Mohajir vote to divide in five as Shehzad faction in making

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Urdu speaking votes – that goes with Mohajir card – will be divided in five cliques as former MQM leader Saleem Shehzad announced that he will form his own political party here on Saturday.

Afaq Ahmed was first to defect and formed Mohajir Qaumi Movement known as MQM-Haqiqi, after the party leader Altaf Hussain changed the party’s name from Mohajir Qaumi Movement to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

Despite pure Urdu speaking party, having rejected Altaf Hussain’s claim of accommodating people of other communities by remaining his clique as Muttahida instead of Mohajir, Afaq Ahmed-led MQM-Haqiqi never attracted majority of votes.

The party, however, managed to win few seats.

The second defection was seen when former Deputy Convener and mastermind of the MQM’s Organizational Structure, Anees Ahmed Qaimkhani and former Mayor Mustafa Kamal lashed out at Altaf in March 2016 and formed their own Pak Sarzameen Party.

This clique though didn’t run for any of the several by-polls held in Karachi and Hyderabad, attracted huge numbers of the sector and unit level workers besides Sindh lawmakers due to Qaimkhani’s influence on the party’s organizational committee.

In August 2016, the MQM was divided into two – the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), also called MQM-London, after Pakistan based leader Dr Farooq Sattar, after brief detention in Rangers’ headquarters claimed that he has ousted Altaf Hussain of the party. “We have no association with MQM London,” he said.

Now, another former aide of Farooq Sattar, after fail bit to be welcomed by any of the MQM-P and PSP, on Saturday announced that he would soon create a new political party “free of china-cutters and target killers” in the run-up to the next General Election.

In an informal talk with the media outside Karachi’s City Court, Shahzad said he would discuss his party’s strategy at a public gathering in Orangi Town on December 16.

When asked why he chose Orangi Town for his rally, Shahzad said that he twice been elected MNA from the constituency, and that he would like to ask the people of this area if he had ever failed them or committed any crimes.

“I will contest the election from Orangi Town myself and field my candidates from there, and other constituencies,” Shahzad said during his talk. “The doors of my party will be open for all but there is no space for dry cleaners in there, we only want to bring educated people to the fore,” he added

Saleem Shahzad –who was seen close to the party chief Altaf Hussain in photos following the latter’s grilling at London police station earlier this month –announced that he was planning to resign from politics in October two years ago.

“Planning to resign from politics” Saleem Shehzad announced through his official twitter account. “I did not spoke [speak] to any news Chanel just tweet it’s me and my family decision but my dream is a bright and peace full Karachi” he stated in the second tweet.

According to reports Shahzad said he wanted to consume his energy for some good out politics. Last year following the suspension of his membership from party, the core founding member of MQM had openly said on March 29, 2014 that that several elements within the party were involved in extortion, killings and smuggling.

According to Shahzad the party leadership knew he had decided to resign from the basic membership.

“There is a corrupt lobby in the Muttahida which is against the ideological workers… These elements are involved in extortion, murder, smuggling and other illegal activities,” the London-based leader said in interaction with Media in the UK capital.

In a brief press release issued in Karachi, the MQM said its coordination committee had suspended the basic membership of Saleem Shahzad, ‘senior worker’ of the MQM-UK, for an indefinite period for violating party discipline.

“Shahzad will himself be responsible for all matters relating to his personal and business transactions. The party will not be directly or indirectly responsible for these acts” a handout issued then stated. Saleem Shehzad had been inactive for quite some time but later his membership was revived. Later, some media reports claimed that he was working on forming his own group.

Shahzad was out of the picture; however, he was seen snapped with MQM chief Altaf Hussain several days ago after his appearance in London’s police station.

Sources close to Saleem Shehzad said that the MQM leader has decided to quit party in a protest against the party decision to take back resignations from the parliament.

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