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April 8, 2017

Seventh MQM lawmaker jumps ship to join Kamal’s party


April 8, 2017

Irtiza Farooqui welcomed at PSP protest camp as party’s sit-in for Karachi’s rights enters second day

Another lawmaker of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Iritiza Khalil Farooqui, announced on Friday his inclusion in the Pak Sarzameen Party as he joined the party’s sit-in staged outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC).

Farooqui, who is the seventh MQM lawmaker to join the Mustafa Kamal-led party, was welcomed by the PSP central leadership on the second day of their protest against the Sindh government for keeping the city ‘deprived of its due rights’.

Speaking at the camp erected outside the KPC, PSP Chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal reiterated that the party’s mission was to server the masses without any discrimination. 

He said the ones who were joining the PSP were their brothers and those who were reluctant to immediately join them were their “big brothers”. 

Stating the reason for switching his loyalty, legislator Irtiza Khalil Farooqui said it was related to the MQM’s connections with the Indian spy agency RAW.

Had the MQM cared about its supporters, he said, its workers would not have thought to quit the party.

Farooqui, who returned to Pakistan from Dubai on Friday morning as he had left the country following a crackdown was started against the MQM in 2013, said that nobody put him under pressure to switch his loyalty.

The dissident leader had won the PS-119 seat on MQM’s ticket in the 2013 general elections. He is the seventh MQM MPA who has jumped the Muttahida’s ship to join the PSP. The others are Dilawar Hussain, Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Iftikhar Alam, Bilquis Mukhtar, Ashfaq Mangi and Sheikh Abdullah. 

The development comes at a crucial time for the PSP as its central leadership, including the party chief, party chairman Anis Qaimkhani, vice president Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Waseem Aftab and Iftikhar Alam, have staged a sit-in to raise voice for the rights of Karachi.

On the second day of the demonstration, hundreds of PSP workers and supporters kept sitting at the party camp.

The party chairman described the protest as peaceful, saying that none of its workers threw a single stone or blocked the adjacent roads to create problems for the citizens.

Kamal and Qaimkhani spent whole night in the camp and their families also joined the camp on Friday morning.

Talking to the media, the PSP chief said the ruling parties of the other three provinces should be cautioned as his party was preparing similar kind of sit-ins to fight for the rights of all Pakistanis.  

“We are not here to grab the power. The only purpose is to serve the masses,” he said.

Members of different political parties’ student wings also visit the camp and expressed their solidarity with the party.

A day earlier, Kamal said in a presser: “This protest is unique in the sense that it would either end with our lives, or our demands will be met.”

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