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Sattar demands fresh intra-party elections, says ‘I saved MQM in Aug 2016’

KARACHI: Senior leader of MQM-Pakistan faction, Farooq Sattar, has demanded immediate holding of intra-party elections to ‘revive’ the party to its original structure.

During a press conference here, he said the party operating in the country is currently under ‘difficult situation’. Our party members from Bahadurabad accidentally took away party leadership from me, he added.

MPA Kamran Farooq who had joined the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) on April 8 this year, was also sitting alongside Sattar at the presser. “Kamran has returned to the party,” said the MQM-P leader.

He recalled that he took reins of the party after the London faction split, adding, “I saved the party on Aug 23 last year, hence all activists and leaders should be given their old positions.”

Sattar said he visited the party’s Bahadurabad office on June 15 setting aside all difference.

On Sep 13, Dr Farooq Sattar resigned from the party’s Rabita Committee over ‘personal reasons’, and submitted his resignation to the party.

His resignation came after a week when he publicly stated that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf offered him to contest the upcoming by-elections from  NA-247 on the party ticket.

Sattar had lost the NA-247 seat to PTI candidate Dr Arif Alvi during the July 25 elections, but the seat fell vacant after Alvi’s election as the president.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on June 11, 2018 announced its verdict declaring Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui as convener of Mutahidda Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) in a jolt to Sattar.

Sattar had approached the IHC against the election commission decision removing him as party convener in March this year.

During the hearing, Babar Sattar appeared before the court on behalf of Dr Sattar and Barrister Farough Naseem represented MQM leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

Dr Sattar’s counsel had contended before the court that the ECP did not have the jurisdiction to interfere in a political party’s internal affairs. He had maintained that since the MQM-P was registered under Dr Farooq’s name, the ECP did not have the authority to hear cases by another person who claims to be the party convener.

On March 26, the ECP had given a verdict against Sattar in the wake of a rift within the party over the nomination of Kamran Tessori for a Senate seat. The controversy over Tessori practically divided the party into Satter-led PIB group and Siddiqui-led Bahadurabad group.

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