Sattar says his ouster a structured conspiracy, alleges actions taken by Rabita Committee unconstitutional
Party’s deputy convener Khalid Siddiqui contacts ECP, gets ‘permission’ to allocate Senate nominations
KARACHI: As the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) handed over the authority to allocate Senate tickets to Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) Deputy Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, party’s Rabita Committee (RC) purged Farooq Sattar as the party’s convener after accusing him of overstepping his authority.
Speaking at a presser on Sunday, party leader Kunwar Naveed Jamil said that Sattar was removed from his coveted post for a number of reasons. He alleged that the registration of a party as organised as the MQM was cancelled by the ECP only due to the negligence of Dr Farooq Sattar.
“Despite continuous reminders from the coordination committee, Sattar did not file the party workers’ wealth statements with the ECP, due to which the party’s registration was cancelled,” he added. He went on to say that Sattar purposefully sabotaged the Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation – the welfare arm of the MQM – by committing gross mismanagement in its affairs. He said that Nazeer Hussain University is dysfunctional now and its employees haven’t been paid for seven months.
Jamil further alleged that Sattar also altered the party constitution to his own benefit and took all authorities and powers for himself. “We all love Farooq bhai deeply in a personal capacity. He was our party’s convener. He no longer is. We deliberated in great detail regarding this issue and the reasons I’m detailing are a small fraction of all the ones we deliberated,” he said.
Expressing the committee’s reservations regarding the rapid ascent of Kamran Tessori in the party, Jamil alleged that Tessori was only made convener of MQM-P at the insistence of Sattar, keeping merit aside. He also alleged that Sattar had remained unwilling to accommodate the coordination committee’s requests despite multiple overtures to seek a solution to the problem.
Jamil claimed that the committee had even abdicated its right to nominate senators completely for the sake of maintaining unity in the party, but Sattar remained unwilling to remove Tessori from the list of nominees. “We have decided to promote the movement and not individuals,” he continued.
Speaking at the press conference, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that Sattar’s removal had been necessitated by the latter’s call for a party workers’ convention on Sunday that would have split the party completely. However, he did not foreclose the possibility of Sattar being reinstated as the convener of the party, saying the committee would be open to it if Sattar realises his error.
On the other hand, former party convener Farooq Sattar, in a response to the allegations hurled at him said that he was ousted through a structured conspiracy. “The issue was not about the nomination of one person, the Bahadurabad group actually wanted to nominate their favourites,” Sattar claimed. “All the actions taken by the RC in recent times are contrary to the party’s constitution,” Sattar said while addressing the media.
He alleged that they are cloaking their selfish interests in their objection to Tessori’s] nomination for Senate seats. “If I had made all the mistakes they claim I have made, why did they wait for the Senate election to act on them?” he asked. “And if I had usurped all the powers in the party, how did they so successfully hold multiple meetings without my knowledge and conspire against me as well,” he questioned.
“They haven’t just sacked me, they have deprived every deserving worker of the party of his due right,” he said. “If these people were sincere about finding a solution to the crisis, they wouldn’t have signed a declaration for my ouster on February 7 — at the same time they were sending delegations to negotiate with me,” he added.
“The verdict will be delivered by the people’s court on Sunday,” he announced, before inviting all party workers to the KMC ground in PIB Colony for a grand convention. “This was just a trailer, the full film will play at the KMC ground,” he said. “The foundations have been laid for the formation of MQM-Haqiqi two,” he claimed.
Sindh Election Commissioner earlier approved nomination papers of MQM-P Senate candidates including Kamran Tessori. According to sources, the Rabita Committee had issued Senate ticket to Kamran Tessori following a meeting on late Saturday night between the two groups led by Dr Farooq Sattar and Amir Khan respectively. Deputy Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui signed the nomination papers.
During scrutiny of nomination papers before the provincial election commissioner, MQM-P’s Barrister Farogh Naseem said that the party’s constitution allowed RC to issue Senate tickets. Barrister Nasim, who is also Rabita Committee’s nominee for Senate election, read party’s constitution before election commission officials and said, “It’s Rabitta Committee’s prerogative to take such decisions.”
The provincial election commissioner noted that the party constitution had provided veto power to Deputy Convener Siddiqui, accepting his signature on the nomination papers in the absence of Dr Farooq Sattar. Confirming the issuance of Senate ticket to Tessori, MQM-P leader Faisal Subzwari stressed that while tickets had been issued to candidates, the final decision on nominations will be made after consultations.
Earlier, party’s deputy-convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui got the permission from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to allocate party tickets for the upcoming Senate elections, stripping party head Farooq Sattar of the power.
Soon after the ECP announced its decision, Sattar and other party leaders arrived at the election body’s office in Karachi. “I am the party convener, only I have the right to give a ticket,” Sattar told ECP officials, contesting the election body’s ruling. “In my presence, the deputy convener cannot even call a meeting,” Sattar said.