Monday Feb 06, 2023
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) announced on Sunday that it will be holding a sit-in at Fawara Chowk near the Karachi Press Club from February 12 against the local body elections in Karachi and Hyderabad.
While announcing the sit-in, during a general workers’ meeting in Karachi, Convenor MQM-P Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that they would shift their Bahadurabad centre to Press Club Chowk next Sunday.
He instructed the workers to prepare for the sit-in, saying, “We will fight for Karachi's case from February 12.”
The MQM-P leader said that Pakistan is at a crucial point but there is no one to take decisions. He added that the economy will sink politics, adding that the time has come to fulfil the promises the country made to its forefathers.
Siddiqui also announced that his party would not only contest the upcoming by-polls on the nine Karachi seats but also win those seats.
He said that they had withdrawn from the local body elections but now they will have to fight for it.
Just hours before voters were heading to the polls, MQM-P announced a boycott of the second phase of the local bodies elections being held in seven districts of Sindh — including in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions.
The party's statement came after it had demanded fresh delimitation before holding the local body elections, and despite the Sindh government's announcement to delay the polls, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) insisted that they go ahead — on January 15 — without further interruption.
The second round of LG elections was scheduled to take place on July 24 last year, but the Sindh government excused itself from holding the polls over the lack of security and police presence due to the flooding. Later, the elections were also postponed on August 28 and October 23. Finally, after much ado, the polls took place on January 15.
In a press conference alongside the party's senior leadership, MQM-P convener said: "The local body elections have already been rigged. Accordingly, we refuse to recognise the polls."
Dr Siddiqui added that the election commission was formed to conduct the polls in a transparent manner. “However, the election commission has not fulfilled its responsibility towards its main function. The party protested against this injustice.”
With the MQM-P's boycott, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) managed to win majority of the seats.
According to the results, the PPP won 91 seats and JI secured 85 seats.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) acquired 42, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) seven, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) two, and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) one. One seat was also secured by an independent candidate.