Faisal Subzwari’s absence from politics raises eyebrows

Published: August 9, 2015


KARACHI: MQM’s parliamentarian and senior leader Faisal Subzwari’s sudden departure from the political scene has stirred speculation whether the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) ‘golden boy’ has followed the footsteps of former leaders and left the party.

According to sources, Subzwari has gone abroad with his wife and children, most likely to the United States or Canada. He left Karachi towards the end of last month.  Party leaders, requesting anonymity, while confirming that he is out of the country, insist that he has gone on vacation and will return within three weeks.

Sources within the party say otherwise, claiming it is unlikely that Subzwari will come back anytime soon. The departure of the former leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly, and former minister of youth affairs, comes at a time when rumours afloat of a new MQM in the making, backed by former leaders, Mustafa Kamal, and Anis Qaimkhani.

A new MQM?

Party chief Altaf Hussain, in his recent address, said that conspiracies were afoot in Islamabad to form a new MQM.  Lashing out at the party leaders, he had also said that Rabita Committee members had left the country when the party needed them most, and were enjoying their lives abroad.

A vocal critic and a poetry fan, Subzwari is said to have developed differences with the party in March earlier this year, when Altaf ordered him to resign from his seat from the assembly for not being present during an address.

Subzwari, who was one of the party’s most active leaders on Twitter, last tweeted on July 17. The last message was an Eid greeting, surprisingly coinciding with Mustafa Kamal’s last twitter message – also an Eid greeting.

Besides Subzwari, the party has also seen the absence of another vocal leader, Haider Abbas Rizvi.  According to sources, Rizvi is maintaining a low profile to avoid being implicated by law enforcement agencies’ in cases of sectarian killings.

Not the first

This is not the first time that leaders seem to have distanced themselves from the MQM. In the last two years after the 2013 general elections, when the then Rabita Committee and Karachi Tanzeemi Committee were dissolved, several party leaders have left the party or have been sidelined.

In August 2013, former mayor and Senator Mustafa Kamal quietly left the country, moving first to Tanzania and then settling in Dubai, informing party leaders through emails that he had left because of his wives’ illness and personal problems.

Days later, a close aide of Kamal and another senior leader and former Rabita Committee’s deputy convener, Anis Qaimkhani followed Kamal’s footsteps to Dubai. According to news reports, he left the party and the country after Altaf criticised and rebuked him over Kamal’s departure.

Over the period of time, former minister of IT, Raza Haroon, also distanced himself from party politics and is said to be in the UK these days. Though he worked in the international secretariat and has not left the party, he has become inactive.

Waseem Aftab, who was an incharge of the Karachi Tanzeemi Committee and then became member of the Rabita Committee, also disappeared from party politics after the general elections.

Another KTC in charge, Hammad Siddiqui, fled to Dubai in May 2013, with the party terminating his membership. Siddiqui is wanted in cases of land grabbing, china cutting, and an attack on Sindhi activists.

For their part, an MQM official said that unnecessary hype was being created regarding his departure and denied that he had left the party. “Before leaving, Faisal had informed the party in accordance with our rules. He will be returning this month.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (33)

  • Shahid
    Aug 9, 2015 - 1:50AM

    I personally know Faisal Subzwari, and he has NOT left the MQM, he is on vacation with his family, but he is a little stressed out (death in family, politics, and the NA 246 campaign where he lobbied day and night took a toll on his body), and he simply needs a break. Stop trying to make something out of nothing. Recommend

  • SHN
    Aug 9, 2015 - 2:06AM

    The departure of Mustafa Kamal and Faisal Subzwari are by far the biggest losses the party has endured in what seems to be a downward spiral. These capable folks should join hands with Musharraf, and turn APML into a dominant political force in Karachi. Karachi would florish under such leadership as it did during Musharraf’s presidency. Recommend

  • Ih
    Aug 9, 2015 - 2:27AM

    When the chips are down. Every one for himself. Taking cover running away. Poor lower echelon left to face the music. When will they learn. They are nothing but cannon fodder. Life in USA and England is quite expensive ,wonder where did they get all this money to live comfortably. Rent alone in Chicago is about 2500$ per month, much higher in New York. That for a small two bed room apt. Think….Recommend

  • Liberal
    Aug 9, 2015 - 2:45AM

    Rats are leaving a sinking ship.Recommend

  • Salman - SK
    Aug 9, 2015 - 3:51AM

    MQM’s leadership hails from middle-class strata as opposed to other political parties in Pakistan, which are ruled by waderas, feudals, or in rare cases, by industrial barons. They will be the first ones to bolt under the type of pressure being exerted on MQM these days. Karachi, and other urban areas of Sindh, need a new political leadership that can represent the interests of all ethnicities based in these huge urban centers. Urdu is the lingua franca of Pakistan, spoken by most of its population, and should not have been allowed to be capitalized by one party proclaiming to represent one ethnic entity. People of urban Sindh are tired and frustrated by the pervasive corruption of bureaucracy, and from the high-handedness and lawlessness of the police, hailing from other areas. It is time that a new representative party emerges in Karachi. Recommend

  • MSK
    Aug 9, 2015 - 10:01AM

    Wonder why each one of them leave the country after distancing themselves from MQM .. might be because they know very well that their ‘boris’ are ready by ‘namaloom afraad’ if they risk staying here in Pakistan.Recommend

  • OS
    Aug 9, 2015 - 10:12AM

    These and mostly all other mqm diehard leaders are not even sincere to party and their leader AH. People just think for a sec!……why would they ever be sincere to us!!!Recommend

  • Shoaib Ahmed
    Aug 9, 2015 - 10:35AM

    Faisal Subzwari is in USA with his wife and 3 children’s. He will back by the first week of September he is on Holidays and informed Rabitta Committe of MQM Karachi. You will see him soon, media role in this case is worst as they compare his holidays with Mustafa Kamal or Anees Qaim Khani departure. Recommend

  • John
    Aug 9, 2015 - 11:17AM

    He is lucky to be leaving in one piece,Tariq Azeem and Dr. Imran Farooque werent that lucky!Recommend

  • Lord of the Ring
    Aug 9, 2015 - 11:20AM

    Whenever someone in the mafia gets popular the mafia chief

    throws him in a corner to rot in oblivion. The mafia chief

    being a petty character is a victim of extreme sense

    of insecurity and natural inferiority Recommend

  • Houston boy
    Aug 9, 2015 - 12:07PM

    This guy was an expert when it came to divisive politics. He knew how to rip the country to shreds along ethnic lines. I hope he is exiled from Pakistan along with his plump master.Recommend

  • shahid
    Aug 9, 2015 - 12:12PM

    Absolutely; fully agree with you; Time will heal his stress and pain; he will surely return as a new man .. we want him back.. EITHER way. Recommend

  • CopyPaste Zindabad
    Aug 9, 2015 - 12:29PM

    Mustafa Kamal has Wives? Just wanted to confirm.Recommend

  • Kishway Elahi
    Aug 9, 2015 - 1:05PM

    In a fascist party like the MQM I don’t think these guys can risk to take such decisions and incur the wrath of Altaf Hussein. It is probably a vacation.Recommend

  • Michael
    Aug 9, 2015 - 1:29PM

    I personally know Faisal Subzwari during my youth days, he is a strong MQM lad and is on holidays these days. When i last spoke to him 3 weeks back, he was depressed due to a death in his family and overstressed. He did mention he wanted a break and this is the reason he is on vacation.Recommend

  • Zahid Jabbar
    Aug 9, 2015 - 1:35PM

    From his family sources he will back soon, as he is on holidays with his family. Faisal Subzwari is still a part of MQM and will return soon in September. Recommend

  • Aug 9, 2015 - 3:08PM

    No doubt, he has outspoken personality and a great asset for party.Recommend

  • Haider
    Aug 9, 2015 - 5:06PM

    Don’t know about Faisal Sabzwari but Haider Abbas Rizvi holds a foreign passport definitely. That’s why he didn’t contest the 2013 electionsand definitely his name echoed in the corridors of courts and police stations during several criminal investigations. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Aug 9, 2015 - 5:44PM

    All our political leaders make their wealth from Pakistan…..and when the going gets rough they vanish abroad to live in comfort for the rest of their and their children’s lives……….DUAL NATIONALITY for politicians, high level bureaucrats, higher judiciary and the armed forces MUST be banned.Recommend

  • Sania Khan
    Aug 9, 2015 - 5:52PM

    Faisal Subzwari left for USA after his younger brother (Saad Subzwari) reception on 28th July, he planned his holidays earlier but delayed due to his brother wedding. I met him in one of my friend Hassan’s Nikah where he told us that he will be on holidays in the end of this month after his brother wedding. He is still in MQM and will join politics after his 1 month Holidays. Please media play your positive role as politicians are humans to and they do have families and their private life. Respect pleaseRecommend

  • Hammad
    Aug 9, 2015 - 6:30PM

    so you actually agree that the establishment, the pakistani government and the pakistani army did make a new MQM in the form of haqiqi and repeating the same mistake again?Recommend

  • Hammad
    Aug 9, 2015 - 6:33PM

    @SHN, you need to stop day dreaming, under musharraf Punjab, KPK, SIndh, Balochistan didn’t flourish but under musharraf karachi flourished?. why people not give credit where it is due? to the MQM especially Altaf HussainRecommend

  • sana
    Aug 9, 2015 - 7:02PM

    Just one question comes to mind, these representatives of common Pakistanis who claim to come from humble background afford to go on vacation with their family for months long break.
    How they are able to afford these trips on a “common man’s” income ?????Recommend

  • Luciferous
    Aug 9, 2015 - 7:34PM

    @CopyPaste Zindabad:
    “informing party leaders through emails that he had left because of his wives’ illness and personal problems.”

    Not only “wives” but they are all ill!Recommend

  • Truth
    Aug 9, 2015 - 8:33PM

    Rangers should treat mqm workers with due request, they way rangers are dealing with workers people are getting a feeling that they are operating in occupied territory.Recommend

  • khan
    Aug 9, 2015 - 9:07PM

    I think he can confirm himself that he is on Holidays and will come back.Why he not he use his twitter and other social Media accounts!Recommend

  • FtheMQM
    Aug 9, 2015 - 9:19PM

    So when they become “stressed” they go out of country for vacations..Wah G Wah… They cannot vacation in Northern Pakistan ? How come these so called lower middle class people afford vacations in US and Canada? MQM needs to look into their dealings with ordinary Pakistanis and find out why they are hated and vilified by almost 90% of the people?
    Why MQM can’t be a normal political party ? This is the single party in the country with “Sector incharges” and other weird titles for their members. To me they operate more like a mafia of old days of new York or current criminal syndicates in Rio (Brazil).Recommend

  • Aug 9, 2015 - 10:49PM

    Really…………..You are telling as No one else know him………I also know him personally….and he actually left because of many reasons including arresting of criminals especially money laundering and Imran Farooq’s case……and he will remain silent like others …. every one loves their, their wive’s, their kids and their close ones……and no can survive who spoke against Qaid……..Recommend

  • Ali S
    Aug 10, 2015 - 1:12AM

    I can’t think of any other major political party where the possibility of death for disagreeing with or leaving the party are as imminent as in MQM. Even their MPAs and MNAs are routinely beaten up by hooligan youth (MQM’s street muscle) during speeches by their mentally and physically unfit leader who is comfortably ensconed in London. Says it all, really.

    It’s not a political party – it’s a gang of thugs, and there’s no honour among thugs. Us Urdu-speaking Karachiites deserve better representatives. The Rangers operation is much welcomed.Recommend

  • Honorliving
    Aug 10, 2015 - 7:18AM

    When most well-to-do can hardly make ends meet, how can MQM leaders afford to vacation in the USA, UAE and London? I thought MQM leadership was from middle and lower middle class. Poor workers who do MQM’s dirty work for jobs in water board and KMC pay the price of leaders vacationing abroad. Recommend

  • Javaid Mallick
    Aug 10, 2015 - 1:09PM

    He is in Houston USA and will come back on 28 August. Subzwari is on 1 month Holiday : Source MQM RCRecommend

  • Omer Pervaiz
    Aug 10, 2015 - 1:27PM

    Subzwari is one of the best man in MQM, after Mustafa Kamal he is the only good guy left in this party, I wish these faces will come back for Karachi people with new political party or same party without leadership of Altaf Hussain. Subzwari and Mustafa Kamal are the idol for Karachi youth I don’t know why people of karachi listen Altaf Hussain. I wish Faisal and Kamal will come and serve Karachi. Karachi will welcome you people. Altaf Hussain and his gutka mafia panwari’s ghunday will not be able to stop good faces. I pray for both of youRecommend

  • saif
    Aug 11, 2015 - 1:34AM

    @Salman – SK If they belong to middle class & represent poor how can they afford lavish life in foreign countries like UK, USA, UAE ?Recommend

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