Elections 2013: MQM to support Musharraf: Sattar

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Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Farooq Sattar said the MQM has “no problem” in supporting former president Pervez Musharraf by not running a candidate against him in Karachi for the 2013 elections.
Talking to a private television channel, Sattar said the MQM’s support for the self-exiled former president stemmed from Musharraf’s close relations with MQM chief Altaf Hussain and the party. He added that Musharraf’s “nurturing” of democracy and support for the local government system would factor into the MQM’s decision.
Despite an indication of political support, Sattar said that Musharraf should think “100 times” before taking a decision to return to Pakistan, given the significant threat to his life.
Sattar warned that a civil war-like situation was being conspired in Karachi to benefit a criminal nexus including an ‘underworld syndicate’ that had links with extremist element such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban who have entered Karachi from Swat, Malakand and South Waziristan.
He said transactions worth billions of rupees were being made to sponsor terrorism in the northern areas. He added that land and weapon mafias along with the religious right were also involved in the violence, as they were the ones benefitting from chaos in the city. He also said there were some criminal elements in political parties who were creating problems in Karachi in certain MQM constituencies by handing them over to criminals.
Answering a question, Sattar said that Mirza’s statements aggravated the situation in Karachi and served only to stir up political tension. He said his only concern in the matter was the PPP’s denouncement or acceptance of PAC and the arrest of target killers.
Answering a question on whether the repeated formation and breakup of a coalition with the PPP was hurting the MQM’s credibility, Sattar said the decision to join the coalition was taken in order to give economy and democracy a chance in Pakistan. He added that the country’s integrity was at stake.
Sattar said the MQM-PPP coalition would survive with regular talks between both parties. He reiterated that the MQM had joined the government with good intentions and wanted to be optimistic about the relationship.

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