KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Convener Dr Farooq Sattar, while assuring the country’s establishment of implementing the minus-one formula within the party, has demanded the withdrawal of cases registered against the party workers after the anti-state speech made by Altaf Hussain on August 22, 2016. 

Sattar expressed these views while addressing a press conference at MQM-P headquarters PIB Colony here on Saturday after his release from a brief police detention. MQM leaders, including Amir Khan, Faisal Sabzwari, Khawaja Izharul Hassan and others were also present on the occasion.

Talking about his detention, MQM-P convener said, “I am not aware either it was an arrest or a visit to a police station. But it should be noted that MQM-P on August 23 last year had disassociated itself from the party’s London-based high command, and it was the practical manifestation of minus-one formula.”

He added that MQM-P workers had not been acquitted in politically motivated cases while the party offices continued to remain sealed.

He said that such tactics such as his arrest pointed to an attempt being made to confuse people as he and his colleagues; the leaders of the country’s fourth largest party, had already denounced and distanced itself from anti-state slogans shouted by Altaf.

Sattar reminded that party’s leadership on August 23 had taken extraordinary steps and now was the time to respect those measures.

“Currently there is a confusion existing with regard to MQM-Pakistan as the cases registered after Aug 22 speech still linger,” MQM-P convener said, and added, “MQM workers present at the KPC on the day are innocent and were not even aware of the contents of the speech.”

He urged that justice be given to the political workers and leaders who had disassociated themselves from the August 22 speech.

Speaking on the occasion, MQM-P leader Faisal Sabzwari commented that those political forces which were thinking that MQM was over were actually living in a fool’s paradise.

He condemned Sattar’s arrest, stating that there were also ‘baseless’ cases against the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

“MQM-P leadership is united and remains committed to its pledge to work for the betterment of middle-class,” he reiterated.

District South Police had taken Sattar into custody when he was returning home after attending a wedding ceremony at Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Museum late Friday night.

He was taken to Chakiwara Police Station, but was later released after brief detention.

Police said that non-bailable arrest warrants had already been issued for Sattar in a case of hate speech, sedition, and incidents of violence in Karachi.

ATC displeased with

non-arrest of Sattar

Meanwhile on Saturday, an anti-terrorism court (ATC), while expressing its displeasure over non-arrest of Dr Farooq Sattar and Amir Khan, directed the investigating officer to arrest the accused and produce them before it on Monday.

MQM founder Altaf Hussain, along with as many as 1,500 people, including leaders and workers of the party, have been booked in several cases of allegedly delivering or facilitating anti-state speeches.