LAHORE - MQM leaders’ London lines, restricted only to take call of Altaf Hussain, are still operational and Dr Farooq Sattar’s claim of steering the party from Karachi, bypassing London command, was just a ‘ploy’ to bail out the party from the situation occurred as a result of Altaf’s anti-Pakistan remarks.

The party leaders, speaking to The Nation from Karachi on the condition of anonymity, said Dr Farooq Sattar’s announcement to run the party affairs from Pakistan instead of London had been made with the consultation of the London high command and it was not a rebellion in the party.

London lines which are fixed for taking call of Altaf Bhai are very much operational on cell phones of MQM second-line leadership in Karachi as landlines are shut down after the party offices were sealed.

Using the pretext of condemning the statements against the party chief and announcing taking over the party affairs completely by the Karachi command was the only possible way to make a bid to defend, otherwise indefensible remarks’ of Altaf Bhai, they added.

There is a strong feeling in the party for changing the command as the real political cadres have paid the price of Altaf Bhai’s actions and want to establish it a real political entity and not a militant fascist force funded by the enemies of Pakistan, claimed the MQM leaders when asked about possibilities of change of guard.

However, the MQM leaders desirous of the change are confused on how to make it happen as the real political cadres fear their life and their families as long as London command is free to operate.

This is the main reason that bothers even Dr Farooq Sattar who has been asked by some party leaders to take over the party, denouncing Altaf bhai for real and unveiling some of the crimes committed by the militant wing, they added.

They don’t see a change in the party’s high command in the near future, at least not in the lifetime of Altaf Bhai and his chosen few to grip the party, the MQM leaders claimed.

However, the MQM leaders crying over the fascist character of their high command had no words to respond when asked why they don’t leave the organization working against their conscience.

When asked about the resignation of Amir Liaquat Hussain, they said he was ‘nobody’ in MQM and was just a ‘passer-by’.

Mustafa Azizabadi, spokesman for MQM London high command, in a statement, advanced the ploy of Dr Farooq Sattar and said, “It is not unusual in MQM that its coordination committee in Karachi has not taken decisions on its own.”

“It is true that the coordination committee takes some decisions independently, but they are of very minor nature and these are also brought into the knowledge of Altaf Bhai before passing the green light,” said the MQM leaders.

“No major or important decision can be taken without the prior approval of London command, as disobedience to Altaf Bhai is extremely a serious crime in MQM,” they added.

Giving an example of public punishment to the party leaders who tried to bypass Altaf Bhai, they said musclemen beat up senior party leaders, Haider Abbas Rizvi, Khalid Maqbool and others, in May 2013 during a function at the party headquarters Nine Zero.