New group on the block: Kamal unveils his ‘Pak Sarzameen Party’

KARACHI:
Renegade Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Mustafa Kamal said he has not returned to the country to snatch power from anyone as he unveiled the name of his political party on Wednesday.

The former Karachi mayor, flanked by six other MQM dissidents, unveiled his burgeoning political group as ‘Pak Sarzameen Party’ at their first major public event at the Clifton Marquee in Karachi.

“We have not come back to snatch power or authority from anyone,” Kamal told a gathering of around 500 people, who were mostly dressed in green and white.

Anees Ahmed advocate joins Mustafa Kamal

“We held high, important posts and positions [in MQM]. We were parliamentarians and senators. This Pakistan Day will now be remembered as a day of patriotism and nationalism,” he said while standing before a backdrop with hues of the national flag.

All six party leaders, including Waseem Aftab, Anis Kaimkhani, Raza Haroon, Iftikhar Alam, Dr Sagheer Ahmed and Anis Ahmed Advocate joined Kamal on the stage for the ceremony, though no official party positions were announced.

There was also no announcement of fresh defections from MQM on Wednesday, as has become the norm at Kamal’s public appearances since his return earlier this month.

Hinting at electoral ambitions, Kamal said they will come up with an official flag for the party to meet the election commission’s requirements. In the interim, he said the national flag would be carried by party supporters and workers.

Altaf Hussain plays politics on grievances of masses: Mustafa Kamal

“A party flag is the cause of division amongst people,” he said pointedly.

Kamal went on to reiterate his party’s five-point agenda, which he had outlined in his first press conference after returning from Dubai. He added that a team of scholars and intellectuals were still working on their party’s manifesto.

He, however, backtracked on his demand of forming new provinces and administrative units in the country. Instead, he said an effective local body system was a prerequisite.

“To talk of new provinces is not feasible till the local government is properly set up.”

After his demand of establishing a presidential form of government in the country came under fire from some quarters which pointed out it was the establishment’s line, Kamal countered that an independent Kashmir too was sought by the establishment but it should not mean that Pakistanis stop demanding it.

Claiming that he wanted to unite the people, Kamal said he curses power which cannot help the people. “When we got power and authority, we helped the public irrespective of caste or creed,” he said.

“Pakistan has been divided into several pieces along ethnic, sect, nationality and politics,” Kamal lamented.

DHA wants end to Mustafa Kamal’s political activities

Most of the crowd at the event hailed from the Defence Housing Authority and Clifton, including some former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters.

Fatima Idrees, a Bcom student said she had voted for the PTI in the May 2013 general elections but was now supporting Kamal’s party. “Imran Khan did not deliver for the people of Karachi,” she said disappointedly.

Friends Roohi Khan and Seema Nazar from DHA said they had never supported any other political leader. “He seems honest. He speaks the truth. And the people [standing] with him are educated.”

The party is expected to unveil their Hyderabad office today. On April 24, they will hold their first public rally at Mazar-e-Quaid.

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