We have difference of opinion, not division: Sattar

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) chief Farooq Sattar, following his meeting with Rabita Committee members, Tuesday said that they have a difference of opinion, but there’s no division among them.
Speaking to media outside his residence here, Sattar said, “This is a matter between brothers. Those who visited my home are my brothers.”
He said that he had to take a position and thanked workers for extending their support to him. “We will have to differentiate between difference of opinion and division. We have difference of opinion, not division.”
The MQM-P chief urged for sorting the issue out through talks, instead of giving hype to differences.
He said that he and Rabita Committee members, with whom he had a meeting, will further ponder over the situation.
“Rabita Committee has assured me that they hold me as the [party] head,” he said, adding, “If something could not be finalised in today’s meeting, then it can be taken up tomorrow afternoon.”
“For me, there is no difference between Bahadurabad and PIB [offices],” Sattar said, while addressing the workers.
The emergency Rabita Committee meeting had been called by Sattar Tuesday evening.
Earlier, MQM-P leader Sajid Ahmed confirmed cancellation of a general workers’ meeting of the party.
The general workers’ meeting had been called by Sattar following his disagreement with Rabita Committee members over Senate tickets on Monday.
Earlier in the day, delegations were sent by the Rabita Committee in an attempt to appease the party leader. But the attempts failed to yield results.
“Nasreen Jalil, Faisal Subzwari, and Wasim Akhtar are now part of the six-member delegation in talks with Farooq bhai [brother]” announced party leader Aminul Haque.
“MQM-P is a democratic party; we have extended an invitation to Farooq bhai to come [to the party office] and lead the party,” Haque told the media during a Rabita Committee press conference on Tuesday evening.
Subzwari had, earlier today, announced that a three-member delegation had been sent to Sattar to ‘talk matters out.’
“The Rabita Committee has given the mandate to a three-member delegation which includes Sardar Ahmad, Rauf Siddiqui, and Javed Hanif to discuss matters with Farooq bhai [brother],” he told the media.
“In the past, Rabita Committee only made suggestions and decisions were made in London but now all decisions are made in Pakistan.”
Sattar, Khan call separate meetings
The rumoured division within party ranks had turned out to be fact than fiction as senior party leaders, Sattar and senior deputy convener Amir Khan, called separate meetings today.
Sattar has called a general workers’ meeting today at KMC ground to decide the future course of action of the party, adding that he would speak on certain matters in the session that he never addressed before.
“I will inform about the obstructions I faced in making decisions for the past 15 months,” he had said.
Separately, Sattar had suspended party leaders who were part of the “illegal” meeting wherein it was decided to suspend Kamran Tessori from the party’s central decision-making body and revoke his party membership for six months. He also rescinded any decision made by the suspended leaders until the general workers meeting scheduled today.
Khan’s Rabita Committee meeting today — to be chaired by Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui — will be held at the party’s Bahadurabad office.
Earlier, Sattar in his address to media late night, Sattar said the party members were invited to Bahadurabad using his name and under false pretence.
“The Rabita Committee members who held a meeting and spoke to the media… this was a violation of the party rules and code of conduct. According to the party’s constitution, if I, as the convener, had ordered against holding this meeting, then it was illegal and unconstitutional.”
Political rivals weigh in on situation
Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) leader Raza Haroon took a jibe at the swiftly changing situation within the MQM-P ranks.
“Sattar’s role is that of the twelfth member of a cricket team who can never be appointed the captain,” said Haroon — a former member and senior leader of MQM-P.
He further said that all members of the MQM that Sattar talks about are suspicious.
“The ideology, founder, concept, and character of the MQM that Sattar talks about are suspicious,” Haroon told the media.
Chief Minister of Sindh Murad Ali Shah expressed his regret at the falling out within MQM’s ranks.
“I regret the falling out between party members…something similar happened a few months ago too,” he said.
“While on one side, they have expressed lack of trust on their own party members, at the same time they have also blamed Pakistan Peoples Party [for creating rifts between them],” said Shah.
“I think they [MQM-P] realise that PPP is a considerable rival, even in the cities, in the upcoming elections.”
Sattar, Khan disagree over nominations for Senate elections
A party meeting, held late Monday, ended in chaos as Sattar and Khan disagreed with each other over the nomination of candidates for the Senate elections.
Following the disagreement, Sattar and his supporters left the Bahadurabad venue for his residence in PIB Colony amid chants in the party chief’s favour.
“Kamran Tessori bhai is not a member of Rabita Committee anymore but Farooq Sattar bhai remains our convener,” Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui announced, adding that Tessori “has also been suspended from the party for six months”.
Siddiqui said the Rabita Committee had recommended six names for the Senate elections — Nasreen Jalil, Farogh Nasim, Aminul Haque, Shabbir Qaimkhani, Amir Khan, and Kamran Tessori — but Sattar insisted on “sacrificing two other leaders” to ensure Tessori’s seat in the upper house of Parliament.
He was flanked by Waseem Akhtar, Faisal Sazbwari, Amir Khan, and other senior leaders at the press conference.
The Rabita Committee had accepted several of the party convener’s wishes, Siddiqui said, noting that party workers would not let them go ahead with Tessori’s nomination for the Senate seat.
A gold trader by profession, Tessori is a former member of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) who joined MQM-P last year and quickly rose to prominence.
He also contested the PS-114 by-election for MQM-P against the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Saeed Ghani but lost.