Sattar rules out resignation talks before acceptance of ‘basic demands’

KARACHI: Ruling out a fresh round of negotiations with the government over the issue of MQM MNA’s resignations until ‘three basic demands’ are met, Dr Farooq Sattar on Thursday said the party is now out of dialogue process.


Speaking to media representatives here upon his arrival from Islamabad, Sattar said the resignations have been tendered and the ball was now in the government’s court. “Government has our resignations and it’s their prerogative to decide how they would want to proceed over the issue,” he added.

The MQM leader said that before the acceptance of ‘three basic demands’ put forth by his party earlier in the day, any sort of dialogue were out of the question.

Reiterating the demands, he said, “Undeclared ban on MQM’s welfare activities be lifted; MQM’s political offices be allowed to function and Altaf Hussain’s recorded statements be allowed to go on air on electronic media.”

Meanwhile, sources told Geo News that Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar has contacted JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman yet again, requesting him to try and woo MQM one more time.

Upon which the JUI-F chief contacted Dr Sattar, who refused any further talks without acceptance of his party’s basic demands. The MQM leader reportedly told Maulana Fazl that as a mediator it was his responsibility to persuade the government for the same.

Dr Sattar also apprised MQM chief Altaf Hussain about the prevailing deadlock over the draft for the formation of the ‘grievance-redressal committee’.

Source further said that the government’s legal team was pondering over the issue at the PM House.

Following a joint meeting of Rabita Committee London and Karachi in the early hours of Thursday, it was decided that MQM must withdraw itself from the ongoing negotiation because it was of no use at all to continue the talks in the face of government’s ‘non-serious attitude’.

Speaking at an emergency press conference, Dr Farooq Sattar had said MQM lawmakers tendered their resignations from assemblies and the Senate on August 12 and even after a lapse of almost 20 days no ‘grievance-redressal committee’ was formed by the government.

He reiterated that MQM was being pushed against the wall in the guise of Karachi operation. “MQM faces an undeclared and unconstitutional ban on its political and welfare activities,” he said.

Dr Sattar said all the political offices of MQM stand shut and its welfare wing Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation (KKF) was not being allowed to carry out its activities.

The MQM’s parliamentary leader in the National Assembly went on to say that his party chief Altaf Hussain’s statements – both live and recorded – have been banned from going on air, terming it an unconstitutional act.

“I ask the owners of electronic media outlets under whose instructions they have decided not to air Altaf Hussain’s statements,” he said.