KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Saturday marked its 33rd Foundation Day without MQM founder Altaf Hussain.

The event was held at the Jinnah Ground of PIB Colony.

Not only MQM-P had parted its ways with the London-based leadership on August 23 last year, it has also changed its Foundation Day, which it now celebrates on March 18 instead of August 23.

The Foundation Day event was attended by a number of party workers and supporters while MQM Convener Dr Farooq Sattar, Senior Deputy Convener Amir Khan, deputy conveners, members of coordination committee, MPAs, MNAs, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhter, Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra and other leaders were also present on the occasion.

Addressing the workers, MQM Convener Dr Farooq Sattar said that on August 23, “We disowned the London-based leadership, but it is unfortunate that efforts are being made to remove MQM-P from the country’s politics. MQM, during the last three decades, has struggled for the rights of the middle-class and oppressed people and so far all the conspiracies to divide MQM have failed.”

He further said that he and his party men had announced to stand with Pakistan and dissociate from the anti-state speech made by Altaf Hussain. “But sadly these measures are not being appreciated by the rulers,” he lamented.

“PPP has not accepted our stance and still remains mired in the incident of August 22,” he regretted.

He informed the gathering that the party had applied for holding the Foundation Day gathering about two weeks ago, but the authorities did not respond. “We were given only 24 hours to hold the gathering,” he said, and added, “Had we been granted permission on time, today’s gathering would have been a massive one.” Speaking on the occasion, MQM Deputy Convener Amir Khan felicitated the workers and supporters on the 33rd Foundation Day.

He said that MQM-P had never promoted politics of hate. “Some elements are spreading baseless news against the party on social media,” he lamented.

He further said that some leaders residing in London did not want to see the party progress and were using the social media to accomplish their nefarious agenda.

“MQM-London’s (MQM-L) Waseey Jalil and his team are responsible for misleading the workers, but they are not aware that MQM-P and its leadership are united,” he said, and asked the workers to avoid confrontation and remain united as it was the only way to bring the party out of hot waters.

Condemning the brief arrest of MQM senior leader Dr Farooq Sattar, he said, “We respect judiciary, but enemies of the party are using the issue for their political gains.”

Speaking on the occasion, Khawaja Izharul Hassan said that party believed in a policy of non-violence. “Sindh chief minister, in his statement, has refused to admit that he is aware of Dr Farooq Sattar’s arrest,” he said, adding that it seemed like the CM is not aware of any happening in the province.

He said that PPP’s time to rule was over, and in the next general elections, MQM-P would give surprising results.

“Next chief minister would be from MQM-Pakistan,” Khawaja claimed.

MQM-P others leaders also spoke on the occasion.