Farooq Sattar challenges removal as MQM-P convener in IHC


ISLAMABAD: Former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM-P) convener Farooq Sattar on Wednesday moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against his removal as party convener by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The petition is expected to be taken up by the IHC on Thursday.

Farooq Sattar had been removed from the post of MQM-P’s convener by the ECP on Monday after accepting the challenge to his election, as well as, rejecting his plea that the ECP had no jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the party’s internal matters.

The party’s intra-party elections held under Sattar’s leadership, in which he claimed to have won by a huge margin, were annulled by a five-member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (r) Sardar Muhammad Raza.

Earlier, MQM-P Bahadur­abad group leaders Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Kunwar Naveed Jameel had filed petitions with the ECP questioning Sattar’s authority and position. The ECP had additionally, accepted another appeal challenging the resolution passed at an “emergency general workers’ meeting” called by Sattar in February. He had asked workers through a resolution whether or not they would ratify the coordination committee’s decision of removing him as the convener to which they had affirmed their support for him.

The MQM leader had told the media that the commission’s decision would be marked as a “dark verdict” in history following the announcement of the order, terming it “illegal and unconstitutional”. He said that this was the first time a judgement had been passed on an intra-party dispute.

“I have been punished for standing against MQM foun­der Altaf Hussain on Aug 23 [2016],” Dr Sattar said, referring to the day when he announced parting ways with Hussain over his incendiary speech, “and for standing alongside Pakis­tan, Consti­tution and the Pakistani state”.

Sattar was, however, still invited by the Bahadurabad group’s coordination committee to “work together in order to strengthen the party”.

“As we are inviting workers and office-bearers, we will also approach Dr Farooq Sattar Bhai personally,” senior MQM-P leader Faisal Subzwari said. “We will not accept any division.”