KARACHI: Unfazed by the attitude of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) lawmakers who paid no heed to a recent call of Altaf Hussain for resignation, London-based convener of the party Nadeem Nusrat on Saturday asked all leaders and workers of the party to submit an apology for deserting Mr Hussain for any reason and for joining him again.

The “appeal” came a week after emergence of an audio message on the social media in which Mr Hussain was heard asking MQM legislators to resign from their seats and contest elections afresh since they got votes in his name.

Not a single MQM legislator — now part of Dr Farooq Sat­tar-led MQM-Pakistan — has so far sent his/her resignation to the Senate and nat­ional or provincial assemblies.

Sufyan Yousuf is the only MNA of the party who tweeted from abroad about quitting his seat in response to Mr Hussain’s call, but his resignation has not yet reached the National Assembly speaker.

In a statement released from London, Mr Nusrat said: “Being the convener of the MQM who has been elected by MQM workers and endo­rsed by Quaid-i-Tehreek Alt­af Hussain, I am making this last appeal to leaders, elected representatives and workers to not dissociate themselves from the MQM founder because of the threats and pressure of the establishment, correct their mistakes and return to his caravan.”

He asked the party cadre to find out what he called “a secure way” to contact the London office of the party to send their messages or share their views.

Dr Sattar-led MQM had recently sacked Mr Nusrat and three others from the coordination committee.

In a tit-for-tat reaction, Mr Nusrat had dissolved the coordination committee and all organisational structure of the MQM on the instruction of Mr Hussain, who also gave him powers to reorganise the party.

In a reaction to Mr Nusrat’s statement, Dr Sattar appointed himself the convener of the party and expelled two members of the coordination committee — Ashraf Noor and Akram Qureshi — from the party to firm up his grip on the party’s organisational affairs.

He told a press conference in the evening that besides senior deputy convener Amir Khan, Kahfulwara, Nasreen Jalil and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui were made deputy conveners, while Faisal Subz­wari, Abdul Waseem and Kishwar Zehra appointed members of the coordination committee.

“The MQM-Pakistan has appointed me the convener of the party,” he said, adding that his party associated itself with the people of Pakistan and severed ties with London.

Published in Dawn October 2nd, 2016