Karachi’s Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra, who recently quit the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and joined the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), on Monday said that he foresees more members of the MQM-P leaving the party in the coming days.
"The process is on-going; more people will soon leave the party and it will be very disturbing to see it perish," Vohra, who joined MQM dissenter Mustafa Kamal's PSP on Sunday, said in an interview with DawnNews.
"I don't see the MQM participating in the 2018 General Elections... When there are already such big differences over small issues, later, when seats will be distributed and performance will not be considered... many issues will crop up," Vohra said.
"Hopefully, at that time, there will be no in-fighting," Vohra added.
When asked about groupings and internal differences within the Pakistan faction of the MQM, Vohra said that "each individual is a group in himself."
"If I want to maintain discipline in the party, then I will have to follow the same discipline myself at the top level," Vohra said when asked about MNA Salman Mujahid Baloch, who was expelled from MQM-P on Oct 20 on the recommendation of the organisational disciplinary committee.
Following his expulsion from the party for violating party discipline, Baloch had confirmed the existence of two groups within the party.
When asked about MQM leader Farooq Sattar, Vohra said that he had not been able to handle the MQM's affairs.
Responding to a question, Vohra said that as a moral rule he should step down from this post as Karachi's deputy mayor; however, he would consider the matter from a legal point of view.
"We had ample resources, we should have planned on how to best utilise them. However, no such planning was done," Vohra said when discussing the MQM's post Altaf Hussain performance.
"Even on the district level, we were not able to deliver anything to the people of Karachi," he added
"Did we resolve the basic issues? No, Karachi is still standing where it was 12 months ago," he said.
"It is our moral duty to leave our seats if we cannot fulfil the people's expectations," Vohra said, adding that Karachi was suffering from "financial injustice."
Vohra is being treated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) as a suspect in a money laundering investigation against MQM founder Altaf Hussain and others.
During the interview, Vohra said that if it weren't for the FIA probe, he would have announced his decision to leave the MQM some 15 days back.
"I have felt frustrated for the past eight months while the FIA sent its notice 15 days ago. At that time, I thought if I quit now, people will say that I am leaving due to the investigation," Vohra said, explaining that his decision was not triggered by the investigation.
"I then thought that whether I am here [MQM-P] or there [PSP], I will still have to face this matter," Vohra elaborated. "I will fight whatever legal battle I am facing," he added.
When asked why he had chosen to join the PSP and not any other political party in the country, Vohra said that it was the administrative qualities of PSP leader Anis Qaimkhani and the ability to deliver of party founder Kamal that encouraged his decision.
"The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is the third largest party in the National Assembly. How often do they talk about Karachi's problems? They appear in Karachi only at the time of elections," Vohra said, adding that Sindh's ruling party PPP has only just started delivering in the provincial capital.
"There should be a reclamation formula for Karachi, as the city has been a victim of financial injustice for long," he concluded.