IHC suspends ECP order against Farooq Sattar's party convenership

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s order stating that Farooq Sattar could no longer serve as the convener of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).
A five-member bench of the ECP, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, had given the order in the case pertaining to the intra-party dispute on the position of party convener.

On Wednesday (yesterday), Sattar had challenged the order in the IHC, where his counsel Babar Sattar gave arguments today.

IHC Justice Aamer Farooq then set aside the ECP order and issued notices to Sattar’s rivals, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Kanwar Naveed Jamil, to submit their response.

The hearing was then adjourned until April 11.

The ECP bench had also dismissed Sattar’s petition challenging the jurisdiction of ECP in the case and nullified the intra-party elections of MQM, in which Sattar was elected party chief.

The dispute between party members over nominations for the upcoming Senate elections had earlier resulted in the emergence of splinter groups: Sattar-led PIB Colony faction and the Bahadurabad group consisting of MQM-P Rabita Committee member Amir Khan, Nasreen Jalil, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Faisal Subzwari, among others.

Talking to the media after Monday’s decision, Sattar had termed the ECP order a ‘dark verdict’, adding that the decision was unjust and unconstitutional.

He claimed the decision is ‘managed’, and a result of his standing up to the party founder after the controversy surrounding the MQM in August 2016.