MQM-Pakistan marks 33rd Foundation Day today


KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan will celebrate its 33rd foundation day in Karachi on Saturday, the first time after having parted ways from its London-based leadership.

The foundation day celebrations, which mark the party’s inception in March 1984, will kick off at party’s temporary headquarters in PIB Colony this evening.

The MQM since its inception has been marking its foundation day on March 22 every year, but the splitting of the party has led the MQM-Pakistan chief Farooq Sattar to designate March 18 as the foundation day.

In an extraordinary turn of events, MQM leaders in the country distanced themselves from the London-based party chief following an inflammatory speech by him on August 22, 2016, and ensuing violence in Karachi.

The violence claimed life of a man and left eight others wounded, as charged party workers attacked some media houses and vandalised public property.

Sattar, flanked by senior leaders of the party, announced at a press conference in Karachi that future party decisions would be made by party officials in Pakistan.

According to MQM-Pakistan leaders, designating a different day was to ensure the party remains committed to its pledge to work for the betterment of middle-class and the downtrodden people.

Late on Friday night, Sattar was taken into custody when he was returning home after attending a wedding ceremony at the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Museum in Karachi.

He was whisked to the Chakiwara Police Station but later released after a brief detention.

Police officials said personnel from the City Division had arrested the MQM-Pakistan leader in a case over hate speech, sedition, and incidents of violence in Karachi on August 22 last year.

Police sources told a private news channel that non-bailable arrest warrants had already been issued for Sattar.