PML-N, MQM to Contest General Elections Together


The announcement comes days after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and Pakistan President Arif Alvi agreed on February 8, 2024, as the date for polls….reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) PML-N and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Tuesday announced that they would contest the upcoming general elections in Pakistan together, Dawn reported.

The announcement comes days after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and Pakistan President Arif Alvi agreed on February 8, 2024, as the date for polls.

As per Dawn, prior to the elections, the rivalry between the Nawaz-led party and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) gained momentum as the latter alleged that the PML-N has a hidden alliance with the current caretaker government.

The PPP recently announced that it was open to forming an electoral alliance with the PTI to counter former ally PML-N.

The PML-N, the PPP and the MQM were coalition partners in the previous government and had joined hands to remove Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI)’s Imran Khan from power.

On Tuesday, an MQM delegation comprising Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Farooq Sattar and Mustafa Kamal met PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, who returned to Pakistan on October 21, and his brother Shehbaz at the party’s Central Secretariat in Lahore.

After the meeting, a joint statement was issued in which the parties said they had agreed to adopt a joint strategy to put an end to the public’s woes and redirect the country towards the path of development.

The parties also decided to constitute a six-member committee to prepare a comprehensive charter, which they said would address the problems in Sindh and its urban areas. “It will present the final proposals for cooperation between the two parties to the leadership within ten days,” the joint statement added, as per Dawn.

PML-N leader and former federal minister Saad Rafique earlier said that his party had held talks with the MQM during their time together in the PDM government.

“We signed a charter at that time and a larger understanding has been present […] a desire has been voiced by both parties to contest elections together,” he stated.

Rafique said it was decided that the parties would hold consultations on several political, economic and legal policies. “Our doors will remain open for other political parties as well and opportunity would be given to discuss matters in the larger national interest,” he added.

Meanwhile, MQM’s Sattar said: “Just contesting the elections isn’t important; what happens after it is too.”

He highlighted the need for discussions on solving challenges such as unemployment, inflation and poverty. “It is clear that no political party alone is in a position to bring the nation out of the current crisis. Hence, there is a need for a larger alliance,” Sattar added, as per Dawn.

The MQM leader proposed a “charter for national interest”, which Sattar said would soon be prepared by his party and the PML-N. He added that the charter would also be shared with other political parties.

“Together, this is the only way to regain the trust of the public,” he said.

On the other hand, Mustafa Kamal said Karachi was key to bringing Pakistan out of the current economic crisis but maintained that it could only happen when the metropolis was given its due share. (ANI)

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