- Sattar warns against pushing MQM-P out of political realm
- Bahadurabad leader Siddiqui demands recovery of ‘missing’ party workers
KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM-P) remains divided even on its 34th Foundation Day as Dr Farooq Sattar-led PIB Colony faction and Bahadurabad faction led by Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui held separate rallies at Liaquatabad Flyover and Nishtar Park, respectively.
Addressing the “ideological” workers gathered at the flyover, Dr Sattar said: “We tried a lot to make the Foundation Day happen at one location but no one listened to me.” I suggested that both Rabita Committees should come together, he added.
The MQM since its inception has been celebrating its foundation day on March 22 every year; however, then convenor Farooq Sattar had designated March 18 as the Foundation Day after it split with the MQM founder.
Dr Sattar warned that the MQM-P shouldn’t be pushed out of the political realm, adding that “we want space to exercise our political right”. He further said that the MQM was divided into Karachi and London faction for the sake of the country’s constitution, lamenting that even then it is not allowed to function properly.
He said the party has been a victim of conspiracies umpteenth times but it stood steadfastly and is still here. “We saved MQM on August 23,” Sattar said while referring to turmoil within the party after Altaf Hussain’s speech on August 22, 2017 that had divided the party into the MQM-P and MQM-London.
Referring to the census in 2017, Dr Sattar reasserted that injustice was meted out to Karachi during the census. Last year, Sattar, rejecting the census results, had claimed the census results had been “rigged”. He alleged that the population figure for Karachi had been marked down as “it cannot be less than 30 million”.
He also announced that the party will launch its membership drive from April 2.
During the gathering, Kamran Tessori, the bone of contention between the two factions, said that he is ready to tender his resignation to Sattar if it means ensuring rights of Mohajirs and an end to division.
BAHADURABAD GROUP’S RALLY:
Separately, the party’s Bahadurabad faction held its rally to mark the day at Nishtar Park which was attended by Faisal Subzwari, Khawaja Izar, Waseem Akhtar, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and others.
Bahadurabad leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui addressed the supporters, saying he was dismayed by the two rallies on the founding day of the party. He also demanded recovery of the MQM’s missing persons.
Commenting on the split with the Sattar-led faction, Siddiqui said it was a matter of principle. He refused to accept Tessori as a member of the party, saying Tessori is Sattar’s friend, not a party member.
Meanwhile Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar said will elect Sattar as convener with a two-third majority but if anyone thinks they will be given complete authority they are mistaken.
Khawaja Izharul Haq, while addressing the gathering, said that as long as MQM-P has its name and election symbol, it cannot be divided.
ROAD BLOCKED AHEAD OF RALLIES: Meanwhile, the traffic remained congested in the metropolitan due to road-blocks which irked citizens. The road from Ayesha Manzil to Mukka Chowk was closed on the occasion. “All roads have been closed. How will we reach our homes?” asked a citizen. “We have no issues with the public meeting but why are we being given trouble?” said another resident.
All roads leading to Yadgaar-e-Shuhada, the graveyard where deceased party workers are buried, were also sealed.
The differences emerged between two factions of the MQM-P over the issue of distribution of party tickets for the recently-held Senate polls. The Bahadurabad faction had strongly opposed Sattar’s nomination of the relative newcomer Kamran Tessori over seasoned party leaders. Since then, the differences have been escalated and both sides have also indulged in blames games; however, the party came together ahead of the Senate polls when both sides decided to pitch the Senate members together.