MQM lawmakers tender resignations

Published August 12, 2015
The NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq sat at his desk, surrounded by MQM lawmakers who submitted their resignations one by one. —Courtesy Photo
The NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq sat at his desk, surrounded by MQM lawmakers who submitted their resignations one by one. —Courtesy Photo

ISLAMABAD: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) lawmakers simultaneously submitted their resignations in the National Assembly, Senate and the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday, citing reservations over the Rangers-led operation in Karachi.

MQM lawmaker Farooq Sattar while addressing the NA said, "We have decided to resign from the National Assembly, Senate and Sindh Assembly."

In National Assembly, after Sattar finished his speech, the MQM lawmakers went into the Speaker's chamber to submit their resignations.

The NA Speaker sat at his desk, surrounded by MQM lawmakers who submitted their resignations one by one.

Ayaz Sadiq verified the resignations, but the decision to accept the resignations will take place after the arrival of PM Nawaz Sharif, said sources in the PML-N. The PML-N leadership is also in contact with PPP leadership, they added.

MQM Senators then submitted their resignations to Chairman Senate.

Senator Raza Rabbani initially refused to accept the resignations and asked the MQM lawmakers to submit the resignations in Senate Secretariat — which they later did.

Meanwhile, the party's MPAs also submitted their resignations to Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani.

MQM airs grievances

  • Farooq Sattar announces decision to resign from National Assembly, Senate and Sindh assembly.

  • Hundreds of party workers arrested by LEA’s have not been sent on judicial remand, a practice that was against Article 10, said Farooq Sattar.

  • He complained that the government has failed to set up a monitoring committee to check the performance of Rangers.

  • If state aggression is used to build a new political empire by suppressing the actual public mandate, it will create a violent backlash.

  • If Altaf Hussain speaks against institutions, everyone loses their minds. But when other leaders do so, no one takes notice.

Farooq Sattar, while addressing a press conference outside NA, said "it has been proved that the implementation of law is different for MQM than that for other parties".

"Even if the statements and speeches of Altaf Hussain are allegedly against the Constitution, it does not give any state institution the leverage to carry out illegal and unlawful acts against MQM and its leaderships," he asserted.

While addressing the National Assembly earlier today, MQM leader Farooq Sattar said that many party workers over the past six months had been arrested by Rangers and other law enforcement agencies but had not been sent on judicial remand, a practice, he said, was against Article 10.

The MQM leader said that there were hundreds of fake cases registered against the party chief and workers.

"Take a 90-day remand as per the law if required. We have never protested against or objected to it," he said.

He demanded an "unbiased operation" in Karachi, saying that the government had failed to set up a monitoring committee to check the Rangers. "We have failed to get justice," he said.

Farooq Sattar said the government was involved in a media trial of the MQM and is trying to "create space for someone" in the upcoming Local Government elections.

“A media trial against MQM is being facilitated by releasing stories and confessional statements to media. Who is giving all this stories to media? Under what law and on whose orders?” questioned the MQM lawmaker.

“If someone uses state aggression and tries to build a new political empire by suppressing the actual mandate of the public, it will create a violent backlash,” Sattar said.

He alleged that the government provides a safe exit to terrorists while the Rangers treat MQM workers like prisoners of war. He asked the speaker how the PPP, PML-N or Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf would react if the same happened to their party members.

"We are the fourth largest party and we are being prevented from playing our role, we have been pushed against the wall," he said.

Sattar that a judicial commission should be formed to investigate cases of missing citizens. "When we ask for justice, why is there a hindrance in providing us justice if this is a democracy with a representative government?"

"Karachi only receives 66 per cent revenue," Sattar said. "We demand justice, and for the establishment of a judicial commission," he said.

"We have raised our concerns before the Sindh chief minister, the Sindh home minister, the prime minister and Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, but were never given a clear response," the MQM leader told the NA.

"We were told that all of this is a result of Altaf Hussain's speeches from London," he added, saying that the government's ban on Altaf's speeches was in violation of Article 19 of the constitution.

He said that Khawaja Asif, Munawar Hassan, Mahmood Khan Achakzai and Maulana Abdul Aziz had also spoken about the armed forces in public.

Meanwhile, Altaf Hussain in an interview with Geo television's Hamid Mir, said that he will not issue any statement which would hurt the integrity of the country's institutions.

Also read: Ruckus in Sindh Assembly as MQM protests killing of worker

Earlier today, as MQM party members staged a protest outside the National Assembly, Farooq Sattar had told reporters the party would go to the assembly first and then to the Speaker's chamber.

Sindh Assembly MPAs had directly approached Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani's chamber to submit their resignations as the assembly session had concluded.

Farooq Sattar outside the National Assembly as party members stage a protest. ─ DawnNews screengrab
Farooq Sattar outside the National Assembly as party members stage a protest. ─ DawnNews screengrab

Earlier, an MQM spokesperson told that MQM MPAs are expected to resign from the Sindh Assembly today.

He also said Farooq Sattar would address parliament today and that "mass resignations" should be expected.

Senior MQM member Mustafa Azizabadi confirmed to BBC Urdu that the party intended to tender resignations in the Senate and assemblies today.

The party's parliamentarians held a meeting at Parliament House, following which they staged a protest outside the National Assembly.

A protest note circulating on local news channels, believed to have been drafted by the MQM, may be submitted along with the resignations of MQM legislators.

The note highlights the party's reservations over being targeted for the past two years, as well as the media trial conducted against the MQM. It also terms the ban on the live broadcast of MQM chief Altaf Hussain's speeches as unconstitutional.

Will accept MQM resignations if genuine: NA Speaker

National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq while speaking to the press earlier on Wednesday had said that if MQM MNAs submitted their resignations voluntarily, he would accept them.

"If they come with their resignations and hand them over to me themselves, I will ask them 'Is is voluntary? Is it genuine?' If they say they were not pressured into it, I will accept it," he said.

When asked about the possibility of MQM resignations being tendered, he said "I don't know where you got the news that MQM members were going to resign."

"Farooq Sattar spoke about the extra-judicial killing of an MQM worker. I allowed him to speak on a point of order. The Interior Minister replied that they had reservations over the matter," he said, referring to the killing of MQM activist Muhammad Hashim.

Resignations being processed: NA secretariat

Later in the day, a press release was issued by the NA secretariat saying that resignations of MQM MNAs had not been officially accepted thus far, contradicting reports to the contrary in some sections of media.

The release said the resignations were being processed by the relevant branch of the secretariat.

"It is clarified that resignations of 24 Members of MQM were handed over to the Honourable Speaker in his office at about 3.00 pm today, Aug 12, 2015. The Honourable Speaker after receiving these resignations, directed the National Assembly Secretariat in writing to process them," says the news release.



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