Sunday July 14, 2024

PMLN fails to convince MQM on seat adjustments

By Azeem Samar
December 30, 2023

KARACHI: Despite intense high-level negotiations, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) on Friday failed to convince the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan on a seat adjustment formula to jointly contest the upcoming general elections in Karachi. Similarly, they also failed to agree on fielding a joint candidate from NA-242 in Karachi.

The high-level PMLN delegation, led by its president and former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, visited the MQM headquarters in Bahadurabad. Ahsan Iqbal, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Ayaz Sadiq and Marriyum Aurangzeb also attended the meetings. They were greeted by MQM Pakistan leaders Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Mustafa Kamal, Farooq Sattar and other members of the party’s Coordination Committee.

MQM-P and PMLN high-level delegation led by former PM Shehbaz Sharif during a press conference in Karachi in this still on December 29, 2023. — Facebook/MQM ( Muttahida Quami Movement)
MQM-P and PMLN high-level delegation led by former PM Shehbaz Sharif during a press conference in Karachi in this still on December 29, 2023. — Facebook/MQM ( Muttahida Quami Movement)

Both sides discussed proposals related to the formation of an electoral alliance to contest the upcoming elections in Karachi but failed to reach a consensus on a seat adjustment formula.

However, the leadership agreed to continue to remain engaged and increase talks to clear the political obstacles through committees. No decision could be reached on fielding a candidate to contest the election from NA-242 in Karachi. Both Shehbaz Sharif and Mustafa Kamal have submitted their nomination papers from this constituency.

While the MQM is not ready to give up NA-242 in favour of Shehbaz Sharif, the PMLN provincial leadership is insistent that the former PM should contest the polls from this particular constituency. Besides, it was learnt that the MQM was not in favour of giving up the NA and PA constituencies in Karachi in favour of any other party.

The MQM sought more time from the PMLN to hold further intra-party deliberations to form an electoral alliance for the impending polls. The leadership of the two parties is likely to meet again after the completion of the scrutiny of nomination papers.

Talking to the media after meeting the leadership of Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan at its Bahadurabad headquarters on Friday, Shehbaz Sharif said that certain vicious powers desired Pakistan to remain in a perpetual state of political and economic unrest.

He said former PM Nawaz Sharif was not a blue-eyed politician as he was handcuffed and convicted for not drawing the salary from his son. In fact, the blue-eyed politician was the one who didn’t turn up in the courts despite being summoned by the judiciary and was always greeted in the courts despite defiance.

Shehbaz promised to put an end to the water tanker mafia in Karachi, develop public infrastructure and empower the youth with technical skills to accelerate Pakistan’s development.

Shehbaz said he had come to the MQM headquarters to convey the message of warm wishes on behalf of Nawaz Sharif. He said the PMLN and MQM Pakistan had worked together as coalition partners to extend relief to the flood victims and save the country from the threat of default. He said that he had always found the political associates belonging to MQM enthusiastic and sincere in resolving mutual issues. He maintained that the politics of the future in Pakistan were full of challenges.

Earlier, MQM Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui welcomed Shehbaz Sharif upon arriving at the party’s headquarter. Expressing the desire to promote the cordial ties between MQM and PMLN, Siddiqui said that a regime based on a participatory and shared system of democracy should be established in the country.