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March 2, 2019

Afaq retains top slot in MQM-Haqiqi’s intra-party elections


March 2, 2019

Afaq Ahmed, founder of the Muhajir Qaumi Movement -- popularly known as Haqiqi, a title it no longer uses – was again elected as party chairman in the intra-party polls on Thursday.

Arif Azam, another party’s leader, was elected central secretary general, while Muhammad Shahid and Nadeem Ahmed were elected senior vice-chairman and vice-chairman respectively, according to a press release of the party.

Khalid Hameed has again been given the responsibility of secretary information while Dr Nighat Fatima and Muhammad Tanveer Qureshi have been elected joint secretary and secretary finance respectively.

The party has also elected its ten-member central executive committee and announced district committees for Karachi and other districts of rural Sindh.

On December 23, Afaq Ahmed had announced dissolution of the party’s organisation and formed an election committee under the head of Arshad Iqbal to hold intra-party polls.

Afaq resigned from the position on July 27 after suffering a humiliating defeat in the July 25 general polls, but he took his resignation back a few days later. The party leaders said that after Ahmed’s announcement to step down from the party’s headship, and supporters, especially relatives of slain workers, requested Ahmed at press conferences to withdraw his decision.

Since its inception in 1992, Haqiqi has never performed well except in the 2002 general polls when it managed to win two seats – one of the National Assembly and one Sindh Assembly seat – from Landhi, a former stronghold of the party.

Irrelevant to politics?

Afaq and Aamir Khan – two MQM leaders -- formed a dissident group, the MQM-Haqiqi, in 1992 when the government of the time had launched a military operation against the MQM after the alleged involvement of its men in the abduction and torture of a serving army official.

At the time, many of the party’s key district heads and sitting MNAs and MPAs had joined Haqiqi, and the areas of Landhi, Malir, Shah Faisal Colony, Lines Areas and some pockets in Liaquatabad and New Karachi had fallen completely under their control. The MQM was present in these areas, but on the organisational front, the party had no influence there and these remained no-go areas for them until 2003. Similarly, the MQM made most of the city falling under its influence no-go areas for the MQM-H. Hundreds of activists and supporters were killed in violent clashes between the two factions.

Analysts say Haqiqi has now become irrelevant to the city’s politics, which has changed significantly owing to the Rangers-led operation, changing demographics of the city, the MQM-P’s inner crisis and current delimitations.

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