KARACHI: Accusing Dr Farooq Sattar-led MQM-Pakistan of betraying him, Muttahida Qaumi Move­ment founder Altaf Hussain on Thursday warned lawmakers belonging to his party that their constituents would ensure their resignations if they did not quit assemblies on his call.

About two weeks ago, Mr Hussain in an audio message posted on the social media had asked the MQM’s parliamentarians to resign and contest elections afresh since they had been elected “in his name”.

However, questions had been raised about the authenticity of the audio clip and the London-based MQM leadership had promised to release Mr Hussain’s video statement to give a befitting reply to all detractors.

On Thursday, the MQM-London posted on YouTube and Daily Motion an 81-minute-long clip in which Mr Hussain was seen speaking to his followers for about 42 minutes.

The remaining part of the clip only contained Mr Hussain’s voice.

He told his followers that there should be no confusion about those sitting in what he called “the PIB camp” — the residence of Dr Sattar which is nowadays the temporary headquarters of the MQM-Pakistan — that they had deceived him by writing him out of the MQM’s constitution.

“From now on, none of my followers will contact anyone except [MQM] London and Nadeem Nusrat,” he said, adding: “Soon the coordination committee in Pakistan and London will be announced.”

He said the coordination committee in Pakistan was taking decisions which “are not in the interest of the nation”.

While not a single lawmaker had paid any heed to his earlier call to resign, he once again asked the parliamentarians belonging to his party to send their resignations to the assemblies and the Senate by Friday.

He said the voters would force their representatives in the National Assembly, the Sindh Assembly and the Senate to submit their resignations and contest election independently. “I will accept them if they return to the assemblies,” he added.

Referring to his Aug 22 incendiary speech, he said he was overwhelmed by emotions because of “enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killings” of his workers when he said “down with Pakistan”.

“I realised my mistake and offered my apology twice.”

Mr Hussain said that no action was taken against other leaders when they spoke against the country or the armed forces of Pakistan.

The London-based leader said he knew that the operation launched under the National Action Plan would only target his party and therefore his party refused to sign the Protection of Pakistan Bill in 2014.

The MQM-Pakistan, meanwhile, offered no reaction to Mr Hussain’s statement and a senior leader said no lawmaker would submit his/her resignation.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2016

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