LAHORE, Aug 28: “The MQM is politically caught in a dilemma. It ideologically differs both with the government and the opposition but had to choose one of them.” MQM organiser Dr Farooq Sattar stated this at a press conference here on Monday.

Facing a barrage of questions about the party’s responsibility (being a part of the government) in the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti, he said the MQM condemned it in unequivocal terms.

“The MQM is a party limited to urban Sindh as far as electoral politics is concerned. In these circumstances, it can hardly make independent choice in national politics. That is why, it had to choose between the government and the opposition, and it went for former. But this partnership does not exclude being ideologically different,” he insisted.

The party, he said, believed that it could better serve national interest by being part of the government as it could influence official decisions and fight for the rights of downtrodden from within the system. “The party is certain that it could better fight for provincial autonomy and other irritants in national politics by being in the government and that is the only reason for it being part of official set-up.”

Facing more and more questions on the killing of Akbar Bugti, Dr Farooq did not go beyond already stated position of the party: “The MQM condemns killing and stands for maximum provincial autonomy, which originally triggered the crisis between the government and Mr Bugti.”

About demands like the judicial inquiry into the killing, he said the party would measure its further response once the initial phase of grief was over.

Earlier, Dr Farooq announced a 16-member organising committee representing some 14 districts of the Punjab.

He said the number would be taken to 25 in near future. The members of the committee would organise the party in Punjab according to the principles of party chief Altaf Husain.

AJT: Awami Jamhoori Tehreek Convenor Safdar Hssan Siddiqi has said the killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti by armed forces was a great tragedy which could not be condoned.

In a statement issued here on Monday, he said all the economic, political and social institutions had been ruined due to the military rule. The democratic forces should unite on a single-point agenda of putting an end to military rule if they wanted to prevent the recurrence of incidents like killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti.

He said that military operation in Balochistan should also be stopped and disputes resolved through a dialogue as its continuation could endanger the integrity and solidarity of the country.

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