Farooq Sattar says MQM-P legislators will resign if coerced to switch parties


KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) chief Farooq Sattar expressed his anguish on Sunday and said that MQM-P legislators in the Parliament would resign if further attempts were made to coerce them into switching parties.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi, the MQM chief said that the time has come to take a decision on this matter. “It’s been a year since we parted ways with the MQM-London, but still our party’s legislators are being forced to switch loyalties,” he said, adding that he does not understand why this was happening.

Sattar also conceded that some of the party lawmakers who had left the party earlier on had done so by their own choice. However, he maintained that the MQM-P leadership had spoken with its lawmakers and they were all being pressured to leave the party.

“Not only our MPAs, MNAs and senators but also town and UC committee leaders are being asked to quit the party,” he said. “One of our members from North Nazimabad town, Sohail Qureshi, was arrested and later seen in the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) camp. Following this, several other members defected to the PSP,” he added.

Speaking about the party’s reservations on the census results, he said that the party would stage a protest rally at Quaid’s mausoleum on November 5.

Earlier, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had assured a delegation of the MQM-P, headed by Sattar, that the promises made by former premier Nawaz Sharif would be fulfilled. Abbasi also directed the interior minister to review the MQM-P’s complaints about the arbitrary arrests of its activists and ensure that these cases were dealt with in a fair manner.

The party had also complained to the prime minister about the provincial government’s lack of cooperation with the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation.

Abbasi responded that district governments were an important component of the country’s democratic set-up and played a crucial role in its development. He added that the provincial government would be asked to pay due attention to the local bodies.