The pro-Altaf Hussain group of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM-London) has announced plans to hold a rally and public gathering in Karachi on January 21 under the banner of the Pakistan Qaumi Movement (PQM) in a bid to re-enter the political arena amid a virtual ban on its activities.
The announcement was made at a press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday by the PQM leaders. The MQM-London leader Nadeem Nusrat also took part in the news conference through video-link.
Surprisingly, the PQM is registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the name of a Karachi-based lawyer Syed Iqbal Kazmi, who has a history of moving petitions in courts and campaigning against the MQM chief Altaf Hussain and other leaders of the party.
On one of his petitions on May 12, 2007 carnage in Karachi, the Sindh High Court (SHC) last month sought comments from the federal and provincial authorities on forming a larger bench to hear afresh the case against the MQM leadership – including Altaf Hussian, Karachi’s former Nazim Mustafa Kamal and incumbent Mayor Waseem Akhtar.
According to the MQM-London convener Nadeem Nusrat, Altaf Hussain and leaders of the PQM will address a public gathering outside the Mazar-e-Quaid on January 21. Before this, a rally will be taken out from Aisha Manzil to the venue.
It seems that the MQM-London is ready to give a reply to its disgruntled and former comrades – divided into the MQM-Pakistan under Farooq Sattar and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) led by Mustafa Kamal – over their claim to have overtaken the bastions of the unified MQM.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Kamzi said he talked to Altaf Hussain and other MQM-London leadership recently and they assured him that they were not against the sovereignty of Pakistan.
“The PQM has its doors open to everyone regardless of their ethnicity, religion or caste. Whosoever is not against the country and not involved in any kind of terrorism or corruption can join us,” he said.
To a question that he has been accusing the MQM, its chief and other leaders of being involved in the May 12 killings, Baldia factory fire blaze and other criminal activities, Kazmi said he did not withdraw his previous stance but was letting them use his platform to explain their position.
“I have been assured by Altaf Hussain that he wanted to return to the country and face charges levelled against him in the courts,” he claimed, adding that the MQM-London leadership also pledged to him that they were not involved in any criminal activity.