The Election Commission of Pakistan on Friday dismissed the petition filed by Barrister Farogh Naseem representing MQM-P’s Bahadurabad faction seeking interim relief for removal of Dr Farooq Sattar as party’s convenor.

The ECP heard the 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.

During the proceedings, Barrister Farogh Naseem of the Bahadurabad faction requested the commission to clear confusion on the party chief issue.

The commission however observed that since Dr Farooq Sattar had challenged the jurisdiction of the ECP in his reply, it could not pass any orders until that matter was resolved.

Barrister Naseem then urged the ECP for interim relief by temporarily suspending both Sattar and Siddiqui as conveners and allow MQM-P lawmakers to cast their votes as per their discretion in the upcoming Senate elections.

He argued that the ECP is not a post office and has the jurisdiction to resolve the matters pertaining to intra-party conflicts. Quoting a 1999 SC ruling, he said the ECP is also a court hence it has the authority.

Reflecting on the Sattar-led group’s intra-party elections, Naseem informed the court that the party’s constitution outlined that the intra-party elections were to be held every four years. He pointed out that since the party held elections in 2016, they will not due until 2020.

Farooq Sattar, chief of his own faction of MQM-P, on last Thursday challenged the jurisdiction of the Election Commission of Pakistan to hear petitions involving internal matters of the party.

Later talking to reporters outside the ECP premises, Farooq Sattar took exception to the commission’s intervention. He insisted that the MQM-P belonged to its workers and only they would protect it.

On the occasion, he offered to the rival faction’s chief, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, an intra-party election for the party’s convenership in a bid to unify the party and evade ECP’s intervention.

He proposed that both he and Siddiqui should give up their claims on the party’s leadership and let the matter be decided through intra-party elections. Sattar maintained that the issue of convenership could be resolved within the framework of the party’s constitution.