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MQM-P intra-party polls: Farooq Sattar elected party chief

Updated February 18, 2018

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MQM workers vote in the intra-party election. ─ DawnNews
MQM workers vote in the intra-party election. ─ DawnNews

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P)'s Dr Farooq Sattar-led faction elected Dr Sattar as convener in its intra-party elections, DawnNews reported.

The MQM-P held intra-party elections on Sunday after a disagreement between two groups in the party over Senate election nominations led to a rift between the Farooq Sattar-led faction based in Karachi's PIB Colony and the Bahadurabad faction.

According to initial reports, Kamran Tessori, Ali Raza Abdi, Muzamil Qureshi, Abdul Waseem, Shaikh Salahuddin, Sohail Mansoor, Shahid Pasha, and Qamar Mansoor were elected as members of the party's coordination committee.

Dr Sattar had dissolved the coordination committee and announced fresh intra-party elections when the committee announced to remove him from the post of convener on February 11. The Raabita Commitee-led faction headquartered in Bahadurabad was strongly opposed to the nomination of Kamran Tessori, a favoured candidate of Sattar's, who is perceived as a newcomer by many of the party's old guard.

After a few failed rounds of talks between both groups, it appeared that the Raabita Commitee's (Coordination Committee) request to remove Tessori's name from the list of nominations was not accommodated by Sattar, even after the committee had abdicated its right to nominate senators completely for the sake of maintaining unity in the party. Subsequently, the committee took the extreme step and sidelined Sattar, whereas in a tit for tat reaction Sattar announced the dissolution of the committee and called fresh intra-party polls to determine the party's new leader.

Polling to elect members of the new Raabita Committee and Central Executive Council took place at Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Ground.

Sattar, in a video statement, said that the elections were being held at the KMC Ground in Karachi's PIB Colony area and at the MQM's Hyderabad Zonal Office.

He appealed to all workers from Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Nawabshah, Mirpurkhas, Dadu, Badin, Thatta, Khairpur, Shikarpur, Gotki to come forward and participate in the elections.

"The rift in the party can only be resolved with these elections. Just like the party was saved on August 23, the February 18 intra-party elections will rescue the party," he said, referring to the party's 2016 split from its London office after founder Altaf Hussain made incendiary anti-Pakistan statements.

"I have an unblemished 35-year-long political career. I put this fact before you and ask you to place your trust in me. I will not disappoint you. We will be ready for the 2018 general election, we will mend this rift between the party and will never look back. We will win back all our seats with pride and honour," he claimed.

MQM-P's Kamran Tessori while speaking to journalists in Islamabad today, said: "I've paid a visit to the shrine of Bari Imam Sahab and prayed that the crisis some conspirators have created is averted and some concrete solution emerges soon."

"It's our leader Dr Farooq Sattar's primary wish that the party and it's workers not remain divided. The intra-party elections are taking place today in Karachi, Hyderabad and interior Punjab and Sindh. It will be proven today whether this party is a party of the workers or of those who shove the manifesto and Constitution in our faces."

"I pray that the results this evening are in accordance with the wishes of the party members and all the efforts they have put in are not wasted."