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Saturday Mar 07 2020

MQM-P rejects PML-N demand for fresh polls

Senior Politian, Dr Farooq Sattar exchanging views with Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Former Prime Minister of Pakistan along with his team during meeting held at Farooq Sattar Residency in Karachi on Friday, March 06, 2020. Photo: PPI

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has rejected reports of supporting Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) stance for fresh polls in the country, reported The News on Saturday.

A PML-N delegation comprising senior party leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Musadiq Malik were in Karachi on a two-day visit to bolster their efforts and find a way to strengthen democracy.

On Friday, the PML-N delegation met MQM-P’s Farooq Sattar and discussed the ongoing political situation in the country. After the meeting, Abbasi along with Sattar spoke to the media and said the former ruling party had granted a huge amount for various megaprojects of the city.

“We came here [Karachi] on the directives of party president Shahbaz Sharif,” Abbasi said, adding that in the meeting they discussed the economic and democratic challenges facing the country.

The former prime minister said that a new political contract should be formulated followed by a free and fair election to solve the national issues. “For the first time it is immensely felt that culture of dialogues has been vanishing among the political parties and the current federal government is responsible for it,” he said.

Read also: PML-N leaders meet Karachi politicians to chart plans for future

Discussing the various issues facing the metropolis, Abbasi said Karachi was the financial hub and economic engine of the country and had the potential to bring development and prosperity to the country.

“Karachi should not be ignored. The federal and provincial governments should allocate funds for the development of metropolis,” he said. “If Karachi does not develop, then Pakistan will not progress.”

The delegation also offered Sattar to join the PML-N and recalled that the party supremo Nawaz Sharif had also once asked him to join his party.

“PML-N is the party Sattar’s ancestors and therefore there is no need to offer him to join the party,” PML-N’s secretary-general Iqbal said. The former interior minister added that Sattar was an experienced politician and had a good reputation in mainstream politics.

Sattar, who is heading MQM’s (Organisation Restoration Committee) after expulsion from the MQM-P, welcomed the PML-N delegation and said that he has been familiar with PML-N leaders for the past three decades.

“We have worked together in the Parliament and also in the opposition,” Sattar said. “I consider Abbasi and Iqbal my seniors.”

Read also: Today's Pakistan far from Quaid's vision, pseudo-democracy no solution: MQM-P, PML-N leaders

Sattar said the ruling government should give space to the opposition and devise a strategy by inviting all political parties to discuss the challenges facing the country. Speaking about Karachi’s issues, Sattar said that for the past 12 years, the city has not been given a single drop of water and the acute shortage of water can cause ethnic violence again in the city.

“The PTI government has failed to resolve the basic issues of the people,” Sattar said, adding an apology should be offered to Karachi and similar offers should be made to Balochistan.

Separately, in a statement issued on Friday, MQM-P rejected reports of the party supporting PML-N’s Iqbal’s stance to conduct fresh elections in the country.

Earlier on Thursday, the PML-N delegation met with MQM-P’s convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and other leaders. “The MQM-P leadership had clearly said in the meeting that it is supporting the rule of law and constitution, election reforms and free and fair polls,” it said.

Later, the PML-N delegation arrived at the Idara Noor-e-Haq, the Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi office, where they met the JI leaders, including Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman. 

The delegation offered its condolences over the demise of JI’s senior leader and former Nazim Karachi Naimatullah Khan, who passed away recently. The party leaders also discussed the ongoing political situation in the country, particularly in Karachi.

Originally published in The News