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Is Dr Ishratul Ebad coming back to Karachi?

Master mediator to glue back MQM-P

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 19, 2019 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
Posted: Sep 19, 2019 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
Is Dr Ishratul Ebad coming back to Karachi?

Dr Ishratul Ebad, a former MQM leader and the longest serving governor in Sindh’s recent history, is set to make a comeback.

Dr Ebad, who was once MQM supremo Altaf Hussain’s blue-eyed boy, will be inducted in MQM-Pakistan upon his return.

Sources within the MQM-P told SAMAA Digital that the party will keep its doors open for the former governor. In the near future, Dr Ebad will be given a key position in the party, sources added.

This is not the first time that reports of his return have surfaced. During the 2018 general elections there were rumours that he would launch his own political party.

The latest reports emerged after Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar met Dr Ebad in Dubai on Wednesday. A photo did the rounds. The mayor is also the deputy convenor of MQM-P and met Dr Ebad with the consent of his party leadership.

Reporters were told in a carefully worded message, that during the meeting the two discussed Karachi’s problems. Dr Ebad is said to have urged the mayor to increase his coordination with the federal and provincial governments to tackle Karachi’s problems which have been in the news given the breakdown in civic infrastructure.

Dr Ebad assured the mayor that he would talk to Sindh Minister for Local Government Nasir Hussain Shah so that there is better coordination between Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and the provincial government, which have of late been blaming each other for the failures that that the public have been pointing out.

“MQM-P’s political position in Karachi and other urban cities of Sindh province was also discussed during the meeting,” sources said, adding that the future leadership of the MQM-P also came under discussion. This is a clear sign that the politics of MQM-P is about to change.


Dr Ebad is a rare figure who has been noted for his special ability to maintain cordial relations with everyone in power. He was the representative of the federation (or Islamabad) in Sindh as governor for an extremely long tenure from 2002 to 2016.

Among his many talents is mediation. He repeatedly stepped in to smoothen ruffled feathers when the MQM and PPP were ready to throttle each other.

He is also possibly a figure that can take on the responsibility of wooing former MQM leaders back into the fold. So for example, he could sweet-talk disgruntled Pak Sarzameen Party leaders such as Raza Haroon, Dr Saghir Ahmed, Wasim Aftab and Anis Ahmed Advocate and persuade them to re-join the MQM.

There is also former MQM convenor Dr Farooq Sattar, who left to form his own faction of the MQM after developing serious differences with Aamir Khan.

Old patrons

The mayor also met former dictator Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, who was once a great supporter of the MQM when it ran the local government. It was reported that Musharraf said that in order to tackle Karachi’s issues, local government needs to be given powers according to Article 140-A of the Constitution. (The only problem with that is that it only specifies that the provincial government should decide its shape and form).

The mayor is scheduled to return to Karachi on Thursday evening after completing his two-day visit to Dubai.

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