ISLAMABAD: Two major opposition parties — the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf — believe that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has no other option but to dissociate itself from its chief Altaf Hussain if it wants to do politics in the country.

“Things will not settle down (for the MQM) except minus Altaf,” Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah said while talking to reporters at his Parliament House chamber on Wednesday.

Mr Shah said MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar had apparently done the right thing by disowning Mr Hussain’s remarks.

“This was the only option available to him,” he said, claiming that the MQM had done so due to pressure from the establishment as well as from other political parties.

The PPP leader predicted that the MQM London leadership would not sit idle and would make attempts to stop transfer of power from the United Kingdom to Karachi. He alleged that some people having support of the Indian lobby were sitting with Mr Hussain in London.

Mr Shah said the PPP would like to see the MQM playing a positive role in parliament in future. He refuted the claim of Dr Sattar that Pakistan had got independence due to the struggle of the Urdu-speaking people only, saying that the country had been created by the people of Sindh.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, while talking to reporters, said that it would be premature to say that Dr Sattar had taken control of the MQM.

Mr Ahsan was of the view that it would be difficult to keep Mr Hussain out of politics as the country’s history showed that all attempts by the establishment in the past of implementing the “minus-one formula” had failed.

On the other hand, the PTI termed the “explanations” given by Dr Sattar and other MQM leaders over Mr Hussain’s anti-Pakistan speech “vague and insufficient”.

PTI MNA from Islamabad Asad Umar urged the MQM to itself move resolutions in the National Assembly and the Sindh Assembly condemning Mr Hussain for his anti-Pakistan remarks to show that the party had really distanced itself from the leadership in London.

In a statement, Mr Umar said that if the MQM did not bring the resolutions in the two houses, they would be justified in believing that the party had not got itself dissociated from Mr Hussain.

PTI’s information secretary Naeemul Haq said in a statement that if the MQM people in Pakistan wanted to do politics in the country, they would have to distance themselves from Mr Hussain. Asking the government to take action against Mr Hussain, he said that Article 6 of the Constitution was very clear and it should be applied to those attacking the country.

“It is the responsibility of the government to take action in accordance with the Constitution against those who are supporting Altaf Hussain,” he added.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2016



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