Sattar backtracks from election alliance with PSP after leaders revolt

F.P. Report

KARACHI:  Muttahida Qaumi Movement- Pakistan (MQM-P) on Thursday backtracked from its decision of jointly contesting polls with Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) under “one name, one manifesto and one symbol”.

Addressing news conference at Karachi, Chief of MQM-P, Dr Farooq Sattar, came hard on PSP chairman Mustafa Kamal.

“I have sent a letter to PM Khaqan Abbasi, Army Chief, DG ISI, DG IB and others. If Kamal wants details of so-called six months contacts, I will public the letter’s content,” Sattar warned Kamal, apparently in a bid to forbid PSP chief from speaking on the topic.

“I could have responded to Mustafa Kamal yesterday but it’s not my ethics to respond in such a way,” he said.

“Yesterday, we held news conference with full sincerity and it was an election alliance which could turn into alliance but Mustafa Kamal started talking about end of the MQM-P,” Sattar said.

“Whether in Pakistan or Karachi Engineered politics can be done,” he said, adding that the one ruling over the heart of the people would rule over the city as well.

“An important decision will be announced and I will also explain the reasons behind it,” he remarked.

“I am the head of Pakistan’s third largest party in the Senate. MQM-Pakistan is the second biggest party in Sindh and the biggest party for the people of Karachi.”

“I started my political career with All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organization, which was created on June 11, 1978. I joined APMSO in 1979,” he said.

“We are in politics to save Pakistan,” he said, adding “Mohajirs and their mandate were insulted yesterday.”

He also remarked, “I have never abused my power for personal gains.”

Sattar requested the media organizations to probe into the wealth of all the major political leaders from different parties. “Politicians and heads of all parties should be held accountable regarding their assets and funds. Nation needs to know who is leading them.”

“Welcome all party members, supporters and workers. Also, thank all media organizations for coming to cover across this press conference on such a short notice,” he said in his opening note.

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.”