KARACHI: The same day that Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Farooq Sattar criticised the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) for poaching his party members, another MQM-P lawmaker jumped ship today.
MQM-P MPA Sumeta Afzal Syed announced joining PSP at a press conference.
She was elected to the Sindh Assembly on a reserved ticket for women.
Addressing the press conference, PSP chief Mustafa Kamal lashed out at Sattar and the recent internal rifts within the MQM-P.
He claimed that the PSP is not behind what has been happening with MQM-P recently.
“Farooq Sattar called minutes before the Senate elections [last month] begging for votes,” Kamal claimed, adding that Sattar also asks PSP to lend supporters for his rallies.
The PSP chief vowed that Sattar, around a year ago, told him he will ‘bluff’ Mahajirs. He also questioned under whose pressure did Sattar contact PSP or attempt to join the party last year.
Kamal then announced that his party’s doors are forever closed for Sattar.
Kamal said that he could have severely criticised MQM-Pakistan for his advantage on its intra-party organisational crisis but he chose to remain silent.
He claimed that Sattar met PSP leader Anis Qaimkhani and asked him that what can PSP offer him if the Election Commission of Pakistan gives a decision against him.
The PSP chief said Sattar’s early morning press conference was a failed attempt by a sore loser to rescue himself.
Kamal said that those who have been in power for three times on what grounds claim to make Karachi as per par with Lahore.
He alleged that Sattar asked PSP to vote for its candidate and even requested them to send their workers in his faction’s rallies.
MPA Sumeta Syed calls Sattar, ‘Bipolar’
Speaking on the occasion, Sumeta Syed called MQM-P leader ‘bi-polar’, adding that she is joining PSP with her own will.
“Noone called me to join PSP. Sattar became leader because of us and he is solely to blame for the crisis within the MQM-P,” she said.
Will die before joining PSP: Sattar
Almost a dozen MQM-P members, both provincial and national lawmakers, have recently quit the party and joined PSP — formed by former MQM members Kamal and Anis Qaimkhani in 2016 and considered a direct rival of MQM-P.
“I’m risking my life … putting my life on the line,” said Dr Sattar, who heads the MQM-P’s ‘PIB group’ after a split with the ‘Bahadurabad group’.
The MQM-P leader expressed confusion about why his party and PSP were expected to merge.
The press talk came in reaction to Shabbir Ahmed Qaimkhani, a now-ex-member of the MQM-P, announcing his decision to join the PSP.
Qaimkhani — a former Sindh minister for excise and taxation — is the first member of MQM-P’s Bahadurabad faction to have joined the PSP.
Later in the day, Sattar released a video message in which he said that he has burnt his boats and presented the case of the Muhajirs and muzloom [oppressed] in the court of chief of army staff and chief justice of Pakistan. “It’s time for a decision now.”
He also said that party will hold a workers convention tonight, adding that party supporters should come out in large numbers to attend it.
Qaimkhani quit the MQM-P days after Mehboob Alam, along with MPAs Saifuddin Khalid and Muhammad Kamran, defected to the Mustafa Kamal-led party.
Prior to that, on April 4, MQM-P lawmaker Muhammad Muzammil Qureshi joined the PSP.
On April 1, Waseem Hussain, MQM-P MNA from Hyderabad, announced his decision to join the PSP, whereas, on March 29, MQM-P MNA Dr Fouzia Hameed announced the same.
Before the aforementioned, two female provincial lawmakers of MQM-P — MPAs Naheed Begum and Naila Munir — had jumped ship on March 28.