In a surprise move, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM-London) has started its organizational activities after the stalemate of five consecutive years. The political party has appointed two of its senior members, Kunwar Khalid Yunus and Momin Khan Momin, as senior deputy convener and deputy convener respectively in Karachi. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Coordination Committee in London.
The MQM-L has also filed a petition seeking the lifting of a ban, imposed by the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) in 2016, on airing the speeches of Altaf Hussain, the MQM-L’s London-based leader and founder.
In a statement issued from London, the MQM said that an emergency meeting of the Coordination Committee of their party held at the MQM International Secretariat was presided over by Tariq Javed. The meeting discussed the reorganization of the MQM and an increase in the number of Coordination Committee’s members.
It said that the meeting decided to include more members in the Coordination Committee, based in Pakistan , who could pursue the cases of imprisoned workers, work on the recovery of ‘missing’ activists, and take care of the families of ‘martyrs’ and for this purpose, Kunwar Khalid Yunus was appointed senior deputy convener of the party. He has also served thrice as member of the National Assembly. Momin Khan Momin, who was appointed deputy convener, is a revolutionary poet, writer, intellectual, and former member of the Coordination Committee, it added.
The MQM-L has been seeking the inclusion of more “Wafa Parast” (loyal) members in the committee which is considered the apex body of the political party. The two have been assigned to interview members who are likely to remain loyal to the MQM-L. The MQM founder will later endorse the decision. The statement also said that the decision to reorganize the Coordination Committee after the inclusion of new members would be taken soon.
Moreover, the MQM-L has sent a petition to Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial through a courier against the “illegal and unconstitutional” ban on its founder’s speeches in the Pakistani print and electronic media. The MQM was apparently forced to divide into two factions — MQM (Pakistan) and MQM-L — in 2016 when Altaf Hussain, during his speech from London which was directly broadcast in Pakistan, was charged with enticing a mob into attacking nearby media houses located in the vicinity of the Karachi Press Club.
After his speech, the then PML-N government came down hard on the party and all those who remained loyal to their leadership in London were arrested and put behind bars. MQM offices were sealed and a crackdown was carried out against the party workers. Eventually a new faction with the name MQM (Pakistan) came to the fore and since then the political party got divided into two factions.
The sources inside the party said that many MQM workers either changed their loyalties and joined MQM-P or went into hiding. The then top leader of the MQM and supposedly second in command, Farooq Sattar, also changed his loyalty and parted ways with the party’s founder.
However, the sources said that the newly surfaced MQM-P developed conflicts of leadership as all of the leaders who had joined the MQM-P were habitual of saying “jee bhai”. Now they had to add their own stance which was a new phenomenon in the MQM-P and those leaders were not familiar with presenting their own stance in the party.
The sources said that after many ups and downs, the Coordination Committee later excluded Farooq Sattar and appointed Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, the convener of the party. The sources claim that many members in the MQM-P were still supporters of MQM-L as in many rallies and public gatherings, many have witnessed the workers chanting slogans of the party’s founder rather than of the MQM-P.
Since the episode of 2016, the MQM-L has restricted its activities in Karachi especially. Its offices are still closed. However, if the authorities allow MQM-L to reopen its offices, it would definitely be a matter of concern for the MQM-P leaders, the sources concluded.
photos: Bol News