MQM-P files references in ECP against 11 former members

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  • ECP directs Arshad Vohra to submit response to MQM-P’s petition demanding him to step down as Karachi’s deputy mayor

KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Dr Farooq Sattar has filed references against 11 former party members in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The references filed on Thursday were against the national and provincial lawmakers; Asif Hasnain, Salman Mujahid Baloch, Irum Azeem Farooqi, Sheikh Abdullah, Khalid bin Wilayat, Abdul Razzaq, Irtaza Khalil, Nadeem Raazi, Arif Maseeh, Bilquis Mukhtiyar.

In the references, the MQM has demanded the ECP to de-notify the above-mentioned lawmakers as they continue to appear before the respective legislative assemblies on the seats won on the ticket of MQM, even after switching their loyalties to other parties.

ECP SEEKS RESPONSE FROM DR ARSHAD VOHRA:

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday directed Arshad Vohra to submit a reply to a petition filed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan (MQM-P) asking him to step down as Karachi’s deputy mayor.

Vohra left the Dr Farooq Sattar-led MQM-P in October to join the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP).

The petition demands Vohra to step down as the deputy mayor “since he is not a part of MQM-P anymore”.

Farooq Sattar, his lawyer Iqbal Qadri and Advocate Hafizuddin — representing Vohra — appeared in front of the ECP on Thursday.

The hearing, however, could not proceed as Vohra’s lawyer had not received a copy of the petition filed against him. The ECP ordered MQM-P to send a copy of the petition to Vohra and adjourned the hearing until December 26.

Talking to the media outside the ECP, Sattar demanded that Vohra step down as deputy mayor because he won the seat from MQM-P’s ticket and later “changed loyalties” when he joined PSP in October.

MQM-P has filed the application under Section 36 of the Local Government Act 2013 against Vohra, Sattar said.

Vohra, who is being treated by the Federal Investigation Agency as a suspect in a money laundering investigation against MQM founder Altaf Hussain and others, had claimed that his switching sides had nothing to do with either the money laundering case or some pressure.

While announcing his decision, Vohra had said that he did not want to criticise his former party but still stating that the “MQM-P had no vision and it had failed to fulfil its promises it had made with the people of Karachi”.

The party could have served the people of Karachi far better during the past one year, but its leadership did nothing, he had claimed.

Vohra, who is a PhD and a well-known industrialist, was full of praise for former Karachi mayor and PSP Chairman Mustafa Kamal, saying that the he had worked for Karachi and the incumbents should have followed him and fulfilled their responsibilities.

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