KARACHI: Former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal on Friday pulled Syed Hafeezuddin, lawmaker of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in Sindh Assembly, into his newly-launched Pak Sarzameen Party.
Kamal announced this while addressing a press conference at Bagh-i-Jinnah — the place where his party is planning to hold a public gathering on April 24.
At the start of the press conference Kamal welcomed Hafeezuddin to his political party.
Speaking at the occasion, Hafeezuddin said “Turkey’s current president was once the mayor of Istanbul and he turned it into an economic centre — not just for the Muslim world but also for Europe.”
“That is how I want Mustafa Kamal to lead this nation,” he maintained.
Talking about why he resigned from PTI, Hafeezuddin said PTI was established in Karachi after a lot of struggle, but the party didn’t do anything despite registering internal complaints.
He also pointed out that during local body polls PTI candidates left those constituencies from where it had won over 50 thousand votes in general elections.
Hafeezuddin also termed the opposition in Sindh Assembly as toothless.
Earlier this week, member of Mutahidda Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) coordination committee Iftikhar Akbar Randhawa had joined the ranks of Pak Sarzameen Party.
Hafeezuddin is the first PTI’s leader to join Kamal’s newly launched party.
He announced his resignation from PTI’s membership and subsequently from the membership of Sindh Assembly.
Reacting to Hafeezuddin’s resignation from the party, PTI leader Ali Zaidi said that after investigations of alleged corruption and partiality against Hafeezuddin, PTI Chairman Imran Khan had already approved his dismissal from the party.
Earlier in March, when Kamal returned to Pakistan, the MQM dissident unleashed a salvo of bombastic ‘revelations’ against party supremo Altaf Hussain, accusing him of deception, addressing workers while intoxicated and poor running of the MQM.
Since then, the former mayor of Karachi has pulled former MQM heavyweights Advocate Anis, Raza Haroon, Anis Kaimkhani, MPA Dr Sagheer, MPA Iftikhar Alam, Waseem Aftab, ex-senator Mohammad Ali Brohi, and most recently MPA Bilquis Mukhtar, into his party.
The Pak Sarzameen Party’s name was announced on March 23 and since then the party has opened offices in Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas.
Advocate Anis and Raza Haroon both have slammed Altaf Hussain, saying the MQM chief is the reason behind party members jumping ship. However, the MQM has denied all allegations regarding the ‘minus-Altaf formula’ and claims its workers are being ‘forced to change loyalties’.
Kamal and his colleagues have not specifically denied these allegations or others that suggest the new party is being backed by ‘certain quarters’.
A number of senior MQM members left the country suddenly around the time Kamal returned to Karachi, causing speculation as to the reasons behind their seemingly abrupt departure.