‘No talks on seat adjustments’, PML-N clarifies on alliance with MQM-P during Karachi trip

  • PML-N reached out to JUI-F, PML-F for forming electoral alliance.
  • Party to jointly contest elections with JUI-F and MQM-P: ex-minister.
  • Sindh becomes epicentre of pol activities as elections draw near.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Sunday turned down rumours of “seat adjustments” with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) following the agreement reached between the two parties for an electoral alliance in Sindh.

The remarks were made by PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafique who along with former National Assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq and other leaders visited the MQM-P’s Bahadurabad office in Karachi.

Last week, the two parties had announced jointly contest the upcoming general elections scheduled to be held on February 8 next year.

The development came after an MQM-P delegation comprising Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Farooq Sattar and Syed Mustafa Kamal met with the PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif in Lahore at the party’s Model Town secretariat.

With the elections looming near, Sindh has become the epicentre of political realignments with former allies the PML-N, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam- Fazl (JUI-F) forging new alliances to strengthen their position in the upcoming polls.

Flanked by MQM-P leaders today, Rafique clarified that no talks have been held between the two parties over the issue of seat adjustments, adding, “Two teams of the PML-N and the MQM-P are working [regarding their electoral alliance and future strategies].”

The PML-N leader revealed that the party is trying to establish a political alliance in Sindh and has also reached out to the JUI-F and the Pir Sahab Pagara — of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) — in this regard.

Shedding light on the party’s manifesto, Rafique said that the PML-N would focus on the country’s judicial system and the issue is likely to be the top priority in their election manifesto.

He also addressed Karachi’s local government issue saying that reforms are the need of the hour. “Unfortunately, [the country] hadn’t adopted the local government system [in its true essence].”

The local government system should be efficient and helpful for the people, he added.

Meanwhile, MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that political parties should accept and acknowledge each other’s mandate.

Siddiqui, while calling for constitutional protection for local bodies, stressed that a caretaker setup should be put in place once local bodies’ tenure expires.

Earlier in the day, the PML-N leader — during a press conference at the Karachi Press Club — said that the party is entirely focused on Sindh ahead of the polls.

“It was already decided with the JUI-F and the MQM-P that we will contest the election together,” he said.

Stressing that no single party or institution can improve the country, the former minister expressed hope that the atmosphere after February 8 would be encouraging towards talks adding that the PML-N’s agenda does not include maligning people.

“Politicians talk [to each other] as elections draw near, and so our’s [PML-N’s] do it too”.

Speaking on the occasion, Ayaz Sadiq announced that the party supremo Nawaz Sharif would visit Balochistan on November 14 (Tuesday) as the party goes into election mode.

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