LONDON: MQM Chief Altaf Hussain has asked the public to vote through a poll question whether he should step down or not.

 In a message on Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) official website, the question he has asked is:

“Should I step down to save the party and the people?”

Observers say that Altaf Hussain , through this summersault wants to check his popularity among Haq Parasats.  

Recently, the MQM has been receiving blows after blows as the government and the Rangers tighten their noose against them while cases against its leader pile up abroad, with Scotland Yard’s investigation regarding Hussain’s alleged money laundering case and the government co-operating with the British police in the murder investigation of senior MQM leader Imran Farooq. Even the MQM’s central nerve centre at Nine Zero was under scrutiny as a raid by the rangers resulted in a heavy cache of ammunition being seized from its headquarters.

Statements made by former leaders and activists were also detrimental to the party’s image like the infamous case of Saulat Mirza and the BBC highlighting Tariq Mir’s allegations of the MQM receiving funding from Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) have also left its leaders exasperated, having to clarify their situation again and again.

Amidst all this, are the episodes of Hussain’s repeated resignations from party leadership and cancellation of these resignations. Hussain has repeatedly resigned from his post in the past as well and hours after his resignation, cancelled it. The withdrawal of resignation is either on the request of the party workers or its leaders.

Hussain’s resignation series are not new and have a history as far back as 1992, during Karachi Operation when the MQM chief had announced his decision to leave the party leadership.

Observers say the poll is another ploy by the MQM chief to divert attention from his anti Pakistan statement delivered in Dallas, US.