Coordination committee sacks Farooq Sattar as MQM-P convener

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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ruled on Friday that only Farooq Sattar was authorised to grant Senate election tickets to Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) members.

However, it appears that Dr Sattar was not impressed with the decision they personally communicated to him in the evening as he insisted on picking altogether new faces for March 3 Senate elections. He asserted that the issue turned out to be not of issuing tickets to candidates for Senate elections but of taking over the authority to issue tickets. "We will not go for a collision, but struggle pacifically", he said.

The party crisis over distribution of Senate tickets continued on a fifth consecutive day with the two sides - one led by Dr Sattar and the other by Amir Khan - getting ready for a final showdown.

The MQM-P leader said that the ones under the propaganda of Bahadurabad faction should come on Saturday and express their opinion in the [intraparty] election.

The most recent episode of rift surfaced between two factions of the party over the issue of party tickets for the upcoming Senate elections, with the Bahadurabad group opposing Sattar's nomination of Kamran Tessori over veteran party leaders.

Taking exception to defiant Amir-led group's objections, the MPA said the residence of Dr Farooq Sattar had previously been used temporarily as the party office, while offering a mediator's role.

He said it was time to remove "feudal lords" from the party.

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"Since February 5, they were repeatedly calling unconstitutional meetings".

Earlier, Farooq Sattar said the conspiracy had been exposed.

"They did not remove me from the convenership of the party but they have ousted the party loyalists and party workers from the party", he said. "I will take a flight to Bahadurabad as soon as coordination committee agrees to that", he said in a lighter vein.

Besides dissolving the Rabita Committee, Farooq Sattar also called for fresh intra-party polls on Feb 17.

He termed the Rabita Committee decision tantamount to expelling all the party workers from the MQM-P.

At least nine of the over four dozen members of the coordination committee are said to be government employees and all of them are supporting the Bahadurabad camp.

Later, Dr Sattar told a TV programme that Mr Baloch, an MNA from a Karachi constituency (NA-239), had "left us because of some misunderstanding".