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Sunday April 14, 2024

After MQM-P’s Mustafa Kamal, Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori's leaked audio surfaces

Leaked audio containing claims about PPP pressurising PML-N to sideline MQM-P expose the party's difficulties

By Web Desk
February 28, 2024

As the controversy already surrounding Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) following the leak of a couple of audio clips featuring its prominent leaders deepens, Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori's spokesperson on Tuesday admitted that an audio clip allegedly featuring the governor's voice is real but "it has been taken out of context".

A day after the audio attributed to MQM-P's Senior Deputy Convenor Syed Mustafa Kamal surfaced, another leaked audio made rounds on social media, highlighting the challenges faced by the party in its talks with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for government formation.

In the latest audio, 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 which could not be independently verified.

“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.

"The voice in the audio circulating in media is Sindh governor's but some things have been presented out of context through editing," the spox said in reaction to the leak. 

He further stated that Kamal has given a detailed statement in this regard. 

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

Kamal 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 can 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.

Kamal asserted in the audio clip that he deemed it necessary that the coordination committee should know of these things. He said the MQM-P’s negotiating committee had answers to the things that the PML-N people said, yet chose not to respond because they wanted to know what they were thinking since they were not listening to the party’s demands.

Soon after the audio came to the fore, Kamal confirmed it to be genuine.

He admitted in a video statement that the voice on the audio clip is his, and said that it was from the Sunday meeting of the MQM-P’s coordination committee, in which he was briefing them about the party’s negotiations with the PML-N.

He said there was nothing new in the audio clip since the MQM-P and the PPP had been accusing each other publicly of holding a fake mandate. However, he added, the important part of this audio leak was that someone belonging to the MQM-L has infiltrated within their ranks.

"We had our doubts about some people for quite some time, but this audio leak has pinpointed exactly who is working for the MQM-L within the coordination committee because they released this audio clip on Tuesday morning.”

He also said that by leaking this audio clip, the MQM-L has been thinking that they have got their hands on something big, while the things being said in the audio clip are routine stuff, and there are no secrets.

The MQM-P’s senior deputy convener claimed that they had conducted a forensic examination of the audio leak, and the investigation revealed the name of the MQM-L insider responsible for leaking the audio clip.

“We had been waiting for this revelation for the past many months. Now we know the personality, who is working against the party and the nation.”

However, MQM-L information secretary Qasim Ali Raza refuted Kamal’s allegation, saying that his party had nothing to do with the audio clip, and that it had not been leaked by them but by someone, who was in the MQM-P’s coordination committee. He said that the audio clip had been making the rounds on social media since Monday.

Raza said the MQM-P has been given a fake mandate in opposition to MQM founder Altaf Hussain by the powers meddling in the political affairs of the country.

“They were given so many seats that even Kamal and company can’t believe,” he said. He demanded that Kamal share the forensic results that he claims to have obtained and reveal the name of the person publicly if he is true in his claim.