MQM considers pulling out of alliance with PDM-led federal govt

MQM considers pulling out of alliance with PDM-led federal govt


MQM considers pulling out of alliance with PDM-led federal govt

KARACHI (Dunya News) – Mutahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) is considering parting ways with the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led (PDM) federal government.

Sources privy to the development said that an important party meeting has been summoned and several members of the MQM-P Rabita Committee have reached Bahadurabad.

Read also: Second phase of Sindh LG polls set to be held on Jan 15

The meeting is expected to begin after arrival of all members.

MQM-Pakistan, an ally of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led federal government, is expected to make final decision of whether to stay in coalition or part ways with the government.

The party’s federal ministers and National Assembly members have handed over their resignations to Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

On other hand, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari telephoned MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and assured to resolve issues through understanding.

Mr. Siddiqui thanked Zardari over telephonic conversation.

No to ECP s decision

Earlier, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had rejected the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold the Sindh local government (LG) polls on Jan 15. 

MQM leaders including Senator Faisal Sabzwari, former Law minister Farogh Nasim, Farooq Sattar and others held a press conference. Mr Sabzwari said the party was not fighting for itself but the people of Karachi. “The number of seats stipulated for Korangi Town are not proportional to the area’s population,” he added. 

Read Also: ECP puts its foot down to ensure Sindh LG elections are held on time

While mocking the political opponents, Mr Sabzwari said those who wanted elections at the earliest were in a hurry to see themselves on the mayoral seat, adding that it would not benefit them. “We will go to every length for transparent delimitation,” he added. No one among them, he said, moved courts against the delimitation. 

Know More: Sindh government calls its legal team for response after ECP rejecting its notification 

Mr Naseem said up to 30,000 union councils were created in area where MQM did not have support from the masses, adding the population of the UCs was counted inaccurately. “When we moved the Supreme Court against the issue, we were ordered to consult the ECP” he added. It would be, he said, unconsitutional to hold elections on time as the ECP did not seek our opinion over the matter.

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Mr Sattar said the Sindh government had admitted inaccuracies in delimitation. “Our press conference is not a contempt of court,” he added.

Elections on time

Previously in the day, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) turned down the Sindh government’s request to delay the local government polls in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions, saying elections would be held as per scheduled. 

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja chaired an emergency meeting to review the situation after the provincial government announced to put off the elections in Karachi division, and districts of Hyderabad and Dadu, scheduled for Jan 15, citing political issues and flood water.

In a late-night development, the Sindh government announced that the long-awaited LG elections would not be held in the divisions. However, it said polls in seven districts – Tando Allahyar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin, Thatta, Sujawal and Jamshoro – will go as per plan.

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon announced on Thursday that the notification to hold the polls on the basis of the existing delimitation had also been withdrawn on the demand of the Mutahida Qaumi Movement, which had serious reservations in this regard.

Read More: Sindh postpones LG polls in Karachi, Dadu again

The top electoral body, in its decision, said the LG polls would not be delayed in any way, adding that deployment of troops at the sensitive polling stations would also be ensured. The ECP has directed the Ministry to Interior to provide security for the elections.

The Sindh government’s move sparked strong reactions from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamat-e-Islami (JI) as the opposition parties announced protest against it.

Read More: Fawad warns of anarchy as LG polls in Karachi, Hyderabad delayed again

Following the ECP decision, the JI has withdrawn its decision to stage sit-in in front of the provincial election office. It has directed its party workers to continue preparations for the LG elections.