ISLAMABAD / KARACHI, July 4: Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain, the minister of state for religious affairs, on Wednesday resigned his office as well as his National Assembly seat on the orders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), sources in the party told Dawn.

The sources said Dr Aamir had submitted his resignation to Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain.

The sources said the party had taken ‘this extreme decision’ after taking note of the minister’s ‘hard line and controversial statements’ on Salman Rushdie and the Lal Masjid stand-off.

Earlier this week, Aamir Liaquat said during a television interview that Salman Rushdie should be killed for blaspheming the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in his book, Satanic Verses.

The sources said since the MQM felt the statement was in conflict with the party’s policy, Dr Aamir was asked to resign. However, in his resignation letter, he stated that he was resigning because of ‘personal reasons’.

Moreover, the sources said, the minister had been unable to ‘serve his constituents’ and was not giving ‘sufficient time’ to his constituency.

They said the party had been receiving complaints against Dr Aamir for the past few months, but had not taken any action only because he was the son of Sheikh Liaquat Hussain, an MQM stalwart.

Dr Aamir is the fifth MQM MNA to have been asked to tender resignation since the 2002 election.

The four others were: Sarkaruddin (NA-240), Sultan Ahmed Khan (NA-243), Haji Azizullah Brohi (NA-246) and Shamim Akhtar (elected on women’s quota).

A source close to the MQM said one probable reason for

Aamir Liaquat’s resignation was that as he was expected to take up a new assignment as the head a television channel, the party concluded that he would not be able to serve voters in his constituency.

Opinion

A decade of change & stagnation
Updated 20 Sep 2021

A decade of change & stagnation

Over a decade, three more women out of 100 aged between 19 and 39 have acquired college degrees, compared to only two more men.
All about life
Updated 20 Sep 2021

All about life

There is no shortage of issues on which the Single National Curriculum has stirred controversy.
‘Honourable men’
20 Sep 2021

‘Honourable men’

Is it ambition to support our athletes only after they bring us glory?
Concerns of proxy wars
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Concerns of proxy wars

A lobby in the US favours a plan for proxy warfare so that America can sustain its global influence.

Editorial

20 Sep 2021

Banking for women

AS the old adage goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. How far the new State Bank initiative —...
Off the red list
Updated 20 Sep 2021

Off the red list

There are aspects of coronavirus management, especially by developed nations towards those less so, that smack of discrimination.
20 Sep 2021

Exciting frontiers

HISTORY was made on Wednesday at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral. It was not the launch of the first, or...
Talking to the Taliban
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Talking to the Taliban

PRIME Minister Imran Khan has announced that he has started a dialogue with the Taliban for the formation of a...
New Zealand’s departure
Updated 19 Sep 2021

New Zealand’s departure

THERE was chaos and despair when New Zealand decided to call off their tour of Pakistan barely minutes before the...
19 Sep 2021

Crucial polio campaign

THE national vaccination campaign that kicked off in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday is being described by experts as...