Governor provided ‘oxygen’ to Altaf


Governor provided ‘oxygen’ to Altaf KARACHI: Over seven months after his return to politics, former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal dropped another bombshell on Monday when he accused Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan of stopping several lawmakers from joining his Pak Sarzameen Party, indulging in massive corruption and providing “oxygen” to Muttahida Qaumi Movement founder Altaf Hussain after his Aug 22 incendiary speech.

A spokesman for Sindh Governor House, however, rejected the allegations as “baseless, misleading and fabricated” and termed Mr Kamal “an unguided missile and used cartridge”.

Mr Kamal levelled all these allegations while talking to reporters outside the house of PSP leader Ashfaq Mangi here. The informal media talk was reminiscent of his March 3 press conference in which he heaped scorn at Mr Hussain, accused him of working for Indian intelligence agency RAW and running gangs of hitmen from India and South Africa.

The former mayor said that he had been in contact with Governor Ibad after his March 3 return. He said the governor wanted to become the patron-in-chief of his party but he told him to quit his office first.

Ibad says PSP chief is ‘an unguided missile and used cartridge’

“Our romance with him [Ibad] lasted for one and a half months [after March 3] and after that he started punishing us,” said Mr Kamal. “He is a known man of the establishment…the governor misled the business community, anchors, journalists about us and told them that the establishment is backing us.”

He also said the governor asked the Rangers director general to raid the PSP headquarters.

However, he did not explain that why he had been in contact with a man whom he today called a “criminal and corrupt” and accused him of “having done nothing for Karachi” during his over 13-year-long rule.

While Mr Kamal did not get enough support from his former colleagues in the National Assembly, the Senate and Sindh Assembly, he alleged that it was the Sindh governor who stopped “MNAs, MPAs who were coming to us” from joining his party.

He said Dr Ibad had known everything about MQM founder Hussain for long, including his alleged links with RAW, but he did not say a word about it.

He claimed that the governor was still in contact with Mr Hussain and recently he congratulated him over the phone after London’s Metropolitan police dropped their money laundering investigations against the MQM founder. “He [Ibad] is providing oxygen to Altaf Hussain and MQM-Pakistan. He assured Dr Farooq Sattar that the establishment was behind him and since then things against us have been expedited.”

He said he needed a platform to become relevant in politics so that he could continue as governor.

The PSP chairman said Dr Ibad, who had a mortgaged house in London, was a billionaire now and owned properties in London, Karachi, Abu Dhabi and Canada in his family’s as well as staff’s names.

Demanding his immediate arrest, Mr Kamal asked the federal government to place Dr Ibad on the exit control list so that he could not escape the country.

Governor’s reaction

A spokesman for Sindh Governor House rejected all allegations and said that the people knew the character of Dr Ibad and every segment of society respected and admired him.

The spokesman said that Mr Kamal was suffering from extreme mental stress and in view of his ‘bipolar personality’ he needed a doctor and psychiatrist.

Terming Mr Kamal an unguided missile and a spent cartridge, the spokesman said that it was his failures which forced him to level such baseless, misleading and fabricated allegations. “Governor Ibad has always ensured merit, transparency and welfare of the people for which he is admired both nationally and internationally.”

MQM factions

The Altaf Hussain-led MQM and the Dr Farooq Sattar-led MQM-Pakistan held separate press conferences on Monday and demanded immediate recovery of their “missing” workers.

They also condemned the “extrajudicial killing” of a young worker, Syed Abdul Naveed, whose bullet-riddled body was found on the outskirt of Thatta on Sept 30 and later it was identified as that of the MQM worker, and claimed that he had been in the custody of the Rangers since January 2015.

Prof Dr Hasan Zafar Arif, a member of the interim coordination committee announced by the MQM’s London-based leadership, said that over 100 workers of the MQM were still missing and Naveed was one of them.

He said that Dr Farooq Sattar and others had labelled the MQM as MQM-Pakistan just to give an impression that the party had been divided into two factions.

He said that political parties could not survive on the basis of their mere registration.

He said that many people thought that Mr Hussain had become ‘minus’ from Pakistan’s politics. “The MQM founder and his party are very much present here.”

Likewise, Dr Sattar told reporters that around 130 party workers were still missing and the MQM-Pakistan was taking their cases to the Supreme Court.

He said that Naveed was taken into custody from his home in Korangi and a few days ago he was found shot dead.

He said the MQM-Pakistan had severed all ties with the London-based leadership, but despite this sacrifice the powers that be were busy in further dividing the party.

Dr Sattar said the MQM was a political reality, which had a mandate from the urban areas of Sindh.


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