MQM factions reunite ahead of local govt elections

In a major development for Karachi’s political atmosphere, Mustafa Kamal’s Pak-Sarzameen Party (PSP) on Thursday merged into the Mutahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) ahead of the local government elections.

Addressing a presser alongside Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and other MQM-P leaders, Mustafa Kamal said that the merger was taking place for the betterment of Karachi and Pakistan.

Kamal said that today is an important day in the history of Karachi. “I am proud to be a migrant. We did not liberate this city from the influence of RAW so that Asif Ali Zardari would consider it as his fiefdom.”

He said that if the PPP co-chairperson wants to see Bilawal Bhutto as the prime minister then he will take along Karachi.

“He should not spoil the game under the influence of a few people,” he said.

During the press conference, Farooq Sattar said that today is an important day for the whole of Pakistan.

MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said people should join their mission to address Karachi’s problems.

“It is important that under the circumstances, the people, whose families laid down their lives for Pakistan’s formation, come together for a historic struggle,” the MQM-P leader said.

“I welcome you all. I hope that all of you will strive for the betterment of the nation,” the former federal minister for information and technology added.

Last month, various splinter groups of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) reached an agreement for the unification of the party. Reportedly, Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori played a key role in the ‘reunification’ efforts.

In response to a question, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui announced that the party will not allow local body elections which are scheduled to be held on January 15.

He said the issue of delimitations has not been addressed by the provincial government, stressing that the party may part ways with the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led coalition government at the Centre.

Earlier this week, Muttahida Qaumi Movement factions including MQM-Pakistan, MQM Bahali Committee, and Pak-Sarzameen Party (PSP) staged a protest outside the ECP office in Karachi against delimitations.

The demonstration was held against the second phase of local bodies (LB) elections on January 15 on the basis of fresh constituencies.

Addressing the participants of the demonstration, MQM-P chief Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that MQM has paid a heavy political price for this government and can leave it if their reservations were not resolved on an immediate basis.

“We are giving two days’ time to resolve our reservations after that we [MQM] will be free to make our decisions independently,” said Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui while giving a warning to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

He lamented that there was no progress on agreement with PPP and the prime minister has formed a committee to look into the matter.

Addressing the demonstration, MQM-P Bahali Committee head Dr Farooq Sattar said MQM factions are staging a protest demonstration over the ECP’s indifferent attitude.

“The ECP has deprived citizens of Karachi and Hyderabad of their basic rights by not doing justice regarding delimitations,” Farooq Sattar said.

He called upon the people of Karachi (Muhajirs) to stand up against injustice and get their basic rights. He further urged workers to create awareness among voters that the party wants free, fair, and transparent LG elections which are not possible under the current delimitations.

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