The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) announced on Wednesday that they were joining hands for the greater good of Karachi and prevent the city’s vote bank from splitting.
“We have decided to form a political alliance because these testing times require us to do so,” MQM-P chief Dr Farooq Sattar said at highly anticipated joint press conference, flanked by PSP leader Mustafa Kamal.
“We will chalk out a strategy for the next elections under one name and symbol,” he added.
“Instead of only focusing on the problems of Karachi and the rest of Sindh, we must take measures to address the issues of the entire country.”
Sattar said they wanted to ensure that peace in Karachi was long lasting and unrest did not return to the metropolis. “Political violence should never be allowed to return to Karachi,” he said.
“MQM and PSP have decided to forge a joint political alliance, a working relationship. We plan to step into elections with a joint slogan, joint manifesto and joint electoral sign.”
Sattar said they would also invite other political parties functioning in urban and rural Sindh to join this political alliance.
“We hope that illegitimate raids against the party workers will stop now,” he said, adding, “We also hope that missing workers will be recovered” following the formation of the alliance.
“Neither of the parties will lose their identities… this is only a political alliance and an oath to work together,” Farooq Sattar concluded.
“I endorse Farooq Sattar’s views. We are ready to wage a struggle [for the province] under a joint manifesto and name,” said Kamal.
“Right from the day one we held opinion that Altaf Hussain was, is and will remain the chief of Muttahida Qaumi Movement… Therefore the alliance will not function under the name of MQM.
“We began our journey to end Altaf Hussain’s undue influence on the people of Karachi and we have not retreated on that.”
The PSP chief asserted that they did not want his politics to be based on the Mohajir card. “It’s not the leaders who are killed in violence that breaks out when hate is spread on ethnic lines,” he remarked.
“It is the Mohajirs that pay the price for such politics,” he added, highlighting the need for national unity.
The alliance will take along and on-board all communities and ethnic groups, said the PSP leader. “We don’t want the no-go areas for any specific ethnicity to exist or remain,” he added.
Kamal also praised political wisdom and open-hearted approach of Farooq Sattar. “We need to do justice with our designations as leaders… we need to become one at this historic moment,” he added.
Rejecting the interim results of fresh census, the PSP chief said: “If people cannot be counted correctly then nothing positive can be done [in the country].”
At least 300 workers [of the former MQM] were still missing, he said and requested the authorities to give them one more chance. “We will personally hand in such people to law enforcers if they were found to be involved in misconduct again.”
Social media was abuzz with rumours of an expected electoral alliance for the 2018 general election between the two rival parties of Karachi soon after their leaders announced to hold a joint press conference earlier today.
Speaking to the media outside his central office in Bahadurabad, MQM-P chief Sattar confirmed that ‘something big’ was going to happen today and “I think that something should happen” without elaborating any further. “All we want is to serve Karachi and the people better,” he added.
Sources told Express News that few MQM-P leaders raised objections regarding forming an alliance with PSP, adding that those leaders were likely to be absent from the joint presser.
It may be mentioned that MQM-P deputy convener Amir Khan was also not present in the country at the moment.
After suffering numerous desertions from its ranks, MQM-P tried to consolidate its strength and show the city that it was still a force to be reckoned with when it staged a massive rally in Liaquatabad on Sunday.