KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) leader and Karachi Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra on Sunday joined MQM dissenter Mustafa Kamal’s Pak Sarzameen Party.
The announcement was made by PSP leader Anis Qaimkhani, who was accompanied by Vohra, at a press conference at PSP House in Karachi.
“Farooq Sattar, you held a press conference a few days ago. If you have any moral standing, you will ask all your party representatives to resign,” Qaimkhani said, referring to the MQM-P leader’s warning last Sunday that all the party’s lawmakers would resign from parliament if any of its elected representatives were “forced to switch loyalties”.
“We know you will hem and haw about it,” Qaimkhani said. “Today, Vohra is joining the PSP and you will make all your party representatives and mayor resign. When they do, then polling can be held again,” he said. “We will wait for Sattar to follow through with this promise.”
Vohra, explaining his reasons for joining the PSP, said that the MQM-P under Sattar’s leadership “lacked vision”.
“We have waited for one year, even addressed issues with party leadership and they said a plan would be formed. When will the planning happen?” he asked.
“I cannot face the people I made promises to […] and they have voted for me to be in this position.”
“The way Mustafa Kamal delivered for Karachi, whatever resources he had, can be upheld as a successful example for mayor. Unfortunately, we have not been able to follow that example.
That’s why I have joined him. I don’t want to criticise anyone, but if I can’t follow through on my responsibilities then it’s better to leave the seat,” he added.
“A lot of people wanted to leave the party along with me […] and it is possible that they may do so in the coming week,” he said.
The deputy mayor said that he had not been pressured to switch loyalties.
MQM-P leader Farooq Sattar had accused the PSP of snatching the party’s mandate during a press conference last week, saying that all of his members of the National Assembly, Sindh Assembly and Senate had submitted their resignations to the party’s high command.
“From now on, if loyalty of any of our MNA, MPA or Senator is forcibly changed, we will collectively resign from parliament,” he had said. “We are asking our institutions, the army chief and the prime minister to tell us what is their policy for mohajirs in Pakistan. Will we be allowed to live or not?” INP