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Dr Sattar urges institutions to clarify policy on urban Sindh’s mandate

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DR Farooq Sattar, along with other party colleagues, speaks at the press conference in Hyderabad on Monday.—Dawn
DR Farooq Sattar, along with other party colleagues, speaks at the press conference in Hyderabad on Monday.—Dawn

HYDERABAD: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) PIB group leader Dr Farooq Sattar has said that unless the chief justice of Pakistan hears him and all those who were “forced” to join the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), he would not believe that the general election in Sindh would be fair and transparent.

“The army chief, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) director general and heads of other state institutions should clarify their policy ... if there is a policy to divide urban Sindh’s mandate in the larger interest of these institutions’ honour, then I am ready to give walkover to someone else,” he said while speaking at a press conference at his group’s zonal office here on Monday evening.

Dr Sattar said he persuaded MNA Syed Wasim Hussain, who had joined the PSP on April 1, to return to his party. The MNA also spoke at the press conference, where MNA Shaikh Salahuddin, Mayor Tayyab Hussain, Deputy Mayor Sohail Mashhadi and other leaders were also present.

“This game of forced induction of our parliamentarians and workers [into PSP] must end now,” he said. Heads of constitutional institutions would have to understand as to what was happening [in urban Sindh in the run-up to the general elections],” he added.

Wants end to ‘forced’ induction of lawmakers into PSP

Dr Sattar claimed that there were proofs and doubts about presence of facilitators as well as state and non-state actors in Sindh. And this was going to affect holding of transparent elections in the province.

He observed that “pressure and coercion” was continuing.

He told a questioner that he had written a letter to the army chief last November, and said “the beauty of that letter is that either I or army chief has seen it,” he said.

“Now I don’t want to talk to anyone other than the army chief, ISI DG and chief justice of Pakistan in the larger national interest. So, till then I am keeping all those points [mentioned in letter] closely guarded secret till I meet them,” he added.

He said that the CJP had given a statement that he guaranteed holding of free and transparent elections. “He cannot ensure this unless he hears me and all those who had joined the PSP,” said Dr Sattar.

He denied having asked [PSP leader] Anis Qaimkhani to send workers to the PIB group’s meeting in the backdrop of a rift with the rival Bahadurabad group. He, however, conceded that he did request him to ask those MQM-P MPAs who had defected to the PSP to vote for MQM-P candidates in the Senate election because in view of their mandate they were supposed to vote for MQM-P candidates rather than voting for Muzaffar Hussain Shah.

Dr Sattar said that [PSP leader Syed] Mustafa Kamal in his recent press conference did not comment on what Jamal Ahmed and Nishat Zia had stated in their Sunday’s press conference but Bahadurabad leaders did express the views clearly.

He complained that he was being doubted for being in touch with the MQM-London. He also complained that his party’s missing persons had not been recovered nor had its sealed offices, including the Khurshid Memorial Hall, been unsealed yet.

He said if someone wanted to see unity of Mohajirs and their vote bank intact, then all those closed offices should be returned to the MQM-P.

He wished good luck to those who had joined the PSP but expressed the hope that like Wasim Hussain, even Mustafa Kamal and Anis Qaimkhani would also return to the MQM-P. MNA Syed Wasim Hussain said that he got disappointed due to internal rift within the MQM-P and urged Bahadurabad group leaders to avoid using intemperate language.

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2018