Unification of MQM factions: Tessori gets positive response from Mustafa Kamal

Kamran Tessori says all MQM factions, including PSP, agree on Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui’s leadership

Arshad Yousafzai
Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori and PSP chief Mustafa Kamal talking to the media after their meeting at the PSP secretariat. — Screengrab/Twitter video
Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori and PSP chief Mustafa Kamal talking to the media after their meeting at the PSP secretariat. — Screengrab/Twitter video
  • Sindh governor Tessori visits PSP office late at night. 
  • He calls upon all MQM factions to unite for Karachi. 
  • Says MQM should again win trust of Karachi people.

KARACHI: Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori has called upon all the factions of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to unite on a single platform to resolve the issues of Karachi, reported The News.

In a late-night development, the governor visited the Pakistan House — the secretariat of the Pak Sarzameen Party.

He held meetings with the party leaders, including Mustafa Kamal and proposed the merger of the MQM splinter groups into a single platform under the leadership of MQM-Pakistan Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

He asked the MQM factions to put aside their grievances. “Sindh is ours. Pakistan is ours. We have to come forward and support each other,” said Tessori.

“We need to make a resolve that we will do things that were not done by the state.”

The governor added that the people of Karachi are braving long hours of loadshedding, traffic menace, dilapidated infrastructure and a host of issues.

“If there are no electricity, gas and other utilities, what are we doing then?" he asked, adding Karachi has played the role of a mother whenever people in other parts of the country faced catastrophe.

Earlier, PSP Chairman Mustafa Kamal welcomed the Sindh governor for visiting the Pakistan House. He said that he was out of the city and that was why the meeting was delayed. He reiterated that his party was ready to work with anyone for the betterment of city. 

“The city is a cradle of peace now, there is our part in it and we want to take it farther,” remarked Kamal. The PSP chairman asserted that the country was passing through a critical phase and more tough time was about to come. Karachi is the economic vanguard of the country and Karachi will help steer the country out of economic woes, he vowed.

Tessori said he was proud to be a Mohajir and a true Pakistani. He thanked Mustafa Kamal for welcoming his efforts. He said his position as governor didn’t allow him to make political comments but he could make moral comments.

The governor said everyone needed to work together for Karachi, and Mustafa Kamal and he were on the same page regarding the development of Karachi. He said he wanted the city to make progress. Karachi is a friend of everybody but nobody is a friend of Karachi. He said Karachi has been made a city of criminals, and citizens do not feel safe when they leave for work.

He said that he was made Governor of Sindh on Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui’s recommendation. Anis Kaimkhani and Mustafa Kamal feel the same way about Karachi as Dr Siddiqui.

“We have to do the job that the state could not do. If the state cannot give us anything, it can at least give us respect because we deserve respect.” He said people have driven us out of their hearts and we have to deliver to enter their hearts again.

Kamal said his party considers Tessori the governor of MQM. He denied meeting the MQM leadership in public or in private. He said it was his party’s second meeting with the governor. He said the country was facing a crisis, and a more difficult time was about to come. Karachi’s problems can be solved even if a little attention is paid to them.

Meanwhile, Tessori on Thursday said that all factions of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), including the Pak Sarzameen Party, have agreed on Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui’s leadership, adding that there is no role of the establishment in the unification of MQM.

Talking to anchorperson Shahzeb Khanzada in Geo News show Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath, Tessori said: “Being the governor of Sindh, I can only request my friends. I cannot force anyone. And I request them because Karachi is a friendly city for everyone but there is no one who is friendly to Karachi.”

Tessori said that if we waste time correcting each other, there would be further loss of Karachi only. He believed now it was mandatory for all the stakeholders to join hands and come together to work for the development of the city. 

“We all say that Karachi is a city of lights but the fact is that now it is becoming a city of criminals. I made this request to Mustafa Kamal when he visited the Governor’s House. My aim is to develop this city and to facilitate its residents.”

“Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui is the leader, he leads the MQM and he will be leading the party in the future,” said Tessori, adding that he can’t play a political role but he will request the leaders of PSP, MQM and Farooq Satter to join hands.

“I made a request to all of my friends that rather than criticising each other become workers of this city and serve the people. Upon my request, Mustafa Kamal and Farooq Sattar agreed. They also agreed upon the leadership of Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. Neither Farooq Sattar nor Mustafa Kamal raised objections to Siddiqui’s leadership. They spoke respectfully. They respect Siddiqui,” the governor said.

Tessori said that they had made mistakes in the past and the city suffered huge losses. Now it’s time to work together with respect, unity and love, he added.

"I have no idea how quickly they will move to make a [unification] decision, but if it were to happen, it would have to be sustainable and based on the will of Karachi's residents," he asserted.

"They should embrace each other with all their hearts. As I said I can’t force anyone but I can only ask my friends. I appeal to them to keep their egos aside and work for the betterment of the city and its people,” he said.

The governor said that he couldn't comment on Altaf Hussain because he was no longer a deputy convener of his party or a political leader. 

“Being the representative of the federation, I can only say that if anyone talked against the federation and the province, I would stand against them. This is not something to be done on someone’s wish. If that were the case, it would have been done by now. Today’s situation is before us,” he noted.

He said that he cannot guarantee what has happened in the past. He said that he sees no intervention of institutions in political matters. “I took the initiative and there is no intervention of the establishment or institutions [in the unification of MQM factions].”

Tessori said that he will not become a part of any process where the country and institutions were discussed in a negative way. “I believe we have wasted a lot of things. It’s been around 75 years of freedom but we are still waiting all night for gas and electricity.”

Tessori said that the era of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had ended. Even Imran Khan has not bagged more than 10% votes in recent by-elections. Karachi is unhappy and its people are not willing to vote because no one works in Karachi. If someone initiates development projects in Karachi, the people would also vote for him.

He said that he doesn’t know about the entire country but the PTI was rejected in Sindh. The PTI didn’t start any development project in Karachi in its three-and-a-half-year government. The PTI didn’t prove itself so competent for the mandate that was given to it. Imran Khan visited Karachi only three times during his tenure. His people would wait for him but now they are depressed. And they themselves say that they failed to work for Karachi, the Sindh governor added.

Earlier on Wednesday night, a top-level delegation of MQM led by its Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui held a meeting with Kamran Tessori here at the Governor House.

The delegation comprised members of MQM’s Coordination Committee. The media reports said that the meeting was convened so that the Sindh governor could brief the MQM’s top leadership about his hectic efforts to ensure the merger of different political parties and politicians who were earlier part of the MQM. A statement issued by the MQM after the meeting, however, didn’t mention any such briefing.

A press statement issued by the MQM said that the meeting praised the steadfastness and commitment shown by the workers and office-bearers of the party while serving their party. The meeting also paid tribute to the sacrifices rendered by the imprisoned activists and slain workers of the MQM.

The meeting also expressed concern about the longstanding issue of delay in the recovery of missing workers of the MQM.

The participants of the meeting appreciated the services of the Sindh governor for improvement in the civic facilities for the residents of urban areas of the province. They reaffirmed the commitment of the MQM to establish an empowered local government in the province and devolution of powers to the elected representatives of the common people.

The participants of the meeting said that the MQM was the true representative of the residents of urban areas of Sindh and it would continue with its mission of securing their due fundamental rights.

The meeting reiterated the resolve of the MQM to continue making efforts for resolving the issues of Urdu-speaking families belonging to lower-income groups in the urban areas.

The participants said that the doors of MQM were open to every such person who gave the solemn assurance to abide by the Constitution, rules, and discipline of the party.

The meeting expressed serious concern that much delay had occurred in implementing the accords the MQM had signed with the Pakistan Peoples Party before joining the present coalition government in the Centre.