KARACHI: Over 1,900 political workers left their parties and announced joining the Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party on Saturday.

The announcement was made at an event held at the PSP headquarters, Pakistan House, in PECHS, in the presence of all those who pledged allegiance to Mr Kamal’s party.

According to PSP leaders, the major chunk of the people — 919 — who joined the party came from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan.

They said that 97 of them belonged to the Pakistan Peoples Party followed by Afaq Ahmed-led Mohajir Qaumi Movement (55), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (37), Sunni Tehreek (24), Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (22), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (15), Jamaat-i-Islami (13), Pervez Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (nine), PML-Q (six), Awami National Party (four).

However, no known leader of any of the parties was among the people who joined the PSP. Three of the total 1,968 people are union committees’ chairmen and six are councillors and they previously belonged to the MQM-P.

Speaking to reporters at the event, Mr Kamal said that the “historical joining of political activists in any party” was the victory of his ideology.

He said that the people who had joined him today quit their parties because they were being deceived by their previous leaders.

He said that nobody had brought those people at gunpoint.

Referring to the disqualification of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the former Karachi mayor said that those who called his party members “criminals” when the PSP was launched had been declared “criminal” by the apex court.

He said the PML-N leadership, PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, MQM founder Altaf Hussain and former president Pervez Musharraf were facing criminal charges in courts.

He said that it was a big achievement of the PSP that none of its workers had adopted a violent path despite provocation. “Since the formation of the PSP, none of my workers is blamed for any crime,” he added.

Mr Kamal gave his party credit of maintaining a durable peace in Karachi as, he said, the Rangers and other law enforcement agencies could only restore peace for a short time by conducting operations.

He said that no operation could remove someone from the hearts of the people. However, because of the PSP the people not only threw out Altaf Hussain but now nobody was listening to him.

He asked the establishment, law enforcement agencies and his rival parties to at least praise the efforts of his workers for throwing out the MQM founder as this could not be possible by the Rangers-led operation.

PSP President Anis Kaimkhani, Secretary General Raza Haroon and other leaders were also present.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2017

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