February 07, 2018

Sattar calls emergency Rabita Committee meeting

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) convener Farooq Sattar called an emergency Rabita Committee meeting on Tuesday evening. Sattar, who abruptly left a party meeting on Monday over a disagreement on Senate candidate nominations, also refused to call off a general workers' meeting to be held later Tuesday, sources said.

Three senior members of the party — Nasreen Jalil, Faisal Subzwari, and Wasim Akhtar — were included in a delegation that had earlier failed to appease the party's convener. “Nasreen Jalil, Faisal Subzwari, and Wasim Akhtar are now part of the six-member delegation in talks with Farooq Bhai,” announced party leader Aminul Haque.

"MQM-P is a democratic party; we have extended an invitation to Farooq Bhai to come [to the party office] and lead the party," Haque told the media during a Rabita Committee press conference on Tuesday evening.

In the meantime, MQM-P member Faisal Subzwari announced that they were ready to sort matters out as they had sent a three-member delegation to Farooq Sattar for negotiations. Abdul Rauf Siddiqui, Sardar Ahmad and Javed Hanif have been sent to Sattar’s residence to reach a conclusive decision. Subzwari said they are hoping for only "plus and no minus”, and that no party member was allowed to act against the discipline.

Subzwari had, earlier Tuesday, announced that a three-member delegation had been sent to Sattar to ‘sort matters out.’ “The Rabita Committee has given the mandate to a three-member delegation which includes Sardar Ahmad, Rauf Siddiqui, and Javed Hanif to discuss matters with Farooq Bhai,” he told the media. “In the past, the Rabita Committee only made suggestions and decisions were made in London but now all decisions are made in Pakistan.”

The rumoured division within the party ranks had turned out to be true as senior party leaders, Sattar and senior deputy convener Amir Khan, called separate meetings on Tuesday. According to information obtained by Geo News, the MQM-P leader also refused to visit the party’s office in Bahadurabad and maintained his stance on giving Senate tickets to party members earlier nominated by him.

Sattar has called a general workers’ meeting at the KMC ground to decide the future course of action of the party, adding that he would speak on certain matters in the session that he never addressed before.

“I will inform about the obstructions I faced in making decisions for the past 15 months,” he had said.

Sources confirmed that the split has been caused due to the Senate elections due on March 3, 2018. The MQM-P leaders have not entirely converged on the matter of awarding Senate tickets as four senators from the party are set to retire this year.

Farooq Sattar remains the convener of one committee while the other was organised by Amir Khan at the Bahadurabad office, which was chaired by Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. The MQM-P in an earlier meeting at the party’s Bahadurabad office decided to award tickets for the upcoming Senate elections to Farogh Naseem, Nasreen Jalil, Aminul Haque and Shabbir Qaimkhani.

However, MQM-P Convener Dr Farooq Sattar suggested the name of deputy convener Kamran Tessori for the ticket which was opposed by Senior Deputy Convener Amir Khan. The party leadership indulged in a heated argument over the names after which Farooq Sattar walked out of the meeting.

The row further deepened when two senior members of MQM-P called separate party meetings. Dr Farooq Sattar convened the meeting at the PIB Colony office while Amir Khan called an urgent meeting at party’s Bahadurabad office.

Talking to workers in the PIB Colony, Dr Farooq Sattar disagreed with the decisions taken in the meeting held at Bahadurabad and termed the meeting as unconstitutional and violation of party discipline.

During his address, Farooq Sattar had called a meeting of MQM-P general workers on Tuesday at the PMC ground to decide about the future strategy. He also sought support from MQM-Haqiqi and PSP for the sake of people of Karachi.

MQM-P Rabita Committee leader Maqbool Siddiqui earlier announced to suspend the membership of MQM-P deputy convener Kamran Tessori for six months. Talking to the media after the Rabita Committee meeting at the Bahadurabad office, MQM-P leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui announced the decision to suspend Kamran Tessori. He said that after the decision of the Rabita Committee, even MQM-P convener Dr Farooq Sattar could not award a Senate ticket to Kamran Tessori.

Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui further said that the members of MQM-P Rabita Committee cannot be removed by the party’s convener or deputy convener. He also said that if Farooq Sattar wanted to leave the MQM-P, then the party cannot do anything about it.

Meanwhile, Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Secretary General Raza Haroon termed MQM-P chief Farooq Sattar as the 12th player of the match, who is only a fielder, not captain. Talking to the media outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) office, Raza Haroon lashed out at Farooq Sattar, saying that his character is dubious. He said the MQM which Sattar talks about has already dissolved.

On the issue of Senate elections, Raza Haroon offered the MQM leaders, who are not getting the tickets, to join the PSP. He said that MQM workers are fighting over one ticket and that they can also slit throats of each others in general elections to get tickets.

He said that Farooq Sattar has good sense of politics but his yesterday’s statement was strange as no one expected such kind of words from him, continuing that the MQM is not improving its status despite getting Rs25 billion from the ruling party.

“If they had fought for Karachi’s issues, it would have been better,” he added. “Sindh is facing crisis, residents of Karachi are forced to drink poisonous water but the party is in a brawl for Senate tickets,” he concluded.


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