PML-N and MQM decide to contest general elections jointly
Joint statement calls for framing new charter aimed at solving people’s problems: Joint charter to lay focus on Sindhis: Saad Rafique says doors open for other parties as well: Farooq Sattar says no single party can handle the crises
By News Desk
November 7, 2023 01:00 PM
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) in an unexpected move have announced to jointly contest the general elections due to be held on February 8 in the country, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The agreement was struck during high-level parleys between the top leaders of the two parties held at PML-N’s Central Secretariat in Lahore on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, an MQM delegation comprising Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Farooq Sattar and Mustafa Kamal called on PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and President Shehbaz Sharif at the party’s Central Secretariat at Model Town in Lahore.
In a joint statement issued after the hours-long meeting, both 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 road to progress.
The PML-N and MQM 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 10 days,” the joint statement added.
Talking to the media men, PML-N leader and former federal minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, who also attended the meeting, said 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 presented. A desire has been voiced by both parties to contest elections together,” he added.
Saad Rafique maintained that 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.
On his turn, MQM’s Farooq Sattar said: “Contesting elections alone isn’t important, what happens after is also very important.”
Sattar highlighted the need for discussions on handling challenges such as unemployment, inflation and poverty. “It is clear that no political party alone is in position to bring the nation out of the current crises. Hence, there is a need for a larger alliance,” Sattar added.
He maintained that a charter for national interest 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.
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 due share.
Earlier, the MQM delegation visited the PML-N Secretariat in Model Town Lahore and held a meeting with the Muslim League leaders.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif welcomed the MQM delegation led by party convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and comprising of Dr Farooq Sattar, Mustafa Kamal and others.
The Muttahida leaders held detailed talks with the PML-N delegation led by party supremo Nawaz Sharif and consisting of Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Rana Sanaullah, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and others.
The leaders of the two parties deliberated on various matters including overall political situation in the country, the possibility of creating a great political alliance in Sindh, and seats adjustment.
The PML-N supremo has become active in holding talks with the leaders of erstwhile allies in the previous PDM government.
According to reports, a telephone contact was held on Monday between Nawaz Sharif and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari.
During their talk, both the leaders had agreed to hold a meeting soon, agreeing to make important decisions regarding economic revival and providing relief to the people.
However, while talking to journalists on Monday, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb took exception to the PPP for constantly attacking the PML-N and demanding a level-playing field. She advised the party from Sindh to stop crying over a level-playing field and get itself ready for the upcoming elections.
Reporter Rao Dilshad