Farooq Sattar faces Catch-22 situation

ISLAMABAD – Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan chief Dr Farooq Sattar may face a Catch-22 situation in the near future as some disgruntled members of the party have asked him to publically assure them that he would not enter into an ‘electoral alliance’ with the Pakistan Sarzameen Party ahead of the 2018 general election.

Some of the MQM-P lawmakers have made it clear to the party chief to give them the assurance that he would not enter into any electoral alliance with the PSP, otherwise, they would leave the party right away, sources in MQM-P disclosed to The Nation.

The MQM-P has already lost its 10 lawmakers including one MNA who have changed loyalties and joined the PSP.

Recently, another MNA, Ali Raza Abidi, also tendered resignation when the MQM-P and the PSP briefly came closer for a possible merger. Some others may also follow the suit, the sources said while alluding to the resignation of Abidi.

The source said that these lawmakers have set a condition before Dr Sattar to publically announce against any alliance with the PSP at any stage. These MQM-P members, they said, will further force the party chief to accept their demand as soon as possible to avoid further desertions in the party.

The MQM-P chief had recently announced to quit the party and politics — after an internal revolt cropped up in the party against his meeting with PSP chief Mustafa Kamal for a merger of the two parties — but on a request of the party members and workers, he took back his decision of quitting the party slot.

The sudden meeting between Dr Sattar and Kamal caused a storm in some of the party members and one of the MNAs announced to the MQM-P and later resigned.

When contacted, MQM’s disgruntled MNA Ali Raza Abidi confirmed that he was no more part of the party. “I have submitted my resignation to National Assembly (NA) Secretariat,” Abidi said, mentioning that he was against any electoral alliance with the PSP in the future. The sources said that the Pakistan People’s Party has also contacted some MQM-P MPs to join the party ahead of 2018 elections.

After eight MPs including one MNA left the party and joined the PSP, the MQM-P had threatened them to formally move an application to secretariats of Sindh Assembly and National Assembly seeking their de-seating.

Irtaza Khalil, Muhammad Dilawar, Nadeem Rizvi, Sheikh Abdullah, Bilqees Mukhtar, Mahmood Abdur Razzaque, Sagheer Ahmed and Iftikhar Ahmed were elected to the Sindh Assembly on MQM-P tickets.

Interestingly, the MQM-London led by Altaf Hussain had also asked MQM-P members to tender resignation from assemblies as they had taken votes in Altaf’s name.

Political experts believe that the MQM-P chief will not easily be able to accept the demand of its annoyed lawmakers to publically announce against the electoral alliance with the PSP as he is under tremendous pressure from the powers that be to do so.


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