MQM factions’ merger: Altaf predicts divorce after a ‘forced marriage’

Altaf Hussain – the founder Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) – on Thursday termed the reunification of the party’s splinter groups a “forced marriage” bound to end in a bad divorce.

However, he welcomed the development, saying it will only strengthen his politics and his continuing influence in the city. The establishment should expedite the reunification efforts saying he was thankful to those who brought them together, Altaf remarked.

The remarks came after Mustafa Kamal and Dr Farooq Sattar earlier in the day joined the MQM-P. Kamal had established the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) in 2016 and Sattar formed the MQM-P Bahali Committee in 2018 after developing differences with the party.

Altaf told reporters, after appearing before the London High Court in a case, He added that the Muhajir nation could see how genuine leadership was removed by using force to create artificial leadership. The merger would help him direct his criticism towards one party rather than various factions, which was confusing for everyone, the MQM founder quipped.

He said the MQM-P had launched a case against him in London to snatch nearly half-a-dozen properties from him. “Those who used to call him their father have betrayed him for the sake of money and power politics, but they will not succeed.”

On the other hand, two senior MQM-P leaders, on condition of anonymity, said those supporters of Altaf, who disappeared after the crackdown in 2016, had resurfaced in the last few months.

They said the MQM workers often ask them questions for going against Altaf and not taking a stand for him the way the supporters of Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan stood by them in difficult times.

Moreover, they said the Altaf Hussain factor cannot be eliminated from Karachi unless the MQM-P delivers for the local communities.

Kamal, Sattar back into MQM-P folds

At a press conference flanked by the top party brass, MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said the “graveness” of the situation in Sindh’s urban areas required all people to join hands, as Kamal and Sattar announced their decision to join the party.

“It is important that under the circumstances, the people, whose families laid down their lives for Pakistan’s formations, should come together for a historic struggle,” the MQM-P leader said.

Siddiqui said the elements, who wished to divide the nation, were disappointed and vowed that the rejuvenated MQM-P would live up to the dreams of the masses and strive for urban areas’ development. “I welcome you all — Kamal, Sattar, and their aides. I hope that all of you will strive for the nation.”

In response to a question, the MQM-P convener said the party would not allow holding the upcoming local government polls — a promise which the Sindh government fulfilled just hours later.

Speaking on the occasion, Kamal described it as an “important day” of the history as “certain decisions would be taken today that are unthinkable”.

“If we [the MQM-P leaders] talk about ourselves, then we have taken such unthinkable decisions in the past as well, which were beyond people’s comprehension,” he said, recalling that when he left MQM founder Altaf Hussain on August 14, 2013, he was a senator and the member of the Rabita Committee.

He clarified that he had no personal differences with Altaf and the decision to leave the party was completely based on political differences.

Blasting the PPP, Kamal said: “We did not remove the label of Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) from Karachi so that [PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali] Zardari can consider the metropolitan as his fiefdom.”

He added that the former president wanted to make his son, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, the next prime minister, while the people of Karachi and Hyderabad continued to suffer due to lack of employment opportunities and basic facilities like the absence of clean drinking water and electricity.

Sattar said the leaders had set their differences aside to establish a “unified and organised” MQM-P, which will work for the Muhajir cause. “All political parties in the country are at each other’s throats.”

“If MQM-P is given the opportunity, we can generate $10 billion through our own resources,” Sattar said as he slammed the coalition government for the Geneva climate moot, where the country secured pledges of over $10 billion.

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