, his approved leave for ‘medical treatment’ does not come as much of a surprise. It is Mr Mirza who has, in the past, put his parent party, the PPP, in quite a pickle because of his aggressive stance against the MQM, a major coalition partner in Sindh.When dealing with an explosive city like Karachi, one expects a certain tact and decorum from the home ministry, a vital office that can lend itself to either fixing the repeated cycles of violence in the metropolis or further debilitating the situation. Karachi is home to the original turf wars where the MQM may have laid claim to exclusive reign but is now facing other elements looking to muscle in on this previously exclusive turf. From coalition partner ANP dominated by the Pashtuns to an increasing role being taken up by the People’s Amn Committee — there have been accusations from different sectors that the Amn Committee is increasingly joining the fray of criminal activities — to different elements involved in illegal activities, all have a role in making Karachi the deadly battle-zone it has become.

While the MQM, known as the original bhatta (extortion) party, has been trying to reinvent itself as a party of moderation and good and proactive governance, Mr Mirza has been quick to shoot them down and also declare that the Amn Committee belongs to the PPP. This has caused plenty of embarrassment to the PPP because of the many accusations against the Amn Committee. It seems that wisdom has finally dawned on restoring the role of the home ministry as now Dr Mirza has been granted an exit for medical treatment abroad. One can almost hear the sighs of relief coming from all corners after the exit of the combative politician.However, whether he stays on as home minister or not, his close ties with the PPP will go a long way in preventing complete abandonment. Maybe that is why he is being considered for a senate seat in place of the slain Shahbaz Bhatti, the minister for minorities. This is not a recommended move as this seat has been allocated to the minorities and should not be taken back from them to accommodate a member of the majority community. – Dailytimes