Sattar wants army to supervise PS-127 KARACHI: Fearing rigging in the Sept 8 by-election on a provincial assembly constituency in Karachi, senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Dr Farooq Sattar has demanded that the polling be held under the supervision of the army.
The Sindh Assembly seat (PS-127) in Malir fell vacant after MQM lawmaker Ashfaque Mangi left his party and resigned from the assembly seat to join the Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party.
The MQM, which has been undergoing one of the serious crises in its 32-year history as its Pakistan-based leadership recently dissociated itself from party founder Altaf Hussain and his London secretariat, launched its election campaign in the constituency on Sunday.
Dr Sattar, the head of the MQM-Pakistan, with other party leaders told a press conference in the Malir area that party offices could be demolished but the mandate the MQM had could not be bulldozed.
‘All migratory birds will soon return home’
He was referring to the demolition of over 50 offices of the MQM in different parts of the city since a renewed crackdown was launched against the party following its London-based supremo’s anti-Pakistan speech on Aug 22.
He said that the people of Karachi might be deprived and alienated but they would never allow anyone to doubt their loyalty with the country.
Speaking about the departure of Mr Mangi, he said he was a Sindhi-speaking man but he was awarded a party ticket from this constituency and the people voted for him but he deserted his party. He said many people could not bear the pressure and left the party in tough time.
“This is the period of migration when birds move to warm areas. But all migratory birds will soon return home,” he said, hinting at the return of those who joined the PSP.
Without naming, he also said that those who joined the Afaq Ahmed-led Mohajir Qaumi Movement would also return to the MQM fold.
He said that those who switched loyalty should understand that they had no chance of success in the 2018 general elections.
Dr Sattar said that everyone saw the results of the local government elections, as the MQM won three districts of Karachi and despite a conspiracy to snatch its mandate in a fourth district, it got justice in case of the chairmanship of the district municipal corporation-West.
He warned the government to stop trying to create more and more factions of the MQM and respect its mandate.
The MQM leader demanded that MQM offices, including its Nine-Zero headquarters, be unsealed.
He said there was a serious fear of rigging in the by-election and demanded that the polling be held under the supervision of the army.
He hoped that the people of Malir would vote for MQM candidate on Sept 8.
There are many candidates in the run for the PS-127 constituency but the actual contest would be between Pakistan Peoples Party’s Murtaza Baloch, a former nazim of defunct Gadap town, and MQM’s Waseem Ahmed. The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf also fielded Nadeem Memon as its candidate.
The MQM nemesis, the PSP, is not contesting the by-election.