Dhandli in NA 249

The following report was sent out by Taj Haider, Coordinator, PPP Central Secretariat, Karachi, today. It concerns allegations of rigging in the constituency that returned Farooq Sattar. In the interests of fairness, I intend to speak to Sattar to get his version of events as soon as he gets some time to sit down for a chat.

Posts about the MQM predictably generate a lot of heat here on KMB. Whatever the truth behind those points of difference, I think Sattar is definitely one of the more agreeable personalities in the MQM and I know many of the party’s political opponents feel the same way. He is a workaholic, approachable and relishes talking about policy if you want to engage him. It’s a pity that his election is mired in controversy.

DHANDLI NAMA, 19 February 2008


MQM broke all records of rigging, ballot paper stamping and high handedness in Karachi to make sure that the mandate of the democracy loving people of Karachi was reversed. While results from even the far flung areas were being shown on television channels Karachi results were held up and it was almost this morning when the reversed and highly manipulated results in favor of MQM were given to the channels.

NA 249

1. Official polling time ended at 5 PM but when PPP candidate took a round of polling stations he found that polling was in progress on 11 polling stations, where even 12 year olds were casting votes.

2. He protested. Subsequently, locks were placed outside the 11 polling stations and the polling staff was inside with MQM militants and workers. PPP polling agents in 7 of these polling stations were thrown out of the polling stations, while on the other 4 both gents and ladies polling agents were locked in rooms by the armed militants.

3. PPP candidate Habib Memon came to the Returning officer and gave him a hand written complaint in this regard.

4. At 6.45 PM MQM candidate Farooq Sattar came there with about 80 militants. About 60 of them were from the newly created City Police of the MQM. They put a cordon around the court of the Returning Officer Mr.Azim.

5. Farooq Stattar demanded that counting of the PPP candidate Habib Memon should be done first, while Habib Memon demanded that first of all the record from the 11 polling stations should be brought in after which counting should start for all the candidates.

6. The Returning Officer agreed with this legal demand and instructed the CPO, the Rangers and the TPO to bring the material from the 11 polling stations. No one however, brought the needed materials.

7. According to the totals of the results of the polling stations wherefrom material had already arrived (all except the disputed 11 stations) PPP candidate Habib Memon was leading by 39, 830 votes.

8. Earlier GEO television had made an announcement based on the results from some of these polling stations, in which Mr. Habib Memon was shown leading by 16,000 votes at that time. GEO did not make any further announcement about progressive results of this constituency.

9. MQM candidate Farooq Sattar continued to call Nazim Saddar Town Dilawar. Every time after he was connected he would move out of the room to talk to the Town Nazim.

10 At around 11.45 it was learnt that all the material of the polling stations had been shifted to the office of the Town Nazim Sadar, instead of the office of the Returning Officer.

11. The RO received calls from the Governor House. The Governor talked to the RO. In his reply the RO was heard repeating the word 73 and 61 several times. He was also seen writing the number 73 on a piece of paper.

12. Presiding Officers from 6 other polling stations from Lyari were also brought to office of Town Nazim Saddar by Rangers.

13. Around 3 A.M the bags containing polling material from polling stations started coming to the office of the RO. The last bag was brought by Town Nazim Saddar personally at 5 AM in the morning.

14. Immediately after that MQM candidate Farooq Sattar addressed a Press Conference announcing that he had won and had received 73,000 votes.

15. A large number of ballot papers stamped in favor of MQM candidate were picked up by PPP workers from outside the Town Nazim’s office and from many other places.

MQM had received only 28,000 votes in this constituency in 2002. Their support to dictatorship has ‘earned’ them additional 45,000 votes in these elections.

109 Comments so far

  1. Nedved (unregistered) on February 27th, 2008 @ 1:58 am

    I think MQM,s politics is based on only one thing, HATRED. Problems of common people in pakistan are the same…be it punjab, sind, karachi, balochistan, phuktuankwa or anywhere but MQM spreads hatred by blaming other communities. In reality all communities and all common people living in pakistan are faced with same problems.I hope people understand what i am saying.

    I myself belong to a urdu speaking community. We are the most educated people in pakistan n we should understand this.

  2. Nedved (unregistered) on February 27th, 2008 @ 2:14 am

    One thing which I don’t understand…Y MQM has so bluntly supported Musharraf, they have always blamed the establishment for all the ills and musharraf has been the head of that etablishment for the last 10 years.
    Again an ethnic touch.

  3. fahmed (unregistered) on February 27th, 2008 @ 3:26 pm

    i tell u if the MQM had joined the lawyers movement with full force it would have won seats all over pakistan.

    the lawyers represented the middle class and MQM took side of the establishment on this issue and not only took side but also killed people on 12 May, 07 live on camera and showed no remorse.

    it failed that baptism by fire. if had not taken that stance had fully supported they lawyers then it would have been sitting pretty now.

    look at them now. they are like untouchables…no party wants to be linked to them,

    so they failed to practice what they have been preaching all along!

  4. fahmed (unregistered) on February 27th, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

    its pathetic to see Altaf bai practically begging others to include them in the next govt. what else does his threat not to ignore MQM’s mandate mean??

    he has ranted all his life against the establishment and ironically even during the last 5 years when he was part of that very establishment. it was really funny to hear that!

    a few days back some won was shouting on this blog : we won we won we won!!!

    yes you won the battle but lost the war!!

    now MQM will again drench karachi in blood and then the people who voted for them would be blamed.

    their voters should try to put some sense in their leaders that sitting in opposition is part of politics.

    you don’t start to threaten the victors that if they do not share power with them then they would start a war.

    Altaf talked of war!! so next time your MQM voters vote for this devil at leat think a little.

    you urdu speaking people claim to have the most brilliant minds…and that is true to some extent, but when others see the level of your leadership and the fact that you people vote for ghundas in election after elections…..r others supposed to love & respect you for that???

    honestly ask yourselves this question! don’t unleash another ethnic hate rant but think and understand that you people have elected these devils yourselves as your leaders, others have not!

  5. fahmed (unregistered) on February 27th, 2008 @ 3:51 pm

    don’t give me the example of nice people like Dr.Farooq Sattar..etc

    whats is their auqat in front of the pir of london? do qauree say bhi kam.

    if anyone even hints at disagreeing with altaf then he will be killed at once, so no one can say anything to him that he does not want to hear.

    azeem tariq met his fate at the hands of his own party.

    MQM has cursed the great urdu speaking people.

    they are the only ones who can shake of that curse!

    do u think Jamat is worse then MQM? at this moment the weaknesses of the Jamat-e-Islami seem to be childish in front of MQM!

  6. Jumanji (unregistered) on February 27th, 2008 @ 4:18 pm

    After the agitation of 1977 in which people of Karachi played a significant part the ruling Establishment / power brokers decided to break this stronghold of opposition. Zia pampaered nationalist forces in rural Sindh where automatic choice was GM Syed. Karachi was different no single party rule this city, JI, JUP, PPP all have there strongholds. Problem with all three was that they were Pakistan level parties. The hetrogenity of population was the soft belly of Karachi and this was exploited. This was the main aim of establishment cuz after ethnic divide in Karachi we did not see a single government go by popular uprising.
    Nationalist politics thrive on sense of derivation. For this the usual pattern is carrying lots of dead bodies on your soulder. It is the easisest of the way to attain popularity. During 1986-1990 MQM’s cause was supported by the hidden hands resulting in death of innocent people. The result a vast majority of urdu speaking people in urban Sindh started to beleive in the notion that their survival is subject to joining MQM.
    What happened afterwards is like a jin was allowed to came out of the bottle and now it is not going back. The involvement of forign hands in making things complicated can never be ruled out. The rise of Dubai and the fall of Karachi is not easy to explain.
    The worst sufferer are the citizens of this city. They are now remembered by the language they speak.

  7. NEDVED (unregistered) on February 27th, 2008 @ 8:15 pm

    Lot of people in karachi vote for MQM only cuz they are full of hatred. They know that MQM is bad n everything but they still vote for MQM cuz they have hatred for other communties, which MQM has mastered in buy givin a ethnic touch.

  8. fahmed (unregistered) on February 28th, 2008 @ 11:46 am

    The MQM is left to making threats of war. their problem is that in the last 5 years they have tasted real power much much beyond their numerical strength as the sind & federal govts could not have survived without them.

    now no one needs their support and they are left making threats!

    please remember that if there is "war" that altaf has threatened then who would be the biggest loser?? only the people of karachi!

    so MQM should know that they are in a much weaker postion now and would have to tone down their expectations dramatically otherwise they will get their "war".

    the other thing is that if the MQM had not openly & loudly blackmailed the sind 7 federal govts. after 2002 elections at every given oppurtunity when they felt aggreived then other people would not have been as hostile to them as they are now.

    the best the MQM can hope for is that their local govt in karachi and hyd are left unmolested.

    MQM has the come to it’s senses and learn to sit in the opposition as it is prt of democracy!!

    they have been in power and believe me power makes one lethargic & lazy and they will fare much worse in the next "war" then they did in the last one.

    sitting pretty in the comforts of his house in london it is very easy for the pir of london shareef to send people to war.

    Are the MQM voters Blind?? Altaf did not come to pakistan for one day even when his party had absolute power in sind and also centre.the governor is his personal servant.

    it means he is never going to come back again. but will keep sending people of karachi to their graves by his orders/actions from london.

    MQM voters have cursed themselves and have to break this curse themselves and haveno onelse to blame.

    Awami league used to tell bengalis that the west pakistan eats up their esources and that is the only reason why they are living in poverty. now look at those poor sould even after 37 years\of complete independence they are not much better off.

    the same is true in todays pakistan as every smaller provence now blames their every misfortune on Punjab. and in the same way altaf balmes the 2% for ruling 98%.

    he absolutely had no problems when he joined hands with those 2% to rule for 5 years.

    the biggest joke was when even being the part and parcel of the govt & establishment for the last 5 years he blamed that very establishment for all the ills.

    hypocricy has to end otherwise this curse on karachi will continue.

  9. Reality_check (unregistered) on February 29th, 2008 @ 3:47 am

    FAHMED MQM has not been lethargic or lazy in power, they were not application collectors in cosy offices, they have been working and working hard, serving all the communities without bias. It is a very lame argument that MQM while talking of the 2% becomes a part of the government, whats’s a logic in that? Haven’t the Republicans shared power with the Lords? And why shouldn’t they skip opportunity to get power to serve their constituents? Don’t liberal and Conservatives share power around the world as a result of a split mandate, they don’t give up on their ideals, but somebody has to run the show. By the way experience had taught MQM a lesson that boycott serves no purpose either. Being part of the government, they did a good job, their spending priorities were right, they did not give up on Provincial Autonomy and opposed the Choudhry’s and Arbab’s on many issues. Result being that they got the heaviest mandate ever including that of all the Business Communities as well as from traditionally PPI strong holds. Plus need I remind you that at the time of National Crises they have shown that they will work perfectly in harmony with the rest of the country.

    I agree with you on that they should sit in opposition if need be and do their job, after all nobody can stay in power forever. However, they should work with PPP to keep the radicals / fanatics in check, support them on provincial autonomy and other common issues. By the way don’t forget it also in PP’s interest that they remain hubby hubby with MQM they cannot afford to have their fate in the hands of Nawaz Sharif.

    Now what Curse your are talking about? Karachi is doing just fine, it’s not the Karachi of 80’s / 90’s criminally neglected and robbed of its resources, rest assured that PPP or any other party is not in a position to even touch CDGK and why would they? Are they mad? Any confrontation will damage PPP rather than anybody else, they desperately need to stay in power to rebuild their party.

    As for Altaf Hussain coming back to Karachi, I am not too enthusiastic about giving the suicidal maniacs another opportunity to create mayhem in this city, he has done a good job in delegating responsibility, cleaning up the party, bringing into fore front new faces that are energetic go-getters and round the clock workers, there are no hate messages coming out, the party is still quite regimented but continuously re-defining itself and improving. So let him be in London and one day retire from there.

    As for your reference to Bengali’s please refresh yourself, they have no regrets in fact they have not backed down from their demand of apology from Govt. of Pakistan for the massacre of almost 250,000 of their countrymen. They are leading the world in poverty alleviation efforts and have given us institutions like Gramine Bank, which has jolted the traditional concept of Banking. Furthermore, they have produced 100% indigenous Nobel Laureates and handle frequent natural calamities (courtesy their geography) without out side help. Plus every where I go in North America I see more & more of "Made in Bangladesh" in the stores.

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