Repent and rejoin: Afaq faces isolation as 450 MQM-H men desert party for Muttahida

Party leader still in jail as men hold press conference to beg Altaf’s forgiveness.


Irfan Aligi August 15, 2011

KARACHI:


The Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H) group may have completely wrapped up as 450 of its members, including the key general secretary, announced that they were going to ask the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to take them back. They had formed the MQM-H breakaway faction in the 1990s.


The announcement came on Monday when MQM-H general secretary, Nadimul Islam, said at a press conference that he was parting ways with his group. Members of the MQM-H central executive committee including Irfan Engineer and Asif Lodhi, Haqiqi Hyderabad zonal in-charge Tariq Sheikh, joint incharge Irfan Qureshi and other members were present.

In the 1990s, two MQM men, Afaq Ahmed and Amir Khan, split from the Altaf Hussain-led party and went their own way. They formed the Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi party. But then they developed further differences and formed their own Amir and Afaq factions to the Haqiqi group. The two men were subsequently sent to jail. When Amir emerged, he begged forgiveness from Hussain and was allowed to rejoin the MQM. Afaq continues to be incarcerated.

And now, 450 MQM-H men have announced that they are also going to ask Hussain to accept them into the fold. This move is seen as isolating Afaq Ahmed.

At the press conference, Islam referred to the split by saying that a conspiracy was hatched to stop Altaf Hussain’s message from spreading and Afaq Ahmed had been a key player. They have realised that they were being used and hence they have decided not to support Afaq because he “sold his nation and his conscience”. Islam said that they had realised their mistakes and despite the fact that their actions were unforgiveable they would still want to compensate for the mistakes they made in the past.

For their part, MQM spokesman Wasay Jalil said that Amir Khan had not played any role in this decision. Islam and the men conducted the press conference on their own and had approached the MQM but the party would announce its strategy later. “The MQM has a [way] to deal with such situations as was done in Amir Khan’s case,” Jalil added. “Any onward schedule would be made public.”

According to sources, when Amir Khan repented, around 650 men came with him. After that about 350 came around and with Islam, 450 are expected to have returned.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2011.

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