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‘Consensus, not alliance’ developed with PML-N

‘Consensus, not alliance’ developed with PML-N

Bureau Report

Karachi: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui has said the party had developed a “consensus” on issues facing the country in a recent meeting with the PML-N and not an electoral alliance.

His remarks come in an appearance on Dawn News show ‘Live with Adil Shahzeb’ on Thursday, after an “electoral alliance” announced by the PML-N and MQM-P on Tuesday appeared to have been downgraded to “seat adjustments”.

On Tuesday, a three-member MQM-P delegation comprising Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Farooq Sattar, and Mustafa Kamal called on the Sharif brothers — Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif — in Model Town Lahore.

After the meeting, the PML-N declared that both parties had decided to form an electoral alliance in light of an understanding reached in April last year when the MQM had joined the Shehbaz-led coalition government.

Late in the night, however, senior MQM-P leader and former federal minister Aminul Haque clarified that it was not an electoral alliance as both parties would contest the election on their respective election symbol.

“We will definitely have seat adjustments, where required, and form a post-election alliance with the PML-N,” he had told Dawn.

In the interview last night, Siddiqui was asked about the MQM’s motivations for entering into a supposed electoral alliance with the PML-N.

“First of all, the joint statement issued did not mention an electoral alliance,” the MQM leader said. He said that Nawaz had returned to the country after a long time, adding that MQM had a past with the PML-N which had seen ups and downs.

He conceded that the two sides did talk about general elections — which are scheduled for February 8.

“Instead of an electoral alliance what you can say is that a consensus was developed that we not only support each other in the efforts for a free and fair election but also for Pakistan’s economy […].”

Siddiqui also said that there was no stage of talking about ministries or the future premier, adding: “And perhaps this time, the MQM does not keep such matters in agreements.”

He said that the party wanted the Constitution to be strengthened so that it could not only protect itself, but also the people.

Siddiqui said that the MQM met with the PML-N, terming it a “very good” meeting. He reiterated that the two talked about a joint strategy for the myriad of crises facing the country.

He said that neither the MQM-P nor the PML-N had stated that the two parties would contest the elections together.

“Nor has there been any talk of how much share will we have in the government or who the chief minister will be. These matters are for the future. Besides, MQM does not form electoral alliances. Yes, seat adjustment has happened and can happen but that has also not been decided this time.”

Siddiqui said that PML-N representatives would meet with the MQM in a day or two where there would be further talks.

Responding to a question, Siddique said, “Seat adjustment has happened before. There are chances of it […] this has happened with all political parties.”

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