Joint presser exposes major rift in MQM-P

F.P. Report

KARACHI: A Major rift was exposed in Farooq Sattar-led Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) after its Rabita Committee – the supreme council of the party – decided to not contest elections with any electoral symbol but ‘kite’ here on Thursday.

The development irked Farooq Sattar who announced to hold a news conference with a major announcement. No presser was, however, held till filing of this report. Several pro-Sattar leaders, including Kamran Tessori, Waseem Akhter and Nasreen Jalil rushed to Sattar’s house in FIB locality.

Earlier addressing a news conference Kanwar Naveed Jameel, one the deputy conveners, said that some confusion arose after the Wednesday joint presser at Karachi Press Club (KPC).

“The MQM will contest election with its symbol and manifesto and what happened the other day was just a political alliance which may happen with any political party,” Jameel told reporters.

“The Rabita Committee has reposed its complete trust in Farooq Sattar as a leader and we are united under his leadership,” he said, adding the MQM was not ready to make alliance with someone on seat it had already won.

Commenting on the presser, Mustafa Kamal said that the parties were going to merge. “We have made alliance with Farooq Sattar and it matters what he says,” Kamal told a news channel.

“Some members had expressed their reservations and we had to clear them,” Naveed told reporters earlier. He said that three important decisions were made during the meeting. First is that MQM’s name, flag, election symbol and manifesto will remain intact, he said.

“MQM would stay the same as it was, political alliances are formed quite often and there is nothing extra ordinary regarding it,” he claimed, adding it has nothing to do with MQM’s integrity.

He also stated examples of political alliances in the past, such as the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad and the Pakistan National Alliance.

The members also decided that MQM will contest the elections on the seats they have won earlier. Moreover, the party leadership has shown trust in the leadership of Sattar.

“We have a united stance that we want Sattar to lead us.”

Earlier, party members had shared that party head Farooq Sattar won’t be attending the party’s high-level huddle. Kamran Tessori, while speaking to the media, had announced that Sattar won’t be chairing the session. Instead, Rabita Committee Kanwar Naveed Jamil is presiding over the session, he said.

The session is being held a day after MQM-Pakistan and Pak Sarzameen Party announced to regroup under “one name, one election symbol.” Interestingly, it is being said that Kanwar Naveed also has his reservations against MQM-Pakistan joining hands with PSP.

The high-level meeting was being attended by Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan, Wasim Akhtar, Kamran Tessori, Faisal Sabzwari among others.

While other leaders such as Shabbir Qaimkhani and Amir Khan are also missing the session. A consultative meeting of party leaders was summoned on Thursday afternoon to address reservations of its disgruntled leaders on the recently-held joint press conference with Pak Sarzameen Party Chairman Mustafa Kamal, sources informed Geo News.

Meanwhile, senior leaders MQM-P Rauf Siddiqui and Faisal Sabzwari said on Thursday that MQM-P will hold a political alliance with the PSP, and is not merging with it.

Siddiqui said that MQM-P will remain with its identity and PSP with theirs.

Meanwhile, Sabzwari also categorically denied the impression of a merger with the PSP.

“We are just having a dialogue with PSP on the mechanism for a political alliance,” he said. “MQM’s name, flag, symbol is present, and God willing will continue to remain present in future.”