Former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders Waseem Aftab and Iftikhar Alam have joined Mustafa Kamal’s newly-formed political party.
“Today we welcome former Rabita Committee member Waseem Aftab and MPA Iftikhar Alam in our party as they have decided to join our cause,” Kamal told journalists during a press conference at his residence on Thursday.
Aftab is a former Karachi Tanzeemi Committee (KTC) in-charge while Alam is a member of Sindh Assembly from PS-106.
The development comes days after former Sindh health minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed while ending his 28-year-long association with the MQM, announced his decision to support Kamal’s party.
“We belonged to a community that represented literate people of the country but today, MQM workers have become a sign of fear and bad reputation,” Aftab said. “Many children lost their future, women became widows and several others left this country with the label of terrorism.”
Aftab lamented he and other leaders thought workers would benefit in return for their devotion but to no avail.
“It was time to think, to ponder upon the fact that the man we worked so tirelessly for and even sacrificed our lives, was actually at the forefront of letting this nation down,” Aftab said in an apparent reference to the MQM supremo.
The deposed MQM leader claimed that after his party became an ally of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in Sindh, all benefits were given to the latter while MQM workers were deprived of their rights.
“I saw that this man [Mustafa Kamal] was urging us to join his fold to rise above the labels of terrorism and outshine others,” he said.
Alam announces resignation from provincial assembly
Meanwhile, MPA Iftikhar Alam announced his resignation from the MQM as well as the provincial assembly.
“I announce to resign from Sindh Assembly seat, and part ways from MQM and its chief Altaf Hussain,” he said.
Alam said he wanted to get away from the politics of killings, and thus will raise voice against it through this new platform.
The former lawmaker urged party activists to become a part of the newly-formed party or part ways from the MQM.
“It seems Altaf Hussain still needs bodies as he never cared for his workers, who were at the forefront against all hardships.”
Upon returning home from self-imposed exile last Thursday, Kamal launched a blistering attack on MQM chief Altaf Hussain and challenged the ‘iron grip’ of the MQM on the city by forming a new party.
Kamal — who won wide support as mayor of Karachi from 2005 to 2010 for his efforts to ease traffic and improve public services — accused Altaf of working for India’s premier spy agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), destroying two generations of Mohajirs (Urdu-speaking people) and issuing threats under the influence of alcohol.
‘No plans to contest election soon’
In response to a question if his newly-formed party will take part in the upcoming by-polls, Kamal said he had no plans to do so for the next three to four months.
“We are not focusing on securing any provincial or NA seats,” he said. “We are organising our party setup and will go for elections later.”