Friday Feb 09, 2018
KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement–Pakistan (MQM-P) chief Dr Farooq Sattar and the party’s Rabita Committee have been at loggerheads over the allotment of Senate tickets.
Efforts to appease Sattar continued on Friday evening as another delegation comprising Rauf Siddiqui, Rehan Hashmi and Javed Hanif reached the party chief's residence in the PIB Colony area of the metropolis.
MQM-P leader Faisal Sabzwari maintained that the party's principles need to be followed to keep MQM-P intact.
The MQM-P leader further said that the Rabita Committee is responsible for steering the party out of a crisis.
Earlier on Friday, the rift intensified as the Rabita Committee wrote a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) aimed at wresting authority from Sattar.
The letter informed the ECP that the authority to issue party tickets rests with the Rabita Committee, not the party chief.
However, ECP officials in response to the letter have stated that the authority to issue tickets rests with the party chief or a person nominated by the party chief.
The letter sent by the Rabita Committee stated that according to Section 19(a) of the party's constitution, the authority to nominate candidates for election rests with the Rabita Committee. It further adds that the Rabita Committee had in its session finalised the names of candidates for the Senate of Pakistan elections.
Finally, the letter informs the ECP that the authority to write letters to the commission with regards to candidates rests with Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and if the power to issue tickets to candidates rested with any individual that power stands withdrawn.
The letter to the ECP comes at a time when the rift between party chief Farooq Sattar and members of the Rabita Committee has widened. Both sides fielded separate candidates for the Senate election. The issue stems from Sattar wanting to award a Senate ticket to Kamran Tessori, a move which has been opposed by the Rabita Committee.
“This seems like an internal coup against Sattar whose stand for Tessori seems to be backfiring,” said analyst Shahzeb Khanzada.
“There are several reasons why this issue was not resolved. Whatever the final outcome it will be harmful to both sides,” said senior analyst Mazhar Abbas.
“I cannot comprehend how Kamran Tessori has this much importance,” said Faisal Sabzwari as he spoke to reporters. The MQM-P leader revealed that Sattar had told Rabita Committee members that the party would not contest the Senate elections if Tessori did not contest.
During the news conference, Sabzwari maintained that Farooq Sattar remained the party chief, however all authority rests with the Rabita Committee. “It is the Rabita Committee which would hand over authority to the convener or party chief,” he added.
When asked about the decision to write a letter to the ECP, Sabzwari responded: “This decision was taken when we were unable to meet Farooq Bhai (brother) at his residence last night.”
Earlier, Dr Farooq Sattar had maintained that he would award tickets to Senate candidates. "If a leader is responsible for taking the party ahead, he should also be given authority," Sattar said. "This can't happen that all failures are due to the leader, while he has got no authority," he added.
Sattar announced that he would chair a meeting of the Rabita Committee for the party’s Senate nominees tonight.