KARACHI: Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) chief Mustafa Kamal has disclosed the alleged broker of his party’s alliance with the Dr Farooq Sattar-led Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) that could only last two days.
“Yes, I admit that the establishment had helped with the alliance. This all [was] done on the wishes of Farooq Sattar who had requested the establishment to merge MQM with PSP,” said Kamal said while addressing a press conference along with other PSP leaders at Pakistan House in Karachi on Saturday.
The PSP leader said he had clearly conveyed to the MQM-P that he could give up politics, but would not merge his party with theirs.
“After a series of meetings within a space of some eight months, it was finally decided that there would be a new party to work under one manifesto and one symbol,” he said, adding that not only Sattar, but 11 members of the MQM-P’s Rabita Committee, including Khawaja Izharul Hasan, Faisal Subzwari, Amir Khan, Kamran Tessori, Aminul Haq and Wasim Akthar, were on board.
But, he said, Sattar took a U-turn after Wednesday’s press conference at Karachi Press Club.
“I can show the agreement between us… it was written by [opposition leader in Sindh Assembly] Khawaja Izharul Hasan,” he said, in a bid to dispel the impression that the agreement was reached within 48 hours after Sattar was allegedly put under confinement and threatened to merge his party with the PSP.
“I once again say that we had been negotiating on this issue for the last eight months. It did not happen all of a sudden,” he said, adding that all Rabita Committee members, excluding Amir Khan who was not in the country, endorsed the agreement to launch a new party under one manifesto and one symbol.
“If I were wrong, why didn’t Sattar say a word at Karachi Press Club when I clearly said that MQM was not acceptable to PSP and that a new party would be launched [with the merger of the two]?” he added. “Why did Sattar annul the agreement after 24 hours insisting that the MQM will remain intact with a Mohajir identify, election symbol, and manifesto?”
Kamal said his party had already conveyed to them that they would not work with the MQM founded by Altaf Hussain.
He said since PSP’s inception, “there has been a lingering impression that it is the brainchild of the establishment”. He added that soon after the political alliance was announced, every one said it had been engineered by the establishment.
He did admit that the alliance was made with the help of the establishment, but said that the meetings were called on Sattar’s request. He added that he was not an establishment agent, but remained in close coordination with it for the sake of missing persons of the Mohajir community.
“Out of 300 missing persons, 70 have been released with our efforts,” he said, adding that the PSP had nothing to do with the released persons, but he pursued their cases because they belonged to Karachi.
“Just because of Sattar’s speeches against me, the agencies stopped releasing the people,” he said, adding that there was hardly any politician or journalist who was not in contact with the establishment, which worked for the betterment of the country.
“I publicly announce that I met the establishment because they work for this country in letter and in spirit,” he said.
The PSP leader said that Sattar was lodging complaints with the establishment against the leaders of his party. He said that after Altaf Hussain’s ‘suicide’ attack on August 22, 2016, Sattar was arrested by the Rangers in a high treason case and became MQM-Pakistan leader soon after his release from the custody of law enforcement agencies.
“I will rather say that the MQM-Pakistan was launched in the office of Major General Bilal Akbar [the then DG Rangers Sindh],” he said.
He said Dr Ishratul Ebad, the then governor of Sindh, told PSP leader Anees Qaimkhani by the telephone that he had spoken to the army chief, prime minister, interior minister, DG Rangers and corps commander for Sattar’s release. “He [Ebad] also asked Qaimkhani to join the MQM-Pakistan. Anees Bhai bluntly refused the offer because he knew that it was Altaf Hussain’s party,” he said.
Kamal reiterated his allegation that the MQM founder was an agent of Indian spy agency RAW and that Sattar still refrained from speaking against him. “Today, he is going to visit the graves of MQM martyrs. Does he not know who killed Imran Farooq?”
Responding to Sattar’s criticism about the PSP sidelining the Mohajir community, Kamal said people were using the ‘Mohajir card’ for politics.
“These leaders, who serve in federal and provincial governments, have been using Mohajirs to do politics for the last 35 years, but they achieved nothing. They are only creating a divide by doing dirty politics,” he said.
The PSP leader also said there was infighting in the MQM ranks to become an intermediary between the party and the establishment.
“Today, MQM-Pakistan has unlocked the martyrs’ graveyard and wants to do politics in the name of the martyred workers. No one but MQM itself is the enemy of Mohajirs,” he said.
Accusing Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar of getting kickbacks in contracts rather than developing the city, he said, “Now his son is actively involved in racketeering and loot and plunder of public money in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC).”
Kamal also referred to a case of a retired KMC employee from whom Akhtar’s son allegedly pocketed Rs600,000 in advance to release his Rs1.2 million worth of pension.
In the end, he said, “PSP still believes in reconciliation and can take all political forces along with it for the sake of the country as well as Sindh province. We don’t want to give priority to Mohajirs only… we respect the people of all the provinces equally.”
In reaction to Kamal’s media talk, MQM-P Rabita Committee members said their party would not merge with any party.
“We inked an agreement with Kamal for the development of Sindh and for the sake of peace in the city, but he gave an impression that the chapter of MQM-Pakistan has now closed,” said Faisal Subzwari while addressing a press conference with other leaders.
“He calls MQM leaders RAW agents. I want to know why he opted to sit with us if we are agents,” he said.