KARACHI: A day after it removed Dr Farooq Sattar from the post of party convener, the coordination committee of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Monday informed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui had been elected as the new leader of the party.
Commonly known as the MQM Bahadurabad group, the party through a letter by deputy convener Kanwar Naveed Jameel also told the ECP that it would continue to use its election symbol ‘kite’ for all future elections.
Differences within the MQM-P surfaced on Feb 5 when Dr Sattar boycotted a coordination committee meeting held at its Bahadurabad headquarters after it refused to field his favoured candidate Kamran Tessori on priority for the March 3 Senate elections.
The party split into two groups — one led by Dr Sattar and the other by senior leader Amir Khan. The drama continued for six days and finally ended on Sunday when Dr Sattar’s own colleagues implemented the infamous minus-one formula by removing him from the post of convener with a two-thirds majority.
However, Dr Sattar held a workers’ convention the same day, dissolved the coordination committee and announced intra-party elections on Feb 17.
On Monday, he told newsmen that he did not accept what he called “unconstitutional” actions and vowed to approach courts for retaining his position as party head as well as its election symbol ‘kite’.
Also, Dr Siddiqui, the new convener, told media that his party had removed the element of “money and resources” from electoral politics.
He said that those workers who had attended the Sunday meeting called by Dr Sattar at KMC ground in PIB Colony did nothing wrong.
When asked whether Dr Sattar can get the party’s Bahadurabad headquarters vacated by the coordination committee, he said his party could work from ‘roads’.
MQM-P leader Barrister Farogh Naseem, who is one of the candidates for the Senate elections, told reporters that the MQM-P had been registered in Dr Siddiqui’s name and the ECP recognised him as new convener. “The MQM-Pakistan is at the Bahadurabad office.” He said legal action would be taken if Dr Sattar used the name of the party, adding that the latter could not use the symbol, kite, for contesting elections.
Later, Dr Sattar told a private news channel he had evidence that he was removed by implementing a “Pervez Musharraf formula”.
“This is not minus one...the Mohajir nation and workers with great difficulty accepted our first minus-one [formula] and this is minus two,” Dr Sattar told Geo News while referring to his removal by the coordination committee.
He alleged that Senator Dr Farogh Nasim had told people that Dr Sattar could not lead the party and the real leader, Mr Musharaf, was in Dubai and people should join him.
He said he was still the legitimate leader of the MQM-P and the coordination committee stood dissolved after the general assembly of workers held on Sunday.