Disgruntled Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Dr Farooq Sattar has been stripped of his basic membership of the party, it was announced on Friday.
The decision to expel Sattar from the party was taken at a meeting of the MQM-P coordination committee, chaired by convener and federal minister Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, in Karachi.
The committee during the meeting was briefed about the show-cause notice that was issued to Sattar for "frequent violation of party discipline" and the reminder that was sent to him after the senior leader failed to respond to the show-cause.
"Considering all details, the coordination committee has unanimously decided to strip Dr Farooq Sattar of the party's basic membership for his serious violations of party discipline and constitution, grouping within the organisation and other serious party violations," said a statement issued by the committee.
"The coordination committee has directed all workers not to maintain any sort of contact with Dr Farooq Sattar from today onwards. Strict action will be taken against those who violate [this directive]."
Following the announcement, a meeting has been called at the PIB Colony residence of Sattar.
According to Kashif Khan, a member of the ‘organisation restoration committee’ (ORC) formed by Dr Sattar last month, workers have been instructed to gather at Sattar's residence, where the former convener will announce his strategy for the future.
The decision to expel Dr Sattar comes over a week after he was formally removed from the party’s top decision-making forum by his rivals as they accepted the resignation he had tendered as a member of the coordination committee in September.
Dr Sattar was removed from the committee a day after he formed a parallel body — the organisation restoration committee — against the coordination committee and announced launching a struggle to reorganise the MQM-P on ideological grounds.
Rifts in the party
Differences in the party had emerged on February 5 over the distribution of tickets to party candidates for the March 11 Senate elections. Dr Sattar, then convener of the party, insisted on giving a ticket to Kamran Tessori despite strong opposition.
Eventually, the differences caused the party to split into Bahadurabad and PIB factions. Dr Sattar was removed from the post of convener and Dr Siddiqui took his place. Four months later, both the factions reunited to contest the July 25 elections.
On September 13, Dr Sattar — who lost the general elections on two National Assembly seats — resigned from the membership of the coordination committee and on October 12 he held a press conference and demanded intra-party elections and warned that he would work for an MQM-Nazriati [ideological] if his demands were not met.
After his October 12 presser, the MQM-P contested and lost all three by-elections on NA-243, NA-247 and PS-111.