Pakistan

KARACHI (Staff Report) – Another dissident leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has joined a newly-formed party of Karachi’s ex-mayor Mustafa Kamal.


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Haroon -who was residing in Dubai for many months- arrived in Karachi on Monday morning. He avoided making any categorical statement, when asked if he was going to join Mustafa Kamal’s party – which is yet to be named.

“I cannot say anything about this matter right now,” Haroon replied.

Addressing a press conference alongside Mustafa Kamal and Anees Kaimkhani, Haroon lauded the former MQM members for coming out against MQM’s supremo Alataf Hussain

“The courage required to take such a step, we saw on March 3 in the guise of Mustafa Kamal and Anis Kaimkhani. I was watching the press conference on TV in London and thought, ‘They are doing the right thing’. Everything watching is thinking the same thing… Everyone is tired of this.”

‘Happy Hour’

“I did not enter the MQM on a whim, and I did not leave on a whim,” Haroon said.

“Sometimes we had happy hour… Then that happy hour became happy 24 hours. Happy hour is followed by apologies from the entire community and party… Happy hour has been increasing; pay attention to what time it is in London.”

‘Blessing in disguise’

Haroon added that the Lahore High Court’s ban on Altaf Hussain’s images and speeches is a “blessing in disguise”.

“The ban should stay in place.”

“The MQM was not made to worship one person or to rally against a single person’s worry… What MQM representative has not said the things I am saying today?” he asked.

He said it was the duty of country’s institutions to examine accusations against the MQM.

“Today the condition of this party, which used to be a matter of pride, is the biggest reason of embarrassment.”

“It’s been one year since the BBC issued RAW-funding allegations against the party and its leadership but the party has yet to approach courts over these allegations,” Haroon said.

He also discarded the ‘conspiracies’ against MQM, saying no conspiracy was needed. “You [Altaf] are more than enough.”

The establishment should remove the LHC ban on the party chief, the former MQM leader said, adding that it will serve their own purpose. “Minus 1 [MQM without Altaf] is happening from within, there is no need for a conspiracy,” he said. “Your marketing is enough for self-destructing the party.”

Raza Haroon joined the MQM in 1987 and, like many other members of his party, faced a great deal of hardship during the state-sponsored operation in the 1990s. He moved to London in 1994 and, in addition to doing private jobs, worked at the MQM international secretariat. He lived in London for 13 years and returned to Karachi in 2007.

Haroon was elected a Sindh Assembly MPA in 2008 from PS-115 and was appointed provincial IT minister in 2009. He did not contest the 2013 general election and left Karachi, purportedly for London. However, news reports claim Haroon landed in Karachi from Dubai.

Previously on Sunday, Anees Qaimkhani claimed that another key leader of MQM will soon their group within a day.

When asked to name anyone among Raza Haroon, Raza Rizvi and Khushbakht Shujaat, Qaimkhani said that one of these leaders will announce to join our group on Monday.