ISLAMABAD - The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan is making all-out efforts to get its 11 disgruntled members of parliament including three MNAs ‘de-seated’ by the poll body ahead of Senate elections, in an attempt to give the least chance to Pakistan Sarzameen Party to clinch a single seat in the Upper House of Parliament.

The PSP, its opponent political party, led by Mustafa Kamal is also confident to get its representation in Upper House of Parliament with the support of other political parties including the Muslim League-Functional and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

The Senate elections will be held on March 3 as formally notified by the Election Commission of Pakistan on February 2.

MQM-P senior members, after a series of meetings, have reached on a consensus to de-seat their 11 dissident members, who have almost bid adieu to the party or switched to other parties.

“It is sure that these disgruntled MPs would go against the MQM-P in elections, so they should not enjoy our party platform to vote against us,” said MQM-P MNA Ali Raza Abidi while talking to The Nation.

While talking about PSP chances in the Senate polls, Abidi said that they (PSP) will need the support another 13 members, besides these dissident eight MPs, to get a seat in the Senate from the Sindh province.

“It is a joke with the Constitution. As the defection clause clearly states that a member, who has switched the party, must leave the elected seat,” the MQM-P member said mentioning that while the PSP chief has termed their party a “RAW-funded” and at the same time, he wants his senators elected by its defected members.

The ECP has already summoned the 11 MPs to give their stance about a reference filed against them by MQM-P chief Dr Farooq Sattar, seeking to de-seat them.

The MQM-P has filed the reference against 11 party members of national and provincial assemblies who are Asif Hasnain, Salman Mujahid Baloch, Irum Azeem Farooqi, Sheikh Abdullah, Khalid bin Wilayat, Abdul Razzaq, Irtaza Khalil,  Sufiyan, Nadeem Raazi, Arif Maseeh and Bilquis Mukhtiyar.

The reference has demanded of the ECP to de-notify these lawmakers as they continue to show up in the respective legislative assemblies (on seats won on MQM-P tickets) even after switching their loyalties to other parties.

Interestingly, the MQM-London led by Altaf Hussian had umpteenth times asked MQM-P members to tender resignations from assemblies as they had taken votes in Altaf’s name the party (MQM-P) disassociated itself from Hussain after his controversial speech.

On the other hand, the PSP members are set to try their luck to get a seat in the upcoming Senate elections. “With a quid pro quo policy, the PSP will be in a position to grab one seat,” said PSP member Asif Hasnain while talking to The Nation.

About the defection clause, Hasnain said that the MQM-P has no moral grounds to stop them from supporting the PSP in Senate elections.

“All these MQM-P members were elected on the platform of MQM led by Altaf Hussain. First, they get themselves re-elected and then teach us morality,” said Hasnain.

When reminded about the ECP notice via-a-vis the reference, he said that they would present their stance resolutely and the MQM-P chief would fail to de-seat them. He said that they would also submit some evidence to the ECP against the MQM-P chief for ‘illegally’ leading the party.

Political pundits believe these Senate polls will prove to be tricky for the MQM, which has split into three different factions — the PSP, the MQM-P and the MQM-London.

They say that if the MQM-P fails to de-seat its disgruntled members than there were some chances for the PSP to get a representation in the Senate.

The Sindh Assembly has currently 168 seats including 95 from the PPP, nine from Muslim League-F, seven from the PML-N, four from the PTI, one from the National Party. At least 24 votes would be needed for one seat in Senate. The MQM has a total of eight seats in the Senate and four will retire and four new will be elected.