Karachi - In a disappointing development for Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), the party supremo Farooq Sattar announced to call off multi-party conference that was scheduled to be held here at a local hotel on Tuesday, after major political parties of the city announced to skip the event at the last moment.

MQM-P had announced to hold a multi-party conference tilted, ‘Conspiracies against the solidarity of Pakistan, elimination of corruption and empowerment of local governments’ and visited the head offices of Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Awami National Party and one of its arch rivals Pak Sarzameen Party and MQM Haqiqi.

However, Jamaat-e-Islami, PPP, ANP, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl and PTI announced to skip the multi-party conference at the last minute, forcing MQM-P to convert it into a press conference of its Coordination Committee.

Speaking to the media on the occasion, Farooq Sattar said that it was unfortunate that the party delegations visited the head offices of political parties and despite assurance of participation in the conference; a decision was taken at the eleventh hour to skip the event.

“The leadership of PPP, PTI and ANP had assured us of their participation in the multi-party conference, but changed their minds at the last minute,” he said.

He, however, said that the party was thankful to Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairman Mustafa Kamal and MQM-Haqiqi Chairman Afaq Ahmed for agreeing to attend the conference even after these boycotts.

“The delegations from APM-L, JUI-Samiul Haq group, Mojahir Rabta Council, Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen and other political and eminent personalities had also showed up,” he said.

He said that it was an initiative from the second largest party of the province to give ownership to its one-year long struggle for deviation from the policy of anti-Pakistan slogans and turning towards peaceful political struggle.

“No party could take such a decision like the one we took; parting ways with Altaf over anti-Pakistan sloganeering,” he said, and added that the multi-party conference was aimed at remembering that struggle and journey that had started a year ago.

He, however, said that it seemed that those political parties which had boycotted this conference wanted to give the message that they still endorsed August 22 hateful speech of MQM chief Altaf Hussain.

MQM-P leader further said that the law and order situation had once again started to deteriorate in the city after August 14, and two PSP workers and an MQM UC vice chairman were killed in targeted attacks.

“It has been learnt that the culprits involved in these attacks have been apprehended and therefore they should be thoroughly grilled and should be brought to justice,” he said, adding that justice should be done so that families of three activists could feel satisfied.

He said that when the party had announced to disassociate itself from August 22 narrative, it meant that it would now act upon and propagate the non-violent path.

“Our visit to once arch rivals-PSP and MQM-Haqiqi-headquarters was the part of this narrative building and we wanted to create a peaceful atmosphere across the province.”

“The politics of Mohajir killer and Mohajir being killed should now come to an end and we have taken positive initiatives in these directions,” Farooq said, and adding that nobody could find killers in their ranks now.

He said that if MQM-P, MQM-Haqiqi and PSP could sit together then there was no need for a multi-party conference and the parties could hold meetings with each other at any time.

He further said that the party would continue to hold dialogue with the PSP and Afaq Ahmed as it would not only strengthen democracy, but also the country.

He criticised MQM chief Altaf Hussain for releasing audios, videos containing hateful material against the country and women activists of the party and further said that all these acts, including burning of Pakistan flag, were unacceptable for them.

He challenged the MQM London leaders, including Nadeem Nusrat, Mustafa Azizabadi, Qasim Ali Raza and others to burn Pakistan flags in front of cameras if they were against Pakistan.

“If they do this, then we will hold a press conference along with their relatives in Pakistan who will denounce their acts,” he said, and further dared those who had burnt the Pakistani flag in a video to uncover their identities.

He said that MQM-Pakistan had hoisted flags worth Rs50 million across the metropolis.

“After all these efforts, if anyone will now raise finger at our loyalty towards the state, then I will label him as an enemy of Pakistan,” Farooq said, and added that they did not want the certificate of their loyalty towards the country from anyone as their life and death were linked to Pakistan. He said that APC’s first agenda was to discuss the dangers posed to Pakistan’s stability and we wanted all our participants to deeply discuss the issue and point out the dangers.

“Our other topic was corruption and we would have demanded the Supreme Court of Pakistan constitute more joint interrogation teams against other corrupt elements of the society,” Farooq elaborated.

He further said that another objective of the conference was to highlight what he called political bribes that were being given to hijack the next general elections.

“Those who have boycotted the conference would now face the wrath of people of Karachi, who would similarly boycott these political parties in the next general elections,” he predicted.

“Our third initiative was empowerment of the local bodies’ representatives across the country,” he added. He further said that if they could struggle successfully to make Pakistan then they also had the capability to launch a peaceful struggle for getting their due rights. He further said that the decision to hold or postpone the multi-party conference was not taken under any pressure and the media should ask those who had boycotted the event.

Meanwhile, Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional have denounced MQM assertions that they had assured MQM leadership of their participation in the conference, but ditched them at the last moment.