|Sattar takes back decision to resign as MQM chief|
KARACHI: Minutes after bidding adieu to his party and politics apparently over an intra-party rift over the merger with the Pak Sarzameen Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) chief Dr. Farooq Sattar on Thursday took back his resignation on the request of his mother.
“I have taken my resignation back on the request of my mother,” said Sattar, as he sat beside his mother in his second presser of the day at his residence – amid chants of Sattar’s resignation not accepted by party workers and leaders.
Sattar, in his first presser, said he was quitting the party and politics as a result of frustration and lack of support by the MQM-P’s Rabita (Coordination) Committee and workers over the Wednesday presser along with Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) chief Mustafa Kamal where the two parties had announced to contest the 2018 general elections under “one name and one election symbol”.
Not surprisingly, the party’s coordination committee in an earlier Thursday presser backtracked from the decision to join hands with the PSP following an intra-party huddle.
The absence of the party chief, Sattar, in the meeting was conspicuous, as he was “upset with the committee”; however, the committee showed complete trust in his leadership.
Disillusioned by the reaction following his “botched” press conference with PSP’s Kamal, Sattar said, “I was saddened and hurt by the response I got [after the press conference]. I was disappointed with the response I got from PSP leaders and my own workers.”
“I don’t want to be part of the MQM at cost of self-respect,” Sattar said in his late-night presser.
Referring to the bone of contention, the Sattar-Kamal conference, the MQM-P leader said he was left disappointed by the response from the PSP chief and ex-comrade.
“Don’t go too far in spreading hatred against Altaf Hussain that you harm your own people. I could have said it all yesterday, but didn’t want to snatch the mic from Kamal bhai,” he said addressing the PSP chief.
“The decision about the merger had been taken after discussions with Khawaja Izharul Hassan, Wasim Akhtar, Kamran Tessori, Nasrin Jalil and then the Rabita Committee members,” Sattar said, complaining about a lack of visible support.
“In the press conference, PSP leaders only spoke against the MQM,” Sattar remarked, adding “I was the only one speaking about pursuing non-violent politics and ensuring security of the country.”
“MQM is here to stay; a party with a mandate cannot be buried,” Sattar said, rebutting to Kamal’s claims of burying the MQM in a meeting a day before the announcement of the merger.
Dismissing the claims of PSP-MQM-P’s six-month-old negotiations, the MQM-P chief said: “I have not met Mustafa Kamal personally; we’ve only interacted socially.”
Elaborating the reason for the alliance with the PSP, Sattar said that the MQM-P made the decision because it no longer wanted any bloodshed of the Muhajir community.
“There was a misunderstanding regarding the press conference, however. We never said that the MQM-P and its election symbol will cease to exist,” Sattar went on to say, adding that “kite is not just our symbol, but an important part of our life and manifesto”.
Expressing his resolve to serve the Urdu-speaking community of the metropolitan, he said the party— being the third biggest party in Senate — stood by the Muhajir community and would sacrifice anything for upholding the dignity of Pakistan.