KARACHI - The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) suffered a setback in the March 3 Senate election, as the fourth largest political force of the country could win only one seat despite having a good number of members in the Sindh Assembly.

Keeping in view the number of its members in the Sindh Assembly, the MQM-P was supposed to bag at least three Senate seats. On the election day, MQM-P provincial legislators Faisal Sabzwari expressed his displeasure with the situation and said it was unfortunate that two members of his party visited Sindh Chief Minister’s House just before the election. He said the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had benefited from division within the MQM-P.

Faisal told media men that MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui announced joint candidates for the Senate election due to fear of losing votes. He said that both Farooq Sattar and Siddiqui took the decision to support the same candidates in the Senate election because they wanted to prevent divisions in the party.

Urging MQM-P legislators not to get frustrated over the ongoing crisis in the party, he said it was disappointing that two MPAs of his party visited CM House on Friday night.

Faisal claimed that MQM-P was united and reiterated that nomination of candidates was actually an organisational decision rather than the decision of a single man. Confirming that the situation on February 5 upset the party leadership, MQM-P leader said that conflict between two groups of his party benefited the PPP. He said the MQM-P had contacted the PTI, PML-N and PML-F to win five seats in the Senate election.

The development, which came just before the Senate election and brought the two factions of the MQM-P closer, did not produce results. During the Senate election, MQM-P legislators remained divided instead of following the direction of the party leadership and many of them took their own decisions and violated the party’s code of conduct.

It is pertinent to mention here that the rift between two groups of the MQM-P started on February 5 over nomination of candidates for the Senate election. However, Siddiqui and Sattar held a joint press conference in the federal capital a day before the election and announced their support to the party’s candidates.