KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has disowned Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad after accusing him of representing the establishment rather than his party.
“Governor Sindh Ishratul Ebad has no political or ideological association with the MQM,” Altaf said in a television interview on Wednesday. “He is not a member of the party… [and] represents the establishment and the federal government,” he added.
Relations between the MQM chief and the governor had been strained over the last couple of months and the latter had been asked to step down several times during this period.
“My house Nine Zero was raided. My sister’s house was raided. But the governor never took any notice and did not even condemn it,” Altaf said in the interview. He lashed out at Ebad for remaining silent and not defending MQM when that happened.
“He also never condemned extrajudicial killings and arrests of MQM workers,” the party chief added.
Pointing at the recent decision of the Rangers to punish those not carrying their Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) and to ban pillion riding ahead of the NA-246 by-polls, Altaf also said that “the fact that these orders were given while Ebad is still a governor means he is a representative of the federal government only.”
The MQM chief told workers of his party to not approach Ebad for any personal or political work. “Don’t expect anything from him. He will not provide any kind of relief or aid to you.”
Members of MQM’s Rabita Committee and officials of the party’s different departments have also been directed not to contact the governor.
An MQM leader told The Express Tribune that they will follow Altaf’s directions.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the governor said the latter could not comment at this time.
Ebad began his political career as a member of MQM’s student wing the All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation while studying medicine. After joining the MQM, he became a minister in 1990 on a ticket from the Haq Parast group which was supported by the party.
Ebad escaped to London during the operation in Karachi in the 90s and became close to the MQM chief. When Dr Imran Farooq was sacked as the MQM’s convener in 2002, Ebad took over as acting convener. That same year he was appointed as the governor of Sindh and since then has become the province’s longest serving governor.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2015.