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Karachi

August 10, 2017

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Aug 23 also an independence day for MQM-Pakistan: Sattar

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan chief Dr Farooq Sattar’s presser on Wednesday soon came to the crux of the matter after a typical Sattar trotted out clichés on patriotism and the significance of independence.

“Our ancestors made supreme sacrifices for the creation of Pakistan that came into existence on August 14, and we, too, did not hold back from making a sacrifice for the survival of the country when we cut off ties with the [party’s] London [faction] on August 23 last year,” asserted a vibrant Sattar, who was accompanied by the MQM-P central leadership at a park situated in front of the party’s Bahadurabad office.

“But my party workers are asking me how long our party will be subjected to discrimination, when our missing activists will come back home,” he said, reasserting that his party had permanently distanced itself from the MQM-London.

Since August 23, he said, no policymaker could point out a single occasion when the MQM-P acted against the country’s interests. “Instead, we have been working for the progress and betterment of the country, but we are still being singled out,” he complained. Announcing a series of cultural and musical programmes from August 11 to August 14, he said the party would organise family festivals and sports activities across the country.

But a more importance announcement in the wake of Independence Day celebrations, he said, was the party launching a 10-day cleanliness drive that would run from August 14 to August 23. “We will mark August 23 as a day of remembrance,” he said, adding that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and three district municipal corporations that came under the party’s control would be part of the cleanliness campaign. “We will show how the heirs of the country’s founders celebrate the Independence Day,” he said. “But we should not be deprived of our right to carry out political activities.”

Since after the MQM-P stood second in the PS-114 by-election, he said, more raids were being conducted at party workers’ homes. To a query, Sattar said he had not made any deal with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz to support Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s election as prime minister.

“It was distressing to see the false news that we were getting back our sealed offices because of a deal with the PML-N,” he said. “I assert that no deal was made with the ruling party in this regard and that our support for Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was unconditional.”

The MQM-P chief, however, ducked a question asked by a journalist about as to what compelled him to support a party that twice launched military operations in the metropolitan and the MQM had been claiming to be the prime victim of the operations.

“It’s our constitutional right to support any party,” he said. “I had demanded Nawaz Sharif’s resignation way before the apex court disqualified him from holding public office. But Nawaz’s disqualification doesn’t mean that other PML-N leaders cannot be backed in the parliament.”  

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