KARACHI - Feeling a bitter resistance within party ranks, nationalist leadership of Qaumi Awami Tehreek has postponed its decision to visit Nine-Zero – MQM headquarters.
After Altaf Hussain called for a separate province for Urdu-speaking people in Sindh, an MQM delegation visited nationalist leader, Ayaz Latif Palijo, to offer a clarification about the ‘controversial’ statement. Hussain’s statement had drawn scathing criticism from political workers, civil society, media, and social media. MQM leaders Wasim Akhtar, Kanwar Naveed Jameel and former Sindh chief minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim told QAT chief Hussain had never demanded a bifurcation of Sindh province.
The meeting came two weeks ago, and Ayaz Latif Palijo was given an invitation to Nine-Zero then. Following MQM leaders’ visit, Palijo withdrew his call for a shutter-down strike.
The development however did not impress many with Qaumi Awami Tehreek and as a result some office-bearers left the party against what they called a handshake with MQM.
Sensing a rebellion brewing within, QAT, in its central committee meeting, in Hyderabad on Sunday formally turned down MQM’s invitation to visit Nine-Zero.
Sources privy to the meeting said QAT leaders spent most of their time discussing MQM delegation’s visit and their invitation, and they were of the view that it should be rejected.
Although Palijo’s party made a clear decision they would not visit Nine-Zero, it did not make it public through media.
When contacted, QAT Information Secretary Noor Ahmed Katiar said MQM’s invitation was not on agenda of the central committee meeting.
Meanwhile, QAT chief Ayaz Palijo, while addressing a press conference, said his party had decided to observe 2014 as year of “Development, Education, Employment & Peace” for Sindh.
QAT is formally launching a public awareness campaign through protests across Sindh province from today, aiming to highlight the importance of education, progress, development and law and order.
Palijo said Karachi hosted only 22 per cent population of the province, while rural and other districts 78 per cent and they were deprived of basic facilities of development, health and education.
Sindh produced a major share of gas, oil, coal and other resources but it was not getting its due share, Palijo said.