MQM-P dissolves Rabita Committee after audio leaks debacle

“The Rabita Committee stands dissolved. It will be formed anew," says MQM-P spokesperson

Kiran Khan

  • Rabita Committee to be formed anew, says MQM-P.
  • Two audio leaks of body's meeting were released.
  • Siddiqui forms ad-hoc committee, which he will head.

KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) dissolved its Rabita Committee — the party’s top decision-making body — after two audio leaks surfaced of the body’s meetings.

In a statement, an MQM-P spokesperson said that the party’s convenor, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, made the decision to dissolve the incumbent Rabita Committee.

“The Rabita Committee stands dissolved. It will be formed anew. In the second phase, all departments, provincial committees, zones, towns, and UCs will be reorganised,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that Siddiqui has formed an ad-hoc committee, which he will lead. It will also comprise Mustafa Kamal, Farooq Sattar, Nasreen Jalil, Anis Kaimkhani, Kaif-ul-Wara, and Rizwan Babar.

Meanwhile, a source within the party, confirmed to Geo News: “The Rabita Committee has been dissolved due to audio leaks.”

Two audio leaks — one of Kamal and another of Sindh Governor and MQM-P leader Kamran Tessori — of the Rabita Committee’s meetings went viral on social media last month.

Both leaders admitted that their audio leaks were genuine, but Kamal had gone ahead and alleged that it was released by a member of the MQM-London who was also a member of the Rabita Committee.

What was in Kamal’s audio leak?

In the first audio clip that went viral on social media on February 27, Kamal revealed to the party’s Rabita Committee that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was apparently not in the mood to hold talks with MQM-P and accused the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of attempting to corner them.

Kamal — who is part of the MQM-P’s delegation holding talks with the PML-N on government formation — could be heard briefing the party’s coordination committee about their discussion with the PML-N.

“They [the PML-N] didn’t seem in the mood to talk to us…,” Kamal could be heard as saying, adding that yet they spoke “for the sake of engagement” for about 40 to 45 minutes.

“We asked them about their talks with the PPP, to which they said that the contents of it were confidential. Still, they told us a couple of things.”

Kamal, the former Karachi mayor, said: “The PML-N told us that the PPP is saying that the MQM-P’s mandate is 100 per cent fake, while other parties may have 50% to 60% fake mandates.”

He added that the PML-N said that after their partnership with the PPP, the number for having a majority in the parliament has been achieved.

He quoted the PML-N as saying that the PPP is insisting that since both parties can form a government easily, the MQM-P’s support is not needed, so they should not be brought into the coalition.

Tessori’s audio leak

In another audio that came to the fore on February 28, Tessori — who is a also member of the MQM-P’s committee that has been tasked with negotiating with other political parties — could be heard saying that the party is paying the cost of becoming part of the Shahbaz Sharif-led coalition.

“We were part of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government when PML-N and PPP were in the opposition. We supported the PDM [Pakistan Democratic Movement], which angered our voters,” Tessori said in the audio.

“The MQM-P got seven seats despite all the hurdles [in 2018 elections] which was our vote bank. We didn’t get the vote today [in the 2024 polls]. The party is being offered one ministry [Information Technology] as part of government and they are bringing their own governor in Sindh as well.”

Tessori further said that the party would face severe consequences if they entered into an alliance.

In the alleged audio that appears to be of an MQM-P meeting, the Sindh governor said that the PPP is pressurising the PML-N to sideline the party.