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Karachi

October 27, 2018
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Sattar forms 22-member committee in fresh bid to take over MQM

Karachi

October 27, 2018

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After failing to reach a consensus with his colleagues on the reorganisation of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, dissident party leader Dr Farooq Sattar announced on Friday formation of a group in the party, making Pakistan Quarters its headquarters.

Addressing a press conference, Sattar presented a ten-point charter of the group that has been named ‘Organisation Restoration Committee (ORC)’. The committee is being perceived as a prelude to the MQM-Nazryati, a new political party which Sattar had announced to form a few days ago in case his demands were not met by the MQM-P leadership.

The ORC charter starts with a demand that the party be reformed from tip to toe and an exemplary discipline be enforced within its ranks to make it “the ideological and active” MQM of 1986.

“In this regard, firstly all the workers and office bearers be restored with dignity to their position as of February 5 in the party,” the charter reads. It then demands intra-party elections once the office bearers are restored to their pre-February 5 position.

“The families of martyred, jailed and missing workers be taken care of and be involved in organisational and political matters,” the charter reads.

Sattar also announced the names of 22 members in the committee which will be working to implement the charter. Besides him at the helm, the members include Javed Kazmi, party’s former deputy convener, Dr Nikhat Shakeel Khan, former MNA, Engineer Kashif Khan, former labour division in-charge, and Ahmer Falastini, former students’ wing in-charge.

The disgruntled leader came down hard on the leadership of the MQM-P, also referred to as the Bahadurabad group, for creating “hegemony of a few people” and not considering others in the party’s decision-making. “[MQM-P convener] Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui says that dictatorship has ended in the party [after it dissociated with its founding supremo Altaf Hussain], de facto it’s otherwise.”

He alleged that the Bahadurabad group practised nepotism and it had violated the party’s constitution by awarding parliamentary tickets to only wealthy candidates. He claimed that even Siddiqui was a hostage to ‘a few people’ in the party, apparently targeting Amir Khan, Kanwar Naveed Jamil and their supporters.

“This drama won’t go on anymore,” Sattar remarked, asking the party workers to unite and organise against the Bahadurabad group. “They don’t need to convince me now. Rather they should give respect to workers and accept their demands,” he maintained.

Sattar also demanded the formation of a new coordination committee through intra-party polls, claiming that the incumbent coordination committee had lost the support of workers.

The dissident leader warned that if the Bahadurabad group did not accept his demands, the ORC would convene an assembly of the workers in which the party constitution will be amended to elect chairman, vice chairman, general secretary and their likes in the workers’ polls, and the existing posts of convener, deputy convener and members of coordination committee would be abolished. “Other necessary amendments will also be made,” he said.

Sattar also announced to make a “Muttahida Mohajir Mazloom Syndicate” to capitalise on the Mohajir votebank across Sindh. Journalists Mazhar Abbas and Idrees Bakhtiar will also be made part of the syndicate, he said.

Although Sattar’s press conference appeared to many analysts as a curtain-raiser to the MQM-Nazryati, he himself refuted the notion that the ORC was a group separate from the MQM-P. He adopted the stance that the ORC was a committee that would restore the party on its 1986 lines.

The press conference from Sattar came two days after the police crackdown on Pakistan Quarters residents to evict them from the locality on the Supreme Court orders. At least 30 people including policemen were injured as the crackdown triggered a clash on Wednesday. Among other politicians, Sattar received considerable limelight as he was seen with the protesting residents during the eviction drive. The operation at the quarters has been postponed for three months after the violent episode.

The ORC will be headquartered in Pakistan Quarters, Sattar announced. “The Nine Zero of ORC will be Pakistan Quarters,” he said in a bid to express solidarity with the residents facing threat of eviction.

The land in talk is owned by the federal government and was meant to be a housing colony for its employees. The residents, however, refuse to leave the place, citing they have inhabited it for over five decades and they should be given ownership rights.

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