ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ruled on Monday that Farooq Sattar will no longer serve as the convener of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).
A five-member bench of the ECP, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, announced the brief verdict in the case pertaining to the intra-party dispute on the position of the party convener.
The bench also dismissed Sattar’s petition challenging the jurisdiction of ECP in the case and nullified the intra-party elections of MQM, in which Farooq Sattar was elected as the party chief.
The dispute between party members over nominations for the upcoming Senate elections had earlier resulted in the emergence of splinter groups – Dr Farooq Sattar led PIB Colony faction and the Bahadurabad group consisting of Amir Khan, Nasreen Jalil, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui among others.
Hope decision is in our favour: Sattar
Earlier in the day, Sattar had remarked that he hopes the decision is in his favour. “The ECP should base its decision on merit.”
While speaking to journalists informally Sattar said: “ECP cannot hear a case pertaining to intra-party conflict.”
He remarked that the party needs a political and collaborative way forward. “It’s okay to not accept the position of other party members, but don’t challenge it as well.”
Sattar shared that the only solution should be that he and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui should form an ad-hoc committee.
Regarding the case hearing, he remarked that his ‘friends from Bahadurabad’ have filed a petition before the ECP. ‘The Bahadarabad-waley [those from Bahadurabad] claimed that I was removed by the Rabita Committee with a two-thirds majority.”
Sattar challenges ECP’s jurisdiction
On March 1, Sattar had earlier challenged the ECP’s jurisdiction to hear a petition pertaining to the party’s convenership.
The petition, filed by Sattar’s legal counsel Babar Sattar stated that the party’s internal matters cannot be heard by the ECP, demanding the Bahadurabad group’s petition should be dismissed.
“MQM-P belongs to the party’s workers and only they will protect it,” Sattar had told journalists outside the ECP premises. “They [party workers] announced their verdict in the intra-party elections.”
Sattar said that he chose the constitutional process of holding intra-party elections and getting the mandate from the party.
“I have proposed a formula if we want to sit down and solve matters through negotiation but it was Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui who approached the ECP to challenge [my] constitutional position,” he had said.