MQM-P chief Farooq Sattar takes back his resignation

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan Chief Farooq Sattar has retracted his decision to quit the party and politics, saying his mother has convinced him to keep on serving the people of Pakistan.

“My mother ordered me to continue serving the country and its people. To fulfill her wishes, I take my decision back,” he remarked on late on Thursday night, almost an hour after announcing his decision to quit.

Following the announcement of the resignation, Sattar went inside his house which was surrounded by party members. The members tried to pacify Sattar and convince him to take his decision back.

Sattar returned and addressed another press conference after being introduced by Faisal Sabzwari as “MQM-Pakistan Chief.”

“I swear to God, this is not any drama,” he remarked. “I am willing to serve as an adviser to Rabita Committee.”

My decisions were questioned by party members and “if people think I am not qualified to run Pakistan’s fourth biggest party. Then I won’t.”

“I will be upset if my party members start doubting my intentions,” he said.

“We want to do national politics, but we are again being pushed towards muhajir politics,” said Satter. “We have the entire country’s burden on us, if Karachi runs then Pakistan runs.”

Explaining his decision, he said: “I took the decision to save my 38 years of political struggle. My companions talked with my mother to convince me.”

He claimed that MQM-Pakistan is being politically victimised. “Why are our 150 political offices not being returned to us? About 165 of our companions are missing; almost 200 of our offices are closed. We should be given what is ours.”

He said, “I implore upon the media to go to the jails and see the conditions are workers are in. I am not asking for anything extra, only asking for what is written in the jail manual.”

Sattar also said that the party would contest the general elections under its electoral symbol of kite.

Reiterating his earlier stance, he said that there should be no more engineering in politics and politics should take its own course.

“I have left politics, not the party. In Pakistan, middle-class politicians can never climb the ladder.”

Sattar announces to quit MQM-P, politics

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Sattar had announced to quit the party and politics hours after Rabita Committee had expressed their confidence in his leadership.

The decision also came a day after MQM-Pakistan and Pak Sarzameen Party had announced to join hands.

Reasoning his resignation Sattar had said: “I was saddened and hurt by the response I got [after the press conference]” he said. “I was disappointed with the response I got from PSP leaders and my own workers.”

“The decision was made after discussions with Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan, Wasim Akhtar, Kamran Tessori, Nasrin Jalil and then Rabita Committee members,” he shared, adding “we had to take everyone together.”

Sattar remarked that he doesn’t like being a leader. “People should know what you have done for them, you do not need to put up your pictures everywhere.”

“Engineered politics can never work,” he remarked, adding “politics will take its natural course.” The rule of democracy is simple, the leader who wins the hearts of the people is the one who will eventually rule, he added.

Referring to his joint-press conference with PSP Chairman Mustafa Kamal, Sattar remarked: “we were left disappointed.”

“Kamal agreed to unite with me and in front of me he said that MQM belongs to its founder,” said Sattar.

“MQM belonged to its founder till August 22, 2016. Even then, MQM was the party of muhajirs and the oppressed.”

Sattar also spoke against the tone Kamal used in the press conference. “Your purpose was to highlight the point of the alliance but you went on speaking against MQM. You said that you can’t hold talks with MQM. Then, I want to ask you, who else have you been talking to then?”

“In the press conference, PSP leaders only spoke against MQM,” he remarked, adding “I was the only one speaking about pursuing non-violent politics and ensuring security of the country.”

He remarked: “You can make PSP, you can make Haqiqi, you can keep any name for the party, but how can you forget your martyrs and their sacrifices?”

Taking a jibe at PSP, he said “those who claim to engage in national politics. I challenge them to win a single seat in Lahore or Larkana. We will dissolve the party if they succeed.”

“How can we be expected to merge with a party which never speaks about the injustice against Muhajirs,” remarked Sattar. “Muhajirs have been heart broken since yesterday.”

Reacting to PSP’s earlier claims of “burying MQM”, Sattar said: “How can you bury a party with a mandate?”

Explaining the reason for the alliance, he said that MQM made the decision because we longer wanted the blood of Muhajirs to shed.

There was misunderstanding regarding the press conference, we never said that MQM and its election symbol will cease to exist. “Kite is not just our symbol but an important part of our life and our manifesto.”

On MQM’s high-level meeting, he explained “I didn’t attend because I was discontent with party members. I appreciate the fact that they have shown confidence in my leadership.”

“My words are very important, as I am the head of Pakistan’s fourth largest party according to the National Assembly, third largest party in the Senate, second biggest party in Sindh and the biggest party for the people of Karachi.”

“I started my political career with All Pakistan Muttahidda Students Organization, which was created on June 11, 1978. I joined APMSO in 1979,” he said.

“We are in politics to save Pakistan,” he said, adding “Muhajirs and their mandate was insulted yesterday.”

He also remarked, “I have never abused my power for personal gains.”

Sattar requested the media organisations to probe into the wealth of all the major political leaders from different parties. “Politicians and heads of all parties should be held accountable regarding their assets and funds. Nation needs to know who is leading them.”

“I never ran away from the country [unlike other political leaders], I have always stayed with my workers and supporters,” he said. “I willing to be held accountable in front of the entire nation.”

“I welcome all party members, supporters and workers. Also, thank all media organisations for coming to cover across this press conference on such a short notice,” he said in his opening note.

Sattar missing from MQM-P’s meeting

Earlier in the day, Sattar had skipped the MQM-P’s high-level meeting, which was then was chaired by Rabita Committee Deputy Convener Kanwar Naveed Jamil.

After the meeting, MQM-P members including Kamran Tessori, Nasreen Jalil, Wasim Akhtar had reached Sattar’s residence to “pacify him”.

“Sattar bhai is upset,” Tessori told the media, adding” we have come here to pacify him”.

However, sources suggested that Sattar refused to meet the party leaders.

In the meeting, MQM-P members decided that the party’s name, symbol and manifesto will remain intact, adding that all members have expressed full confidence in Farooq Sattar’s leadership.

The sentiments were expressed by Rabita Committee Deputy Convener Kanwar Naveed Jamil. Addressing the media, Jamil shared that the developments pertaining to joining hands of PSP and MQM-Pakistan were discussed in-depth.

He said that three important decisions were made during the meeting. First is that MQM’s name, flag, election symbol and manifesto will remain intact, he said.

“MQM would stay the same as it was, political alliances are formed quite often and there is nothing extra ordinary regarding it,” he claimed, adding it has nothing to do with MQM’s integrity.

The members also decided that MQM will contest the elections on the seats they have won earlier. Moreover, the party leadership has shown trust in the leadership of Sattar.

Earlier, party members had shared that party head Farooq Sattar won’t be attending the party’s high-level huddle.

The session is being held a day after MQM-Pakistan and Pak Sarzameen Party announced to regroup under “one name, one election symbol.” Interestingly, it is being said that Kanwar Naveed also has his reservations against MQM-Pakistan joining hands with PSP.

An official statement from the party stated that Sattar was not in attendance due to “personal commitments.”

According to sources, Sattar decided to skip the session due to internal pressure from some of the party members, who threatened to leave the party if Sattar headed it.

Many other members tried to convince Sattar to not succumb to the pressure as it would create a negative image in the media, said sources, but Sattar still chose to skip it.

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