MQM will operate from Pakistan alone: Farooq Sattar
KARACHI: Senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Farooq Sattar for the first time has said that his party should operate from Pakistan alone, an apparent reference to the leadership of MQM under Altaf Hussain who controls the party from London.
While speaking at Karachi Press Club on Tuesday, Sattar accepted that “there is a problem” and that Hussain’s frequent apologies after incendiary statements is an issue that needs to be resolved. The press conference was held a day after protesters, alleged to be MQM workers, attacked the office of ARY News.
“The MQM should operate from Pakistan alone,” Sattar said.
Sattar made another dramatic statement about disassociating himself from the party in London, saying he has categorically said that all the decisions will be made by party members in Pakistan, “what else do I need to say to elaborate the minus-one formula more”.
Referring to Hussain’s apology statement issued earlier today, Sattar said: “If such statements are a result of mental stress, then that mental stress needs to be resolved first. It would be better for MQM to operate from Pakistan until Altaf Hussain’s health issues are not resolved, as such statements push MQM into confinement.
“Altaf Hussain and the entire party are being ridiculed due to these statements.”
“Whatever the reason given for these statements, it keeps happening and it is important to address this issue as well,” he admitted.
“We own that there is a problem, and Altaf Hussain keeps asking for forgiveness. Until this issue is addressed, we’ve decided that sanity should prevail,” Sattar said.
When questioned about whether the MQM supremo would continue to use the party platform for speeches, Sattar said: “We cannot provide any more clarity on this. It is the MQM’s policy from day one to condemn violence and torture.”
Dr Amir Liaquat who was also taken into Rangers custody Monday spoke to journalists saying, “We cannot take the weight of statements that pose a question regarding the sacrifices we have made for Pakistan.”
Sattar also denounced anti-Pakistan slogans chanted during an attack on ARY News’ Karachi office a day earlier.
“Every MQM worker, leader, voter and well-wisher denounces these anti-Pakistan slogans,” Sattar said. “We will not allow this to happen again.”
“We totally disassociate ourselves from the violence that took place in Karachi yesterday. It is totally against our policy to use violence to achieve our ends.”
“There is no room for any militants or any militants’ wing.”
“We were not expecting that the situation [attack on ARY News] would unfold in such a manner. Certain things were said that shouldn’t have been said,” Sattar said. “Anti-Pakistan slogans should not have been chanted.”
“I would like to categorically state that MQM is Pakistan. The MQM is registered in Pakistan and recognises the laws and Constitution of Pakistan.”
“We were with our friends, the Rangers, for eight hours… It should be clear that we are not speaking under the influence of anyone else… Everything I say is in line with MQM’s policy.”
“Our offices should be allowed to reopen,” Sattar said.
The press conference is being held at KPC instead of MQM headquarters Nine Zero, which were sealed by the Rangers Monday night.
Speaking to local TV channels before the press conference, Sattar said, “We will take the MQM’s mission forward and continue to empower citizens… I will hold the press conference I was unable to hold yesterday today.”
MQM leaders Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Shaikh Salahuddin, Nighat Shakeel, Waqar Hussain, Muhammad Hussain, Asif Hussain, Saman Jafri and Dr Fouzia were also present at KPC.
According to local media reports, Sattar stopped off at a local hotel prior to the press conference to meet MQM lawmakers including Arshad Vohra and Nasreen Jalil.
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