ISLAMABAD - Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) may receive another major blow soon as large number of members intend to part ways with the party.

On the other hand, some of Altaf Hussain supporters still believe that the announcement to make party’s decision from Pakistan is not tantamount to minus-Altaf formula.

MQM is still confident on its vote bank in urban Sindh areas (Karachi & Hyderabad) even after the widespread rage and anger by public over the statement of MQM chief Altaf Hussain.

The mandate of MQM and loyalty with the party’s chief cannot be changed after this episode as Altaf Hussain and his party’s lovers have tendered apology on the recent statement, MQM’s senior lawmakers and supporters said while talking to The Nation.

However, the statement did damage the morale of the party and led to public denunciation. Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Irum Azeem, who had long been disgruntled with the ways of the party, finally announced to quit.

Talking to The Nation, MQM’s senior member from Punjab and former CEC member Zahid Malik said that he has decided to part ways with MQM after the recent statement.

“I have been loyal with the MQM since long but I strongly condemn this statement and announce to detach myself from the party,” said Malik, adding that more party members will follow the suit. “I will reveal financing of the party from different ways,” he said.

The unexpected decision of running the party without taking instructions from London was met with a rather surprising response from the party’s support base as the party members - from top to bottom - have so far not expressed any reservations.

“The decision to detach the party from London’s decision (Altaf Hussain) was need of the hour. All are agreed on this decision,” said MQM’s lawmaker Ali Raza Abidi while talking to this scribe.

He also stressed that the announcement to make party’s decision from Pakistan is not tantamount to minus-Altaf (from MQM) formula. “It is not minus-Altaf formula at all,” he said.

When asked about political parties’ strong reaction and demand for imposing article 6 of the constitution, he said Altaf Hussain has already tendered apology on his recent statement.

“If the government wants to impose article 6 then many more senior members have more or less also made such kind of statements. So, in this situation all of them ought to be penalized,” he said, citing example of recent statement of PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai against the performance of intelligence agencies.

Another lawmaker from the party, desiring not to be named, shared that MQM without its party chief cannot be run smoothly.

The party leader said most of the MQM voters are still loyal with the party. “These voters will never deceive party’s candidate even if elections are conducted tomorrow.”

“Although Nine-Zero has temporarily been sealed but it cannot seal the heart and mind of MQM’s supporters,” the party leader said.

Party’s major decisions, the cadres believe, even after this episode will be made from London as Rangers and other law enforcement agencies have sealed Khursheed Memorial Secretariat, MPA hostel, media cell and Nine-Zero headquarters over Altaf Hussain’s anti-Pakistani statements. Zonal offices in Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Sukkur, Nawabshah and other cities of Sindh were also shut down. A large number of offices were sealed in Sindh and most likely other offices in Punjab and KPK might be sealed soon.

Political analysts believe that MQM members will unite on the decision of running party ostensibly under Farooq Sattar.

“The party is registered under the name of Farooq Sattar so it was need of the hour to avoid any strict action against the party,” sources in the party say.

The party officials in Pakistan also believe that after the recent debacle, Altaf Hussain will himself exercise caution.

ASIF WELCOMES SATTAR

ANNOUNCEMENT

APP adds: Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif Tuesday said if MQM leader Farooq Sattar’s announcement of Altaf Hussain disconnection from MQM is based on reality then it is welcoming.

If MQM desires to emerge as a new political party, there should be clarity in its stance, he said talking to a private news channel.

The minister said MQM should do a national politics but not regional or ethnical. MQM leaders has adopted a habit to speak against Pakistan, its security institutions and incite people to violence but strong reaction came on this time.

He said there are apprehensions that Altaf Hussain will again gradually take over the party.

Asif said if MQM would play positive politics to shed off past mistakes, it would be a good gesture in politics.