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Karachi

January 12, 2017

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MQM-P sees ice melting as Sattar speaks with COAS on phone

MQM-P sees ice melting as Sattar speaks with COAS on phone

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan chief Dr Farooq Sattar called up and spoke with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on the phone on Tuesday night, the party’s information in-charge Amin-ul-Haque told The News on Wednesday.

Following the row between the army and the then united MQM that started after party founder Altaf Hussain’s diatribe against State institutions, this is for the first time that the MQM-P, which had distanced itself from the party leadership based in London, has been able to establish contact with the military leadership.

On August 22, the entire leadership of MQM in Karachi was taken into custody by Rangers and the following day, Dr Farooq Sattar had announced distancing himself from the London leadership and said the MQM-P would now function independently in Pakistan.

“It’s a goodwill gesture between the two,” said Haque on Sattar’s conversation with the COAS. “Hopefully, the situation will change soon,” he added.

The MQM-P has been facing a tough time because of the party’s strained ties with the military leadership. MQM-P sources said the party’s leaders were still being ignored and that had badly affected its functioning.

They added that the MQM founder’s anti-Pakistan slogans had badly dented the party and it was putting up with the repercussions. They said the Rangers high command was suspicious that the MQM-P was still affiliated with Altaf Hussain.

The sources said it took almost a year for the party to gain the army high command’s trust and finally its new chief had responded to Sattar’s phone call. They said it seemed that the ice was finally melting and it was expected that the MQM-P would receive some relief in terms of the arbitrary arrest of its activists.

However, they added, it was premature to predict anything as the damage done to the party by its founder was not easy to undo.

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