KARACHI: Senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Dr Farooq Sattar on Sunday suggested dissolution of the coordination committees of both PIB and Bahadurabad groups as a middle way out of the ongoing stand-off between the two groups of the party.

As differences between the PIB Colony and Bahadurabad groups of the MQM-P were still unresolved, both groups on Sunday held their separate meetings in which the former ‘reorganised’ its district East chapter and the latter held a meeting of the women workers of the same chapter.

“My formula is to dissolve both coordination committees and me and Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui [the convener of the Bahadurabad group] would [sit together and] form a new coordination committee comprising new people to serve the masses,” said Dr Sattar at his group’s event held at the KMC ground in PIB Colony.

He said under his formula all other leaders, except him and Dr Siddiqui, would go to the masses to mobilise the party to make preparations for the 2018 general election.

Dr Sattar said that he never wanted to bring party’s internal matters to court or the Election Commission of Pakistan or before the people. “I came before workers and the people only when my Bahadurabad friends made the matter public.”

He said that the Pakistan Peoples Party and former president Asif Zardari were wrong if they thought that the MQM-P had finished.

In a thinly veiled reference to the March 3 Senate election, he said the PPP would not take advantage of the row between the two groups of his party.

Responding to Pak Sarzameen Party chairman Mustafa Kamal, who said the MQM-P must be finished for the sake of progress of Mohajirs, he said the MQM-P would continue to exist in Jinnah’s Pakistan and would play its role in the progress and development of the country.

Separately, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, the convener of the Bahadurabad group, told a women workers meeting held at a park near the party’s temporary headquarters in Bahadurabad that the prevailing situation was a matter of concern for everyone, but following the party constitution in letter and spirit was the only solution to steer the party from the present crisis.

Without naming Dr Sattar, he said that those taking decisions for the sake of friendship and after ignoring the constitution were damaging the party.

Later in the evening, a PIB group delegation led by Kamran Tessori visited the Bahadurabad headquarters to meet Dr Sattar’s opponent to find a solution to the crisis.

Faisal Subzwari, a senior leader of the Bahadurabad group, told the media that the delegation came there on the directive of Dr Sattar. “They told us a solution and we communicated to them a rather better solution,” he said.

Mr Tessori said on the occasion that Dr Sattar did not want division in the party.

Differences within the MQM-P came to the fore on Feb 5 over distribution of tickets to candidates for the March 3 Senate election. The party split into two groups — one led by Dr Sattar and the other by senior leader Amir Khan — and both sides took extreme actions against each other.

The Bahadurabad group ousted Dr Sattar from the post of convener with a two-thirds majority and in a tit-for-tat reaction Dr Sattar held a workers’ convention the same day, dissolved the coordination committee and announced intra-party elections. On Feb 18, Dr Sattar was elected the party convener after securing over 9,000 votes in the intra-party elections.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2018

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