On August 22, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) workers were on a hunger strike to record their protest at Karachi Press Club. It was the event when addressing the party workers on a telephone, MQM supremo Altaf Hussain crossed all limits. He raised anti-Pakistan slogans and used derogatory language against the country. He also ordered the party workers to not spare the media houses who speak against MQM. Earlier, this self-exiled leader asked the Indian spy agency RAW for help against state.
Soon after his telephonic speech, MQM activists including women and men stormed offices of the news channels in Karachi. News channels’ photages showed broken CCTV cameras, computers and furniture. Number of journalists injured during the incident, who were rushed to hospitals for first aid. The MQM workers also attacked various shops and blocked the roads for traffic where they burned number of vehicles.
Altaf’s anti-Pakistan remarks were strongly condemned by every segment of the nation. MQM leaders appeared on TV screens and tried their best to cover the words of their London-based leader but they badly failed in it as there could be no justification of such unpatriotic statements.
Later at night, MQM senior leader Farooq sattar and Khawaja Izharul Hassan reached Karachi Press Club to address a press conference in a bid to give justification of everything that happened throughout the day. Before they start press conference, Rangers reached Karachi Press Club and detained both Farooq Sattar and Khawaja Izharul Hassan. Few hours later, news channels reported that another MQM supporter Dr Amir Liaqat has been arrested by Rangers.
Analysts, journalists and politicians were seemed to be unable to predict what is going to be happened with Karachi’s politics. As many of the MQM prominent leaders have joined Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) which is newly formed by former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal, who was once considered as a most trust worthy and a close aide of Altaf Hussain. Many other MQM leaders like Faisal Sabzwari, Haider Abbas Rizvi and Babar Gori are on hibernation mode. So no one was sure whether MQM is going to be end or there would be any other option like minus-Altaf formula.
Next day all of the three detained MQM leaders were released by the Rangers. Farooq Sattar announced to conduct an ‘important’ press conference at 3:00 pm at Karachi Press Club. DSNG vans of all news channels rushed to the press club for its coverage, everyone was expecting something big. Five MQM leaders Farooq Sattar, Khawaja Izharul Hassan , Nasreen Jalil, Amir Liaqat reached press club at around 4:45 and finally press conference started.
Farooq Sattar stressed throughout his speech that his press conference is not dictated or influenced by any one. He denounced Altaf Hussain’s anti-Pakistan slogans and assured that from now all the decisions will be made by party members in Pakistan. He said if Altaf’s statements are a result of mental stress, then his mental stress needs to be resolved first. "We own that there is a problem, and Altaf Hussain keeps asking for forgiveness. Until this issue is addressed, we've decided that sanity should prevail," Farooq said.
The way Farooq Sattar addressed his ‘important’ press conference it generated further confusion and doubt. Throughout his speech he did not clarified whether Altaf Hussain is now out of MQM or he still is the chief. As Farooq has categorically stated that all the decisions will be made by party members in Pakistan, then what will be the role of Altaf Hussain? The one who is not authorised to make decisions cannot be the chief as well. So, why it is important to let him remain the chief of MQM? During the press conference Farooq Sattar was reluctant to answer the questions raised by journalists. When a journalist asked him is it a minus-Altaf formula, he said “keep your question in your pocket and let us do our work”. This indicates there is something in the whole story which is not yet disclosed. Apparently the situation is like: “Bhai stay at back for a time being, let us come on front to resolve the issue”.