KARACHI: In a surprising development, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has taken back in its former coordination committee leader Kamran Tessori, who had earlier been blamed for creating a divide within the party that led to the expulsion of seasoned politician Dr Farooq Sattar from the party fold.

The party — which had split into MQM-Pakistan and MQM-London following founder Altaf Hussain’s incendiary speech on Aug 22, 2016 — was further divided into MQM-Bahadurabad and MQM-PIB over the issue of giving a party ticket to businessman-turned-politician Kamran Tessori, then a deputy convener and favourite of Dr Sattar, to contest Senate elections in March 2018.

Due to the disagreement, Dr Sattar parted ways with the Bahadurabad faction and formed his own group — MQM-PIB.

Three of the four candidates of the MQM-P on Senate seats, lost the election including Mr Tissori. Later, both factions united and contested the July 2018 general elections from one platform.

Three former PSP leaders also included in coordination body

However, the party secured only four of the 21 National Assembly seats in Karachi. In the following months, differences over Mr Tessori again led to the ouster of Dr Sattar from MQM-Bahadurabad.

During the past four years, multiple attempts had been made to woo Dr Sattar — who has been leading his own Organisation Restoration Committee of MQM since late 2018 — into the fold of MQM-P. However, he kept on insisting that Mr Tessori be giving the same designation he had before leaving the party.

Recently, a stage was set for Dr Sattar’s return to the MQM, but at the last minute he alleged that the MQM-P leadership was not serious about the issue.

Dr Sattar contested the last month’s by-election on NA-245 constituency as an independent candidate, but lost.

“Farooq Bhai was told in clear words that there’s no room for Kamran Tessori and he can return to the party as a worker. Even Farooq Bhai had agreed to it as far as my knowledge goes,” said an MQM-P leader.

Sources indicated that this was a classic example of the influence of certain quarters on political parties.

They said a couple of days ago. top leaders of the MQM-P held a meeting with powers that be, in which they were asked to take Mr Tessori back on his previous position and that the issue was not open for discussion.

As a result, the MQM-P convener held a press conference on Thursday night, where he asked all disgruntled and inactive workers and leaders to come back and join the party.

Later, the party issued a statement late on Thursday night, saying that a meeting of the coordination committee was held where all those who returned to the party fold in response to the MQM’s call were given a warm welcome.

It said that Kamran Tessori had rejoined the party along with his aides and the meeting decided to restore him on his former position as deputy convener of the coordination committee.

The party also made three former leaders of the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) — Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Waseem Aftab and Salim Tajik — who had returned to the MQM-P a couple of months ago, members of its coordination committee.

Senior party leaders Khawaja Izharul Hasan and Abdul Wasim were also elevated to deputy conveners of the party, the statement added.

Following the announcement, MQM-P supporters took to social media to express their opinions about the decision. Some said that Mr Tessori ‘stabbed’ Dr Sattar and some others saw no reason for MQM-P to not take back the disgruntled former convener.

Nasir Jamal, a former deputy convener of the once-unified MQM, tweeted: “The decision to take back Kamran Tissori as Deputy Convener of the Coordination Committee of MQM is thoughtless and indicates poor decision-making. It is tantamount to handing over the party to an outsider, a stranger. Shockingly disappointing.”

Another MQM-P leader, requesting anonymity, said: “People often criticise us about parting ways with the PTI and siding with the PML-N and the PPP and getting nothing in return. They may now understand the reason behind all this”.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2022

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