The curious case of Dr Zulfiqar Mirza
Dr Mirza’s sudden outburst in anger has taken everyone by surprise. Despite his previous outburst in media and public against some party policies, he was known as a close aide of president Zardari. Many believe that his loyalty may always be with his party, he has run out of patience by the policy of national reconciliation adopted by his party’s bosses in the center. Others still doubt any depth behind his allegations and think that his impulsive nature is being expertly exploited by the party administration, and knowingly or unknowingly he is playing the bad cop for them, providing them with space to bargain with their coalition partners in Karachi. Despite these different views amongst public and analysts, everyone has started to believe that he means some kind of business.
His press conferences raise questions, some of individual and others of national concern. By far the most important amongst all of them is the alleged plot to break Pakistan. He categorically referred it to MQM Chief Altaf Hussain, whom he quoted as saying that he was on board with such a plan. Although dominated by political motives, his press conference has seriously challenged certain elements of the state policy from security point of view.
Other allegations largely circulate around his differences with his party over the policy of political reconciliation with none other than MQM and Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s interference in the provincial matters. Still others include alleging MQM of various malpractices at individual and party levels and of their narrow vision of the state of Pakistan.
As I stated earlier, the most important of these revealations is the one that concerns the security of the sate. Such voices have been raised in US media previously. In 2008, the then PMLQ senator Nisar Memon highlighted a research report by Prof Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research (Canada) which stated a plan to bring political unrest to the country. Although Dr Mirza has once again brought the issue into limelight, his credibility to make such statements carries lots of question marks.
Dr Mirza talked of himself once he spoke in Nodero, probably in a bid to praise the statesmanship of Mr Zardari, that he (Dr Mirza) had thought of breaking Pakistan on the eve of murder of ex premier of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto. According to him, it was the political vision of Mr Zardari that guided him not to think in any such extremes. Had it not been so, something must have had happened to the country by now. Now that he has blamed MQM chief of being part of a similar conspiracy, do we take it as good as Dr Mirza's own sentiments about the state, those of betrayal and anger or something even worse. Ironically though, nothing of this nature was revealed in wikileaks Pakistan Papers, published by DAWN. Lastly, the way he described Altaf Hussain sharing his thoughts with Dr Mirza while asking his own party members to excuse them is quite unnatural. So his controversial statement raises more questions than it answers, like would he shed a bit of light on the 'US' side of the story too? Is his party chief and country's president aware of this? Does the security apparatus of Pakistan possess knowledge of this? And if so, did the establishment supported coalition in the center take any high level notice of such advancements?
Although Dr Mirza tried his best to make people believe that he is speaking truth, his previous emotional outbursts of this nature and subsequent apologies are still fresh in people’s memories. His repeated commitment of unconditional loyalty to Mr Zardari also questions his claims as he is potentially alleging his party of some kind of negligence in handling law and order situation of country's economic hub. Between the lines, his resignation shows his dissatisfaction and frustration about entertainment of his opinion by the party. How justified is unconditional loyalty then is? How truthful his allegations can be then? But a more important thing is the political fallout of this move on national scene. Would he be able to stand by his allegations if SC asks him to do so? What if a judicial probe becomes inevitable? Would it threaten the regime? Would Dr Mirza get support from other unhappy members of the party against party policies? Apparently, he seems to bite the dust in near future and status quo will prevail. But he surely has put both PPP and MQM on back foot by raising such allegations. Fingers crossed for the unpredictable politics of Pakistan though.