Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui on Thursday apologised for his party's "misconstrued role" during the Karachi riots.
He was addressing a gathering of lawyers organized by the Balochistan High Court Bar Association in Quetta when he admitted that the party's image was tarnished after riots erupted in Karachi on May 12 2007.
Then, suspended chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah, was due in Karachi and MQM supporters, then aligned with General Pervez Musharraf, did not allow lawyers and activists to go to the airport to greet Shah. This led to violent clashes between the two groups. The government used its resources to block the roads and eye witnesses said police stood by as the violence continued.
MQM supporters reportedly were responsible for the firing at Aaj TV, which was broadcast live on TV.
"MQM should have tendered an apology and I apologise for that. This apology is for making a wrong judgment," Siddiqui was quoted in Express Tribune as saying.
The paper also quoted him as saying the party was used and "we regret that but that was not our intention and this is not how we function as a party."
He then went on to say the party wanted to focus on building new leaders.
He also spoke about how he distanced himself from MQM leader Altaf Hussain after his infamous 2016 speech which was seen as anti-state.
He mentioned the accusations the MQM has had to contend with in the past, like wanting to carve out their own province, called Jinnahpur or fanning linguistic politics.
"If this was the reality then why was the MQM not banned?" he said at the gathering.
He urged attendees to support his party in parliament.
Social media response to Siddiqui's apology have been mixed.
Former MNA who is with MQM took to Twitter to ask why the MQM-P didn't apologize for betraying Altaf.
Journalist Zebunnisa Burki said it was better late than never to apologize.
Former senator Tahir Mashhadi welcomed the apology but also offered the party some advice.