The Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) is gaining ground in Karachi at a rapid rate.
It appeared on the political map with some major defections from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), stayed in the news for a while but then lost momentum by time.
Due to lack of clarity and a weaker political agenda, the party could not gather much support besides the allegations of this new setup to have been patronized by “hidden hands”.
The party, however, kept working at grass root levels and managed to bring quite a number of current and ex-MQM workers into its fold.
Their corner meetings/rallies/power shows were soon getting noticed for the increase in the number of their supporters.
Eventually with the downfall of Altaf Hussain and the infighting and fragmentation of MQM into several smaller groups lead to further defections leaving PSP as the only solid platform for the urdu speaking community to turn towards.
As a Karachiite, I would want to see true representation of Karachi by the people who were born, raised, educated and worked in this city.
Earlier it was the MQM which made it possible for people belonging to the middle income group to reach the legislative assemblies and be part of the law making process.
The militancy within the MQM, however, became the ultimate cause of it’s downfall and hence a big blow to the efforts of sincere elements within the MQM party ranks who actually wanted to do something good for their community and Karachi in general.
With further divisions within the party, the workers and voters are in a state of confusion and extremely disappointed with the way things are turning out.
Therefore it’s the PSP that could play a major role in filling this void and support this crumbling structure which if not strengthened, could take the representation of Karachi elsewhere.
Before assuming the role of sole representation of Karachiites, PSP will have to consider the demise of MQM as a case study. What went wrong must never be repeated.
As a neutral observer and a thorough Karachiite, I would like to put forward some suggestions which might benefit PSP in the longer run.
- The workers and office bearers of PSP must act as a role model for the society. MQM had failed comprehensively on these grounds. The unit and sector setup was quite intimidating for the general public. What was supposed to be a network built to facilitate the masses was mostly used for arm twisting and collection of funds through all means possible. The unit and sector workers were devoid of manners and ethics. Be it women, the young or the elderly, the kind of treatment they were subjected to and the intimidation tactics that were used had turned those party offices into epi-centres of fear. PSP will have to work on this front on war footings. If you they sincerely want to win the public over, they will have to come up with a different strategy. The confidence and trust of the common citizens will have to be restored and the only way to do it would be through good manners, kindness and respect specially by people who represent the party.
- There should be zero tolerance towards crime and militancy. If a PSP worker is found to have been involved in causing any harm to the general public, he must be taken to task and expelled from the ranks of the party.
- The party must reach out to the general public and get their basic issues resolved by utilizing whatever resources the party has. It could be by mobilizing the workers, forming grievances/support committees, neighbourhood watchdogs, carrying out cleanliness drives etc.
- Mustafa Kamal was known to be a hard worker and a visionary. The party must be a true reflection of its leader. Instead of dirtying the city walls with slogans and graffiti, the party manifesto could be spread through social media, SMS etc. The city must remain clean and free of wall chalking.
- The party must have a clear agenda and concrete steps must be taken to materialize what is written in the manifesto.
- There should be absolute democracy within the party hierarchy. The best man should lead the group and intra party elections must be carried out with transparency.
- The party must not deviate from it’s core ideology.