KARACHI - The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Bahadurabad faction led by Khalid Maqbool Siddiuqi on Saturday refused to accept senior party leader Dr Farooq Sattar`s request to pull him out of the election race.

Sattar, who leads PIB faction of the MQM-P, had requested MQM-P Bahadurabad to withdraw his nomination papers and let him run party’s election campaign. He took the stance that he did not approach the MQM-P Bahadurabad office for party ticket and he was issued ticket despite refusal.

Responding to Sattar’s request, the MQM-P Bahadurabad faction came in action and reached Sattar residence to persuade him to contest the elections. A delegation of MQM-P Bahadurabad consisting of senior deputy convener Amir Khan and coordination committee member Faisal Sabzwari called on Sattar and succeeded to convince him to contest the upcoming general elections in the constituencies finalised by the MQM-P.

Talking to the media along with Amir Khan and Faisal Sabzwari, the former MQM-P convener said the party needed him in the general elections as their leading representative. “I had requested party convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui to withdraw my name as most of the party workers suggested me not to take part in the election. After four months of strained relations between leaders of the MQM-P PIB and Bahadurabad, I suggested the party’s decision-making body to allow me to run party’s election campaign instead of contesting the election. I decided to knock each door to seek vote for party candidates but today MQM-P leaders approached me and told me that the coordination committee not only wanted me to contest the election but also lead the election campaign. Party needs me so I have agreed to contest polls and run the election campaign of MQM-P,” Sattar said.

Speaking on the occasion, Faisal Sabzwari said that opponents celebrated on August 22, 2016 when party disassociated itself from MQM chief Altaf Hussain. He said it was a celebrations night when MQM-P split into two factions: PIB and Bahadurabad – over distribution of tickets for Senate elections on February 5.

To a question about fielding weak candidate Osama Qadri against PSP Chairman Mustafa Kamal in NA-253, senior deputy convener Amir Khan said the party had taken the decision keeping in view Kamal and fielded Osama Qadri, who was quite strong.

Later, MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, addressing a press conference at Bahadurabad office along with Dr Farooq Sattar, said that party had formally initiated its election campaign for the upcoming polls and it will reclaim the mandate of urban Sindh, following the policy of non-confrontation and non-violence. “People who think MQM-P has gotten weaker and they can replace MQM will fail on the election day,” he said.

Siddiqui said that for the first time in its history the party had awarded the most (nine tickets) to families of martyrs. He said the party will progress like ever despite challenges.