KARACHI - MQM chief Altaf Hussain has taken back his decision of stepping down from the party leadership on the request of his workers. At the same time, he announced a formula to create a new coordination committee comprising of loyal and honest party workers.  

Earlier at the wee hours of Sunday, the MQM chief, relinquishing his charge as the party chief, announced to shift all the party responsibilities to the MQM coordination committee. He stated that he had failed to play his role effectively and now the coordination committee could elected anybody it deemed fit as party chief adding that the MQM coordination committee did not mended its behaviour despite his frequent appeals.

“Now, I am not strong enough to withstand the disloyalties and sorrows,” he asserted. Altaf said that he is aware that a faction within the party celebrated his arrest in London and even some of them added that his dead body would be arriving Pakistan. He said, “I hand over all my responsibilities to the party coordination committee with a hope that you will run the party with honesty, sincerity and commitment.” He also apologised to the workers that he had failed to take the worker to their promised destination. He, however, asked the coordination committee to run the affairs of the party with responsibility. He thanked all those who had been supporting him during his leadership.

Talking about the ongoing protest in Islamabad, Altaf complained that there is one law for his political party and a separate law for everyone else adding that he and his workers would have been welcomed with bullets if they had marched into the Red Zone of the federal capital while the cases would have been lodge against him for asking the party workers to rough up police officers.

The people protesting in Islamabad are considered sons of the soil while the people like Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, General (retd) Pervez Musharraf and Altaf Hussain are not, said the MQM chief adding that if Musharraf is to be tried for treason, so should those who helped him, including the judges who took oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) and all those lawyers who ran the movement to restore the judiciary. Shortly after Altaf’s announcement to quit the party, the MQM workers, supporters and leaders started arriving at party headquarter Nine-Zero to express solidarity with their party chief, in a successful bid to get him to withdraw his decision.

On the occasion, the workers raised slogans against the party coordination committee while keeping in view the uncertain situation at the party headquarter, the London coordination committee forbade the member of the Pakistan coordination committee to appear before the workers.

MQM senior leader Dr Farooq Sattar talking to the media representatives at Nine-Zero said, “We all are the workers of Altaf Hussain and he is like a father for all of us. He said, “On the behalf of workers I request Altaf Hussain to reverse his decision to abandon the leadership of the party.” Requesting the party chief to pardon their mistakes, Sattar remarked, “I believe that Altaf Hussain will forgive our mistakes and keep guiding us in future, too.”

Moreover, the MQM Senators, MNAs and MPAs submitted their resignations to the coordination committee noting that if Altaf Hussain will not lead the party, then they do not wish to remain members of the parliament. During his telephonic address from London, Altaf said that he did not want London and Pakistan coordination committee but the party cannot function without any suitable structure. Consulting the party workers, the MQM chief proposed he should give the party coordination committee last chance while the candidates of good character from the party election cell and sectors should be interviewed and then included to the coordination committee. After the addition of new members, the troublemakers in the party would be removed.

The MQM chief underscored the need for the division of Sindh province on administrative basis raising the question that why it is not possible for an Urdu-speaking person to become the Sindh chief minister alternately with a Sindhi. He said the MQM is the only liberal and democratic party of the country, and the MQM first of all brought the women into the political arena. 

Lashing out the anchorpersons and writers, he said it is unfortunate that nothing contrary came for these persons on the tragedies of Ali Garh and Qasba Colony where straight bullets were fired at the Urdu-speaking people. He denounced the MQM involvement in May 12 clash and vowed to bring the elements involved to justice as his party came to power.

Talking about the MQM workers’ assassination, Altaf alleged Rangers and Sindh police for arresting the party workers and then dumping their bodies at various parts of the city. He demanded the authorities concerned to halt such practice, and said if the MQM workers are involved in any crimes, the law enforcement agencies should provide information and evidence before the courts.