ECP removes Farooq Sattar as MQM's convener
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday removed Dr Farooq Sattar as the convener of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P). A five-member bench of the ECP headed by the Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza also rejected the Farooq Sattar’s application challenging the ECP’s jurisdiction to hear the petitions involving internal matters of the party. The commission said that the decision was based on merit and that the ECP has power to hear the case regarding convenership. The ECP also declared the intra-party elections of the MQM-P PIB faction null and void. It is pertinent to mention here that the ECP had rejected interim relief sought by MQM-P’s Bahadurabad faction in petitions filed against Dr Farooq Sattar on March 2. The commission resumed hearing pertaining to petitions filed by Bahadurabad including removal of Sattar as convener by two-third majority of the Raabita Committee and replacing him with Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and the other challenges February 18 intra-party elections held under the leadership of Sattar – an election that he won by a heavy margin, becoming the party convener. During the proceedings, Barrister Farogh Naseem of the Bahadurabad faction requested the commission to clear confusion on the party chief issue. Farooq Sattar, chief of his own faction of MQM-P had earlier this month challenged the jurisdiction of ECP to hear petitions filed by rival MQM-Bahadurabad faction involving internal matters of the party. On February 27, the ECP had given two days to Sattar-led PIB faction of the MQM-P to submit replies to petitions filed by the Bahadurabad group led by Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui against it. The ECP admitted for hearing the applications of MQM-Bahadurabad leaders Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Kanwar Naveed Jameel challenging the intra-party elections organised by Dr Farooq Sattar. Speaking to media after the decision was announced, Syed Ali Raza Abidi of PIB faction said they will challenge the ECP verdict in Supreme Court and said that the ECP is not a trail court to take up intra-party matters.