Asif Hasnain leaves MQM, joins Mustafa Kamal’s PSP

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KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) MNA Asif Hasnain on Sunday joined Mustafa Kamal’s Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), rejecting Farooq Sattar’s earlier announcement that the MQM was dissociating itself from Altaf Hussain.

“Farooq Sattar is not capable of disconnecting himself from London and Altaf,” said Asif Hasnain, a day after the MQM deputy convenor held a press conference announcing the party’s move to completely cut itself off from the London-based supremo.

“We have completely dissociated ourselves from Altaf Hussain sahib and the London [office],” Sattar had said, without calling the MQM supremo bhai or Quaid. He added that MQM-Pakistan would make its own policies and decisions which would have nothing to do with the London secretariat.

Hasnain implied Sattar received ‘instructions’ over Skype from the MQM supremo as party members conferred at a local hotel prior to Tuesday’s press conference during which Sattar first announced the party was ‘sidelining’ Altaf Hussain.

Sattar on Saturday asked the establishment not to doubt the party’s intentions and allow them to freely resume their political activities as MQM offices continued to be sealed and bulldozed and party workers detained in the wake of an Aug 22 attack on the ARY News office by suspected MQM workers.

Mustafa Kamal was also critical of Sattar’s announcement that the MQM had completely dissociated itself from the party’s London-based supremo.

“This is a fixed match,” Kamal claimed. “There is an understanding between Farooq Sattar and Altaf Hussain,” he alleged.

The PSP chief rejected the MQM’s earlier statement that the party chief was handing over party affairs to the Coordination Committee and focusing on improving his health.

“Altaf is making speeches in the entire world… Farooq Sattar said he was resting, but he’s making more phone calls than Sattar is,” Kamal claimed.

“They are lying even today… We know Altaf’s DNA well. He will never, as long as he is alive, let anyone else lead his party. He killed whoever was capable of doing so,” Kamal claimed. “He killed Azeem Tariq. He killed Imran Farooq,” the PSP chief alleged.

“Farooq Sattar now takes guards everywhere with himself and goes and sleeps in a hotel after he is done with work. Who is he hiding from? The Taliban? He’s hiding from Altaf,” he said.

People who are still part of the MQM are there “because they’re trying to save their jobs”, Kamal said. “They are afraid they’ll lose all their perks and privileges.”

Kamal invited others to join the party. “If you have a problem with Altaf, leave the mandate. It is not your mandate, it is his mandate,” he said.

Hasnain was also of the opinion that the MQM may experience more defections in the future.

“Party members who came to Karachi Press Club [on Aug 22]after finding out I was there, many of them will join the PSP in the coming days,” Hasnain speculated.

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