MQM-P leaders at each other’s throats over Senate ticket

  • Dr Farooq Sattar and Amir Khan at odds over giving ticket to Kamran Tessori
  • Tessori no longer in Rabita Committee, faces suspension from party for six months

KARACHI: The upcoming Senate elections have widened the rifts within the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) as party chief Dr Farooq Sattar walked out of a party meeting in Bahadurabad on Monday evening after the party leadership indulged in a heated argument over the names decided for the Senate elections.

The meeting, however, was resumed with Senior Deputy Convener Amir Khan in the chair after Dr Sattar left the venue.

The apparent reason behind Dr Sattar’s boycott of the proceedings of the meeting was the issue of Senate ticket to Kamran Tessori.

According to initial reports, Amir Khan wanted Faisal Sabzwari to get the ticket for Senate elections, whereas Dr Sattar reportedly wanted Kamran Tessori to get the ticket despite the “Rabita Committee’s objections to it”.

Reportedly, Tessori too objected to the names pitched in the list and refused to accept the committee’s decision.

Following the walkout, Dr Sattar called an urgent meeting at his house in the PIB Colony in which “all elected representatives (senators, MNAs, MPAs, mayor, chairman, vice chairman, councillors), including all workers of MQM-Pakistan” were asked to reach the venue.

A large number of pro-Sattar supporters reached the residence of the party chief in order to show their support.

Talking to a local media outlet following the incident, Dr Sattar accused Amir Khan of trying to take over the party [by going against him several times].

“They don’t want to leave the party, they want to take over,” he said while referring to leaders opposing his decision.

It may be mentioned here that in November Amir Khan had rejected the rumours of him having any intentions of taking over the party. He had said that he did not wish to replace Dr Farooq Sattar as the party’s chief since the latter was the best choice for the post.

Furthermore, according to details of the meeting led by Amir Khan, the party leadership at Bahadurabad wants Dr Sattar to stay; however, they want Kamran Tessori to leave the MQM-P.

In a late night press conference with the journalists, MQM-P leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui announced that Kamran Tessori has been dismissed from the party’s Rabita Committee and his membership too has been suspended for six months.

The MQM-P has been marred with reported divisions since its split from Altaf-led London’s MQM.

Earlier, it had been reported that the two groups within the MQM-P, led by Farooq Sattar and Amir Khan, respectively, were openly confronting each other on the issue.

In the last meeting, Tessori had reportedly said in the party meeting that his one-year-long performance ‘surpassed’ the work of many in the last 30 years as he worked day and night. He also touted the opening of the party offices in unchartered territories, especially the Hyderabad zonal office.

Citing all these ‘achievements’, he, therefore, presented himself as a potential candidate for the Senate ticket.

The MQM-P will contest for 12 Senate seats from Sindh. Four of its senators were retiring in March and it will be interesting to see as to how many seats MQM-P manages to win as seven of its MPAs have left to join Mustafa Kamal’s Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) while five were currently abroad for ‘personal’ reasons.

The two separate meetings of the MQM-P leadership, one under Dr Sattar and other led by Amir Khan, were underway when the report was filed at midnight.



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