MQM's Raza Haroon joins Mustafa KamalKARACHI – In another blow to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the party’s former provincial lawmaker and former Sindh minister for Information Technology Raza Haroon today (Monday) joined hands with former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi, Raza Haroon said that Kamal took a brave step on March 3. It was a proof of his patriotism.

He said that Kamal stood against the oppressors and started a battle for justice.

“Sometimes we had happy hour and then that happy hour became happy 24 hours. The happy hour was followed by apologies from the entire community and party.”

The MQM did not fulfill its promises, he said, adding that the party was not created to ‘worship a single person.

The patriotic Mohajir community has ended up being labelled “RAW agents”, he said.

Haroon said: “It’s been one year since the BBC issued RAW-funding allegations against the party and its leadership but the party has yet to approach courts over these allegations”.

Raza returned to Karachi today after Mustafa Kamal announced formation of a new political party.

Other MQM leaders, Anees Qaimkhani, Dr Sagheer, Iftikhar Alam and Waseem Aftab have already ended their association with the MQM and announced their support for Kamal‘s party.

Mustafa Kamal, who won wide support as mayor of Karachi from 2005 to 2010 for his efforts to ease traffic and improve public services, leveled blistering criticism at Husain’s strongarm tactics in a press conference last week after returning to Pakistan after three years.

He left Pakistan in 2013 over reported differences with Husain, and had lived in Dubai since then.

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He accused Altaf Hussain of being an Indian agent and a ‘dictatorial drunkard’ who has mismanaged the affairs of Pakistan’s biggest city from his base in north London.

In a blistering attack, Mustafa Kamal also accused Hussain of overseeing an organisation that has turned some activists into “international terrorists”.

Rumours have persistently swirled around Hussain, but senior members of his party have always scrupulously avoided even veiled criticism of their leader. Their code of silence has allowed Hussain to maintain firm control over the MQM’s army of activists, despite living in self-imposed exile in the UK for more than 20 years.

The MQM is also under pressure from the paramilitary Rangers force, which launched an armed operation in the southern port city late in 2013 to tackle soaring crime rates. Since then, hundreds of MQM workers have been arrested and a court has issued an arrest warrant for party boss Altaf Husain for threatening the army in a television address.