Dr Ishratul Ebad’s removal from the post of Governor comes as a shock to all who had been used to his permanent presence in the gubernatorial mansion of Sindh. The guitar-playing former MQM leader had been in the post since 2002 and his replacement is the second big change in the set-up the Sindh government in recent times, with the last one being the change in the Chief Minister’s spot.

It is being speculated that the recent controversy the former governor found himself embroiled in was the cause for his dismissal. The war of words with the Pak Sar Zameen Party’s (PSP) leader, Mustafa Kamal had gotten very heated last month, when both leaders hurled accusations of the other being corrupt and doing Altaf Hussain’s bidding. The problem is that these allegations can be associated to both due to their long-standing closeness to Altaf Hussain in the past.

Ishratul Ebad may not be a populist politician, but he certainly fulfilled the very important role of mediating between the various conflicting players in Karachi, a job made all the more difficult in the city’s turbulent political landscape. The lack of any affiliation to a political party has probably worked as both a blessing and a curse, and there have often been whispered rumours about the former governor’s connection to the establishment as a reason for his long spell in power. All of this made the Ishratul Ebad’s longevity a given. With both Farooq Sattar’s MQM and Kamal’s PSP upping the ante on the anti-Altaf rhetoric, it was speculated that Ishratul Ebad was the last hope to bring MQM back to the fold. Now that this link has been severed, leaders of MQM-London might not have an entry point for politics left open.

The selection of Saeed-uz-Zaman, a PML-N stalwart will also likely lead a difference of ideology in the governor’s house. A former PML-N candidate for President back in 2008, a party man installed by PML-N might do more harm than good in keeping peace between the powers that be in the city. His first statement is indicative of his role going forward, “I believe that maintaining peace in Karachi is the joint responsibility of both the provincial government and the governor. If peace is maintained in the city, businesses will flourish and people will take a sigh of relief.” However, this is easier said than done in a city that has too many conflicting interests competing against one another, and the PML-N’s direct inclusion into the fray might ruffle more than just a few feathers.