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London-based Muttahida leadership strikes back

Updated September 22, 2016

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KARACHI: Accusing the Dr Farooq Sattar-led Mutta­hida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan of “taking anti-Mohajir decisions in the name of saving the party”, the London-based leadership of the MQM on Wednesday dissolved the coordination committee as well as the entire organisational structure of the party.

In a statement released from London, coordination committee convener Nadeem Nusrat strongly criticised the members of the Sindh Assembly belonging to the MQM for tabling a resolution against MQM supremo Altaf Hussain, which called for his trial under Article 6 of the Constitution.

He told parliamentarians belonging to the MQM that it was their moral obligation that they should tender their resignations and contest election afresh in their personal capacity because they had been elected on the appeal of Mr Hussain.

Speaking to a private news channel, Dr Sattar said that the MQM-Pakistan had severed all ties with the MQM-London since Aug 23 and no lawmaker would quit his/her assembly seat.

It is highly unlikely that any MQM office-bearer or lawmaker here will pay heed to the announcement of Mr Nusrat, who along with London-based Wasay Jalil, Mustafa Azizabadi and Qasim Ali Raza, was sacked from the coordination committee by Dr Sattar-led MQM.

In a late-night development, MNA Sufyan Yusuf became the first lawmaker to quit the MQM-Pakistan. He announced he would tender his resignation from the National Assembly shortly.

Mr Yusuf, who was elected from Karachi’s NA-247 (Liaquatabad) constituency in the 2013 elections and is currently out of the country, tweeted: “#MQM mandate belong to Altaf Hussain soon resignations tender to Assemblies”.

Mr Nusrat appealed to the people to sever ties with all those lawmakers who would not tender their resignations.

He said that after the Aug 22 episode Mr Hussain had voluntarily handed over all powers to the coordination committee-Pakistan in the greater interest of the party, but they snatched his discretionary powers and even deleted his name from the party’s constitution in an “illegal and dictatorial” manner.

He said that the discretionary powers were given to the MQM founder by “hundreds of thousands of workers” and a few people could not take such powers away. “The constitution of the party can only be amended in the presence of the convener and full quorum of the coordination committee and workers and not by a few people.

“Yesterday the convener and members of the coordination committee were expelled and today a resolution was tabled in the Sindh Assembly demanding treason trial of the MQM founder. This shows that some members, in the name of rescuing the party, are taking such decisions and steps which are in no way in the interest of the party and the Mohajir community,” he stated.

Without naming any individual, Mr Nusrat said that after consulting the “loyal members” of the coordination committee it was decided that the existing coordination committee, the organisational structure of the MQM and all party wings be dissolved.

“The coordination committee and all wings will be organised afresh and MQM founder Altaf Hussain will endorse all decisions,” he said, adding that Mr Hussain had entrusted all powers to him for the reorganisation of the party.

Meanwhile, Dr Sattar on Wednesday met Grace W. Shelton, the US Consul General stationed in Karachi, at the party’s temporary headquarters in the PIB Colony.

Dr Sattar was reported to have said that even the US diplomat asked him whether he had any contact with the party’s London leadership.

He also chaired a meeting of the party office-bearers and elected representatives and told them that the party was still following its ideology of “realism and practicalism” and that “no one could force us to change the ideology”.

Published in Dawn September 22nd, 2016