Farooq Sattar no longer MQM-Pakistan convener, rules ECP

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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday removed Farooq Sattar as the convener of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).

A five-member bench headed by the chief election commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan rejected Sattar’s application challenging the commission’s jurisdiction to hear petitions involving internal matters of the party.

The ECP accepted the applications of MQM-Bahadurabad leaders Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Kanwar Naveed Jameel challenging the intra-party elections organised by Sattar.

Sattar, chief of his own faction of MQM-P had earlier this month challenged the jurisdiction of ECP to hear petitions filed by rival MQM-Bahadurabad faction involving internal matters of the party.

The dispute between party members over nominations for the upcoming Senate elections had earlier resulted in the emergence of splinter groups – Dr Farooq Sattar led PIB Colony faction and the Bahadurabad group consisting of Amir Khan, Nasreen Jalil, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui among others.

Earlier in the day, Sattar had remarked that he hopes the decision is in his favour. “The ECP should base its decision on merit.”

While speaking to journalists informally Sattar said: “ECP cannot hear a case pertaining to intra-party conflict.”

He remarked that the party needs a political and collaborative way forward. “It’s okay to not accept the position of other party members, but don’t challenge it as well.”

Sattar shared that the only solution should be that he and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui should form an ad-hoc committee.

Regarding the case hearing, he remarked that his ‘friends from Bahadurabad’ have filed a petition before the ECP. ‘The Bahadarabad-waley [those from Bahadurabad] claimed that I was removed by the Rabita Committee with a two-thirds majority.”

On March 1, Sattar had earlier challenged the ECP’s jurisdiction to hear a petition pertaining to the party’s convenership.

The petition, filed by Sattar’s legal counsel Babar Sattar stated that the party’s internal matters cannot be heard by the ECP, demanding the Bahadurabad group’s petition should be dismissed.

“MQM-P belongs to the party’s workers and only they will protect it,” Sattar had told journalists outside the ECP premises. “They [party workers] announced their verdict in the intra-party elections.”

Sattar said that he chose the constitutional process of holding intra-party elections and getting the mandate from the party.

“I have proposed a formula if we want to sit down and solve matters through negotiation but it was Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui who approached the ECP to challenge [my] constitutional position,” he had said.

Orignally published by INP

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