KARACHI: The internal rifts within Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) took another turn on last day for submission of the nomination papers for Senate polls after party chief Dr Farooq Sattar and Rabita Committee members including Faisal Subzwari and Wasim Akhtar came face to face.
Emotional scenes were witnessed outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) office in Karachi as Subzwari broke in tears after embracing Sattar.
However, the deadlock over issuance of Senate tickets to party candidates apparently remained unresolved as both the groups, the committee members-led Bahadurabad group and Sattar-led PIB group, submitted the nomination papers separately.
The party leadership has been divided into two factions over the issuance of tickets to the favourite candidates ahead of Senate elections on March 3.
Two separate party meetings were held on Wednesday to contemplate final names of the candidates for upcoming Senate elections, despite the efforts to convince MQM-P chief Dr Farooq Sattar and breach the deadlock over the names of candidates for Senate elections.
A total of 23 candidates from three political parties in Sindh filed their nomination forms in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) yesterday against 12 Senate seats- 7 general, two each reserved for technocrats/ulema and women and one for minorities.
As many as 20 candidates out of total 23 belonged to the ruling Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP), who submitted their nomination papers. Two candidates belonged to Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) and one from Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F).
MQM-P’s departing Senators
Four out of eight MQM-P senators, including Col (r) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Dr. Mohammad Farogh Naseem, Maulana Tanveer-ul-Haq Thanvi, and Nasreen Jalil will retire next month.
The party intend to contest for 12 Senate seats from Sindh. In the 168-member provincial assembly, MQM-P enjoys support of 50 lawmakers which makes it the second largest political party in the province.
Meeting to break deadlock ends on inconclusive note
Earlier on Tuesday, a meeting of senior leaders of MQM-P was held to breach the stalemate and eliminate differences within the party over the matter. However, the meeting ended on inconclusive note as no breakthrough was made over the issuance of Senate ticket to Kamran Tessori.
Following the meeting with Rabita Committee members over party differences, MQM-P convener Farooq Sattar said there were some matters in which the ultimate power of decision should be with the party head.
“We should learn the mechanism of resolving conflicts. Disagreements among brothers should not be made public,” he said talking to media outside his house at PIB colony on Tuesday night.
The differences surfaced among MQM-P party leaders on giving Kamran Tessori party ticket for Senate elections, the fact that has been denied by Farooq Sattar saying that it was not merely an issue of a Senate seat, it was far beyond that, he added.
However, he said, he was satisfied with the workers’ cooperation and Rabita Committee members’ assurance that “you are our senior and you are our chief”.
“Now that it has been decided that I am the head of the party, respect for the party head should be in heart. I do not want respect just verbally. My opinion should be respected,” he asserted.
“We are all brothers to each other. We are one. We have to establish our unity. After this meeting we will deliberate (on issues). We will hold a meeting in the day if some matter is left to be addressed,” he said.
The MQM-P chief said they did not want to give anybody a chance to feel rejoiced over their differences.
He said they had to improve the party situation further. They had never been in favor of any rift and they had to manage it from onward, he said.
He said people should differentiate between disagreement and division. He said Rabita Committee and its all members were intact.
“However, should I see any behavioral fault in party members, I will adopt strict action against it,” he warned.
Who is Kamran Tessori?
Tessori is a newcomer in the party, who joined the MQM-P last year and quickly rose to prominence. He was previously a member of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F).
Sattar-led MQM-P has also fielded Tessori to contest PS-114 by-election in Karachi against the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Saeed Ghani but lost by a big margin.