LAHORE - Altaf Hussain who was apparently disowned by MQM Pakistan is making bids to maintain his control at unit and sector levels, the real organizational strength of the party, Muttahida leaders told The Nation yesterday.

The MQM Pakistan leaders who fear threat to their life at the hands of henchmen of Altaf, requesting anonymity, told the paper that unit and sector heads, the real strength of the organization, are still in contact with the London command.

In fact, Altaf himself is reaching out to them through London lines network. As long as the fear factor of the London command is not countered, MQM Pakistan cannot take a clear position against Altaf, they added.

Revealing the dark side of the MQM Mafiosi-style killing of opponents, they said the London command controls the militant elements or death squads of the party, which mostly operate under the cover of unit and sector levels of the party’s organization.

The elected members are just the face of the party; the real force of the party is unit and sector levels which remained in direct contact with Altaf in the past and are still on through London lines.

The London command gets direct inputs from them about various matters of the party for they work as a spying network of Altaf, who get sometimes direct directions from London command to eliminate opposition within and outside the party, added the MQM Pakistan leaders.  It’s like a mafia operation; an ‘underboss’ who operates under a party’s senior boss can eliminate his immediate boss if he goes against the will of Altaf at anytime and in reward can get a high place in the party’s hierarchy.

The systematic killings of opponents of Altaf started with the assassination of founding leader Azeem Ahmed Tariq. Altaf offers something lucrative to the new leader who doesn’t pose a challenge to him, disclosed the MQM leaders.

All the hits on the opposition of Altaf were carried out under the cover of the party cadres of unit and sector heads.

The party has multi-layered militant wings established under the chair of Altaf to eliminate an opponent, in the party and outside the party, or make him disappear, they added.

Casting doubts over the role of leaders like Dr Farooq Sattar, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Waseem Akhtar and Nasreen Jalil, regarding disassociation with Altaf in real terms, they claimed MQM Pakistan leadership is playing a ‘double’ game either out of fear of life or apprehensions of losing the party strength to Mustafa Kamal’s group.

The killing teams of Altaf, under the cover of unit and sector levels, are being asked by the London command to prepare for a war against all the opposing groups within MQM Pakistan and outside like Mustafa Kamal’s camp, claimed MQM Pakistan leaders.

Altaf and his cronies are asking the organizational leadership at unit and sector levels to make preparation to purge the party of weak and compromising leaders and be ready to take their place at an appropriate time, they added.

MQM Pakistan leaders fear bloodshed in Karachi between Altaf group and his opposition. At the same time, they have appealed to the security agencies to make some more quick strikes against the killing bands in their party to free them from the environment of fear.

Dr Farooq Sattar asked the Sindh government authorities for enhanced security for the new office of the MQM because of threat of the henchmen of none other than his beloved leader Altaf, they said.

Security agencies of the military and paramilitary forces should oversee the protection matters of new MQM in Karachi and other urban parts of Sindh till the elimination of last hitman of Altaf, requested the MQM Pakistan leaders.

Saleem Shahzad, an MQM dissident leader, and Anees advocate Pak Sarzameen Party leader, endorsing the point of their unnamed colleagues, said Altaf’s hit squads must be taken out as a top priority target of the security agencies involved in cleanup operation.