Party to retain name, symbol, flag: MQM Rabita Committe

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KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Rabita Committee announced on Thursday that the party’s name, flag, election symbol and manifesto would remain the same.

The Rabita Committee session was being held at Bahadarabad a day after MQM-P and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) decided to form a political alliance under “one name, one symbol and one manifesto”.

The committee’s Deputy Convener Kanwar Naveed Jamil announced that three important decisions, relating to the MQM-P and PSP merger, had been made in Thursday’s meeting.

The first of these was that MQM-P’s name, symbol, flag and manifesto would remain unchanged.

Moreover, MQM-P candidates would contest elections in the constituencies where they had won seats in previous elections.

Finally, leadership of the party at the committee decided that they placed their trust in Farooq Sattar and wanted him to lead the party.

Talking about the proposed alliance between MQM-P and PSP, Jamil said that political alliances are quite a normal occurrence in the political scenario and that nothing was extraordinary about it. He cited the formation of Islami Jamhoori Ittehad and Pakistan National Alliance as examples, saying that the proposed alliance had nothing to do with the party’s integrity.

“Farooq Sattar had referred towards forming a political coalition just like the Islami Jamhuri Ittehad and Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal,” Jameel clarified.

About Farooq Sattar’s leading the party, Jamil said, “We have a united stance that we want Sattar to lead us.” He additionally warned “our voters, supporters and workers to not believe in rumours from media and other sources.”

MQM-P chief Farooq Sattar was not in attendance at the high-level huddle. Earlier, party senior member Kamran Tessori had announced that Kanwar Jamil would preside over the session in place of Farooq Sattar. Sources claim that Sattar chose to absent himself from the session due to internal pressure from members of the party, who threatened to quit the party if Sattar were to head the huddle. An official statement from the party, however, states that Sattar did not attend due to “personal commitments.”

MQM-P party members, including Kanwar Jamil, allegedly hold reservations against the proposed merger between MQM-P and PSP. A large number of party members are demanding of Sattar to tell them whether the parties were going to form an electoral alliance or a merger.

The meeting was attended by MQM-P leaders Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan, Wasim Akhtar, Kamran Tessori, Faisal Sabzwari among others while Shabbir Qaimkhani and Amir Khan missed it. Amir Khan is expected to join the meeting once he returns to Pakistan in the evening.

It has also been learnt that party members Kishwar Zehra, Kanwar Naveed, Aamir Khan, Aminul Haq, Shahid Pasha and Shabbir Qaimkhani have expressed serious reservations over the proposed alliance with PSP.

Earlier, Amir Khan had stated that he categorically rejected the prospect of MQM-P’s dissolution and contesting elections under a new symbol. Workers and members of party reportedly started contacting the MQM-P senior leader following his announcement.

Other Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan also reiterated the party’s claim that the decision to dissolve either MQM-P or PSP had never been taken.

Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan, when asked about the decision to regroup under one election symbol, remarked, “Can we contest elections with two symbols?”

Meanwhile, senior leaders Rauf Siddiqui and Faisal Sabzwari stated that MQM-P would hold a political alliance with PSP, and not merge with it, adding that MQM-P will remain with its identity and PSP with theirs.

“We are just having a dialogue with PSP on the mechanism for a political alliance,” Sabzwari said. “MQM’s name, flag, symbol is present, and God willing will continue to remain present in future.”