Will stage sit-ins if elections rigged: Farooq Sattar

KARACHI: Senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Dr Farooq Sattar on Saturday criticised the caretaker set-up in Sindh, saying most members of the Fazlur Rahman-led cabinet were Pakistan Peoples Party supporters.

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Talking to the media at the City Courts after filing his nomination papers, he demanded that the chief election commissioner take notice of development funds being spent in Sindh despite the announcement of the election schedule.

Although the name of caretaker chief minister was finalised between Leader of the Opposition Khwaja Izharul Hasan and former chief minister Murad Ali Shah, Dr Sattar’s criticism of the caretaker cabinet suggests that no consultation was made with his party on the names of caretaker ministers.

Warns of staging sit-ins if elections are rigged

He termed the spending of development funds and unjust delimitation of electoral constituencies “pre-poll rigging” and warned of staging sit-ins if the July 25 elections were rigged.

He also alleged that some PPP men were still using government vehicles when they came to the City Courts to file their nomination papers.

Nomination papers from three NA seats filed

Dr Sattar — who heads the PIB faction of the MQM-P after developing differences with the Bahadurabad group — filed his nomination papers for contesting the July 25 elections from three National Assembly constituencies in Karachi.

“I am filing my nomination papers from NA-241 [Korangi district], NA-245 [East district] and NA-247 [South district],” he told reporters. Recalling that over 160 workers of his party were still missing, he said the MQM-P was being denied political freedom.

He demanded that his party be allowed to reopen all offices in Karachi and the rest of Sindh.

Hinting at the possibility of boycotting the elections, he said: “We can go to any extent if we see a minus-MQM formula [in the election].” However, he quickly added that he never had said that he would boycott the elections.

The MQM-London has already announced that it will boycott the July 25 elections.

It is still unclear that which MQM [group] would get its traditional election symbol of kite to contest election. Until today, both groups, the PIB and Bahadurabad ones, separately filed their nomination papers.

The Bahadurabad group repeatedly said that it was ready to accept Dr Sattar as party convener if he returned to the Bahadurabad office. But it made it clear that the authority to grant election tickets would rest with Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, and Dr Sattar would not be given that power.

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