Sattar comes up with new plan to unite all MQM factions

Updated January 08, 2019

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Farooq Sattar wants Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar stopped from 'destroying' people's properties and businesses. ─ Online/File
Farooq Sattar wants Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar stopped from 'destroying' people's properties and businesses. ─ Online/File

KARACHI: Disgruntled Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Dr Farooq Sattar said on Monday that he would soon announce a new forum — the Muttahida Qaumi Council (MQC) — to unite all factions of the once-unified Mohajir Qaumi Movement.

“I have been contacting everyone and [reminding them] we all were at the same platform in 1986 whether it was Mustafa Kamal, Anis Kaimkhani, Afaq Ahmed or Saleem Haider,” he told reporters after his court appearance at City Courts.

“I will very soon announce the formation of the Muttahida Qaumi Council ... and senior lawyers, doctors, engineers, traders, businessmen and people from all linguistic backgrounds will be part of it,” he added.

Wants mayor stopped from ‘destroying’ people’s properties and businesses

“This was the mission of Shaheed Ali Raza Abidi bhai and we have to take it forward to unite everyone,” he said, referring to the slain MQM-P leader who was gunned down on Dec 25, 2018 in front of his Defence residence.

Dr Sattar has been ousted from the MQM-P by his rivals, better known as the Bahadurabad group, after he announced an Organisation Restoration Committee (ORC) in October last. Since then, he has been very critical of his opponents, including Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar.

When asked whether he had contacted Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi chief Afaq Ahmed and Pak Sarzameen Party chairman Mustafa Kamal, he said he had sent them a message and would personally contact them after formally announcing the MQC later this week.

Answering a question, he said the head of the “MQM of 1986” would be chosen by workers through election.

Asked whether MQM founder Altaf Hussain would get any role in the new forum, he said: “We had dissociated ourselves from London ... I am not providing space to London and the MQM founder, but the way elections were engineered and I was removed ... it all goes in London’s favour.”

He, however, made it clear that he was not going to launch a new party. “We have to make this party [MQM] the party of 1986. There is no new name or party. We have to reorganise this party and make it the party of the poor and common people.”

‘Mayor destroying people’s livelihood’

Criticising Mayor Wasim Akhtar for razing around 9,000 shops in Karachi in the name of drive against encroachments, he said: “I don’t know who the mayor is pleasing.”

He said the mayor was destroying the livelihood of the people of Karachi.

The coordination committee of the MQM-Pakistan, including Amir Khan, Kanwar Naveed and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, must stop Mayor Akhtar from “destruction” of people’s property and businesses, he demanded.

He appealed to the prime minister to take immediate action to solve the water problem in Karachi and to avoid “water riots” in the upcoming summer.

Seeks better security for all politicians

He criticised the law enforcement agencies for asking him and other political leaders to restrict their movement in view of threats following the murder of PSP workers and Mr Abidi. He said he could not limit his movement.

He said it was the responsibility of the government to provide security to all political leaders under threat.

He demanded arrest of Abidi’s killers and asked the government to unearth the plot behind his assassination.

Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2019