Pro-Altaf group launches bid to reclaim party
In their first press conference held in a tense environment at the Karachi Press Club, nine members of the committee announced to carry on the political struggle on the lines laid by MQM founder Altaf Hussain. Dr Hasan Zafar Arif, who worked at Karachi University’s philosophy department during Altaf’s youth days, addressed the press conference while reading from a script. He recalled the party’s founding and subsequent split into factions.Terming MQM-Pakistan leaders as ‘Farooq Sattar and company’, Dr Arif alleged that they had joined hands with the establishment – terming it ‘not the first time’. In 1992, when slain MQM leader Azeem Ahmed Tariq served as its chairperson, it was Sattar, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan who suggested that if Altaf stepped down, the operation against the party would end, he claimed, adding that, “despite the MQM chief’s stepping down as the party leader, the crackdown did not stop.” When asked who had the right to use the party’s name since MQM was registered under Sattar’s name, Dr Arif insisted that morally it was Altaf who could use the title of MQM and head the party.
The ‘pro-Altaf’ group of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) launched on Saturday its ground team against Farooq Sattar in a bid to reclaim the party reins.
The newly-formed 12-member ‘interim’ rabita committee comprises lesser known faces, except for former lawmakers Kunwar Yunus and Dr Nadeem Ehsan and London-based Wasay Jalil and Mustafa Azizabadi.
A large number of party workers were present at the conference while a bigger crowd was outside the venue. Chants of Jiye Altaf were raised at intervals too.
Meanwhile, Rangers were barring people from entering the venue but when the crowd began to grow, they retreated.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2016.