Estranged allies: In London, Mirza keeps PPP, MQM on their toes

Published: November 17, 2011
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Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah addressing a press conference at the CM House. PHOTO: APP

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah addressing a press conference at the CM House. PHOTO: APP

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah addressing a press conference at the CM House. PHOTO: APP
Former Sindh home minister Zulfiqar Mirza has handed over evidence against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to Scotland Yard in London. PHOTO: INP/FILE

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: While controversial Dr Zulfiqar Mirza stuck to his guns on Thursday and submitted what he insisted was “evidence” against the MQM to the Scotland Yard, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement walked out of the National Assembly in protest, after which the president had to personally intervene to appease the estranged ally.

Meanwhile, the man behind MQM’s fury, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, returned to Karachi on Thursday and claimed that his visit to London was a personal one.

After having furthered tensions between the Pakistan People Party (PPP) and MQM, Memon said he will accept whatever decision is made by his party’s leadership. “I had not coordinated my visit with Mirza and was surprised to see him on the same flight,” he said.

President meets MQM delegation

Furious over Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon accompanying MQM’s most bitter critic to London, a three-member delegation led by Dr Farooq Sattar met President Asif Ali Zardari to express their grievances.

However, President Asif Ali Zardari seems to have helped settle the situation. “The president has assured us that he will be taking immediate and stern action against Memon. He also said that he would not tolerate any one who tries to damage PPP-MQM relations,” MQM parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Dr Farooq Sattar said.

Sattar added that during the meeting, the president also phoned MQM chief Altaf Hussain.

Memon has been summoned by the president. A party source said it is likely that Memon will be replaced. When asked, the party’s information secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira, however, said he could not speculate on what action the president would take.

MQM walks out of National Assembly

The government appeared to have no friend in the National Assembly on Thursday when the MQM walked out in protest of what they said was the “official protocol” accorded to Mirza.

MQM Deputy Parliamentary Leader in the house Haider Abbass Rizvi led the boycott and said his party wanted the government to explain its position. “It is a grave situation and it’s not acceptable to us,” he said before leaving the house. Some federal ministers tried to bring back the angered lawmakers, but to no avail.

Mirza submits evidence to Scotland Yard 

Amidst all this, Mirza claimed he had submitted evidence against the MQM in the Dr Imran Farooq’s murder case to the Scotland Yard. He, however, did not give any details about the documents submitted, Express 24/7 reported.  A TV channel reported that the evidence comprised phone records and transcripts of interviews but was not admissable.

PPP Sindh takes action

Back in Karachi, Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah suspended the membership of PPP-MPA Imdad Pitafi for his association with Mirza.

Addressing a press conference along with around 12 ministers and MPAs of his party, Shah, who is also the president of the PPP’s Sindh chapter, criticised Dr Mirza and said that “he [Mirza] is no more a PPP worker and all his statements against MQM chief Altaf Hussain should be considered his personal opinion.” This statement came a day after Prime Minister Gilani said that the former Sindh home minister was “part of the PPP family.”

Everyone’s not on the CM’s side

In a late night meeting, PPP parliamentarians huddled at the CM House to formalise a strategy for today’s (Friday) Sindh assembly session.

As the meeting commenced, Shah, chairing the meeting, briefed MPAs about the decision to disown Zulfiqar Mirza and suspend the party membership of MPA Imdad Pitafi.

However, everyone was not on the CM’s side. Some members opposed the chief minister’s views, including MPA Aisha Khoso from Jacobabad and Sardar Ahmed Pitafai from Ghotki.

(Read: Friction within the PPP)

To deal with the turbulent situation, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani contacted the leadership of the allied parties and discussed with them the precarious situation.

A meeting between Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain who heads his faction of Pakistan Muslim League Qauid and Prime Minister Gilani was held on Thursday afternoon where Shujaat assured Gilani his party’s full support.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (38)

  • Cautious
    Nov 17, 2011 - 7:50PM

    Akin to a poorly written soap opera — how many times has this guy promised to deliver evidence in Pakistan — how many times did he fail to deliver evidence — now he goes to a foreign country and starts the rerun.

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  • antanu
    Nov 17, 2011 - 8:54PM

    These are the politicians from Pakistan…..Does any one, ever heard any Indian politician defaming opposition parties in foreign land?

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  • hedgefunder
    Nov 17, 2011 - 9:51PM

    I thought, he was going to submit the so called evidence to the House of Lords!!!!!
    The man is incompetent ! It was on his watch that Karachi was Burning and yet there was no action taken !!
    Now he has learned to play new fiddle and is acting as lawbiding person !!

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  • Jadugar
    Nov 17, 2011 - 10:55PM

    Why did Mirza have to go personally to deliver to Scotland yard. Dosent make sense, or is this just an excuse to get asylum in Britian. Hasnt this been the traditions of our politicians.

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  • Hamid
    Nov 17, 2011 - 11:02PM

    @Cautious: He submitted the evidence where Altaf is. And why is MQM so scared now? Its because they know he has evidence. Otherwise they would not have cared

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  • Nov 17, 2011 - 11:02PM

    This could be interesting to Mirza lovers.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B0kayaoCqc

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  • Hairaan
    Nov 17, 2011 - 11:13PM

    But wonder why MQM is so much afraid and concerned about ZM if they done nothing wrong. Today’s news sites are full of news of their knocking every door in the power corridors to complain about ZM.

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  • JJ
    Nov 17, 2011 - 11:25PM

    By this act the name of PAKISTAN not damaged across the world?Recommend

  • Pokerfaced
    Nov 17, 2011 - 11:31PM

    He must be partying with Altaf Hussain in London andaking us minions believe otherwise.
    They are all part of one notorious gang. All they do is befool us and usurp power. While the common man rots and diminishes in oblivion these jesters give theatrical performances.

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  • Salman
    Nov 18, 2011 - 12:01AM

    MQM is tensed and silent. Enough said!

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  • Fahad Raza
    Nov 18, 2011 - 12:05AM

    Mirza just wants to be in the scene and the press cant get enough of him That’s it

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  • Nov 18, 2011 - 12:16AM

    I do not melodrama but I am liking this. Go on Mr Mirza, Imran Khan is next.

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  • Kashif Iqbal
    Nov 18, 2011 - 12:34AM

    We’re with you Mirza. Go and make my city Karachi clean; atleast you’ve guts to take initiative. God bless you !

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  • Hairaan
    Nov 18, 2011 - 1:01AM

    @JJ:
    Please JJ bhai elaborate how this action would be damaging for Pakistan Image and how the activities of AB operating a full fledged command and control center from London do not.

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  • Nov 18, 2011 - 1:07AM

    @Salman:
    @Hairaan:
    If you notice MQM is not Hairaan, Pareshaan on what Mirza has been doing but what Govt is upto. They want to know about Sharjeel Memon’s acts and the Protocol given to him. Whatever Mirza doing has nothing to do with MQM, MQM knows Mirza will come degraded empty handed from there.

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  • Sindhvoice
    Nov 18, 2011 - 2:18AM

    Why is mqm so worried? They are in visible panic mode today. ZM’s efforts already paying off?

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  • Sajid
    Nov 18, 2011 - 2:21AM

    As I had suspected, his “evidence” has been rubbished my Scotland Yard as “irrelevant”. Always remember, in an insane society like ours, what qualifies as “proof” is usually illogical, irrelevant, generalized, biased, faulted, assumed, and far-fetched. Scotland Yard doesn’t operate on the same logical wave-length as our Pakistani FIA or Zulfiqar Mirza does. He will end up just making a fool of himself.
    It is not too hard to guess what qualifies as ‘credible evidence” In a country where ‘normal logic’ demands that someone questioned the military establishment, for instance, therefore it is “proven” that he is a foreign enemy, therefore Indian Zionist CIA Agent, therefore An enemy of Islam, therefore Dr. Abdul Qadir Khan should be the president and Imran Khan should be the Prime Minister ‘because’ they are the last hope.

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  • Ikramuddin Akbar
    Nov 18, 2011 - 2:35AM

    Is the subcontinent still under “British Raj”.

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  • tayyab
    Nov 18, 2011 - 2:41AM

    mirza is doing nothing but fooling da already fooled ppl of this country by doing such gimmicks …..the string puller is zardari who thinks that he is a master stroke player but letme be the clairvoyant here zardari has already dug out his grave and he is going to commit a political suicide , as with each passing day da man,s naive streak has become crystal clear…

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  • Usman
    Nov 18, 2011 - 3:52AM

    Nice shades those….

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  • Abdul Rahman Khan
    Nov 18, 2011 - 5:34AM

    @antanu:
    Have you ever heard any indian politician has made london, or for that matter, any other foreign country, his base for political activities against his political adversaries sitting in india?
    The branches of all the major pakistani political parties are working in U.K. and replicating all dirty pakistani politics in UK.

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  • Nov 18, 2011 - 5:52AM

    every political party is trying to save their behinds .. Hello … anyone listening … hello … look at us (pakistani’s) .. some love for us as well … care for us rather than indulging in what is going to be your future .. behind bar that is !

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  • F Khan
    Nov 18, 2011 - 6:00AM

    Trust me nothing will happen MQM has no options left.They are going no where and AZ knows it. PMLN & PTI doors are closed for MQM.Trust me and wait for the next election results for urban sindh. You will be surprised.

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  • MarkH
    Nov 18, 2011 - 6:31AM

    I’m not judging whether or not they’re guilty of whatever. But, even the innocent would be concerned. It amounts to worldwide embarrassing defamation. Admittedly this is an exaggeration but, in many places of the world if someone is merely accused of child molestation, their entire public life, both social and business are usually destroyed even if they end up being found innocent, and they truly are innocent. Accusations can do just as much damage as an actual conviction in the public eye and the public eye is a primary concern for most, if not all, politicians. Haven’t any of you ever gotten annoyed by untrue/true gossip and wanted someone to shut them up if you didn’t have the ability?

    Again, I’m not pushing any guilty or innocent theory. But the things people seem to be concentrating on to look for signs of guilt are things that really aren’t incriminating at all.

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  • aysha majeed
    Nov 18, 2011 - 7:22AM

    @Tanzeel:
    True assessment. It has been tried and tested, Imran Khan with all his influence in the power echelons of the British society went to Scotland Yard, and was dismissed, no results. It is nothing but mass scale propaganda, against the only party that generated a middle class representation in the assemblies. The MQM party leaders are ordinary folks, with life styles similar to ordinary citizens. Their attempt to challenge the status quo is what threatens all and they are punished for it from time to time. They never needed electables, like PTI is looking for currently to win elections. People did not have to know the candidate, all they knew that they were nominated by the party after careful deliberation. It is time for people of Pakistan to recognise the phenomenon presented by MQM, which was unheard of in Pakistan. The people of Punjab and other provinces should realize that they have to generate new leadership, using the framework provided by MQMRecommend

  • AsliShasli
    Nov 18, 2011 - 8:02AM

    @antanu:
    Well you dont have a Telephonic Party in India do you? Who had taken the whole city and the country as a hostage.

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  • Karachiwalal
    Nov 18, 2011 - 9:22AM

    Question we should ask Zulfiqar Mirza is in what capacity does he have access to these files? Is he the home minister? Has he been given special permission to carry or keep personal records of official documents? What he is doing doesnt stand a chance in court in UK even if it is full of incriminating evidence because in his capacity he has actually stolen the records and presented to the police. It is not Pakistan Mr. Mirza if they use your evidence it will be miscarriage of justice as the proof was actually stolen records used without permission and provided by a person who in his capacity as home minister violated his oath.
    Sorry Bro… makes alot of noise but wont result in anything.
    This is exactly why IK’s effort also failed.

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  • F Khan
    Nov 18, 2011 - 9:51AM

    I liked the photo…Recommend

  • hamid
    Nov 18, 2011 - 10:16AM

    If the MQM and Altaf Hussain are clean why ae they so afraid and why are they reacting like this? This shows they are guilty.

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  • Was a Pakistani
    Nov 18, 2011 - 10:49AM

    @hamid:
    It all depends on what you want to feel but if you think that they are then please keep doing it. I give you my word what ZM is doing is political leveraging and will not have any impact on the case because he is showing stolen records.

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  • Nov 18, 2011 - 12:33PM

    I think zulfiar Mirza is doing well, if MQM is not guilty so why Altaf worried. Mirza submitted all documents to UK because Altaf living in London, if he live in Karachi so he submit all documents here so why all belame goes to Mirza, he is doing well in think so. what is doing its his personal thing Recommend

  • Not me
    Nov 18, 2011 - 2:23PM

    If Zulfiqar Mirza joins PTI then we will have a game in Sindh.

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  • Ejaz
    Nov 18, 2011 - 2:47PM

    @antanu:This means Indian politicians are more courruput than Pakistani politicians and don’t dare to speak against injustice and criminal activities of Indian politicians.There are many programmes I have seen which shows 80% of Indian politicians are involved in some sort of corruption. It doesn’t matter where you live but if you have committed a crime and someone has got a proof, they must spak out regardless of their political beliefs.

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  • Much Amused
    Nov 18, 2011 - 5:01PM

    If Mirza did hand over papers (very doubtful) he should be prosecuted under Pakistani law for being in unauthorised possesion of and handing over government documents to another nation without authorisation from the government of Sindh/central govt. The self seeking maverick is no more a minister and as such he has no right to retain official papers leave alone handing them over to UK.

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  • Hairaan
    Nov 18, 2011 - 7:11PM

    @aysha majeed:

    The people of Punjab and other provinces should realize that they have to generate new leadership, using the framework provided by MQM

    LOL

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  • THE
    Nov 19, 2011 - 1:58AM

    @aysha majeed: You really seem to believe in the stuff that Altaf bhai tells you! Enough said!

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  • Dr. Who!
    Nov 21, 2011 - 2:50AM

    @Ikramuddin Akbar:

    “Altaf Bhai'” has been ruling Pakistan from London, proving that it still is under “British Raj.”

    Or it’s all “lies and propagenda” by “Jagirdars” who want to “supress poor masses,” and MQM under the “legendary leader Altaf Bhai” wants to protect.

    I could add all sundry hackneyed cliches, which “Rabita Committee” members can rattle in their sleep and under general anaesthesia but want to spare the readers.

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  • Ikramuddin Akbar
    Nov 22, 2011 - 2:16AM

    @Dr. Who!:

    Envy is one of the seven deadly sins ,you know.

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