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PML-N and MQM Unite for Upcoming General Elections

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The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have announced their collaboration in the upcoming general elections, marking a significant development in Pakistan’s political landscape.

The decision comes in the wake of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and President Arif Alvi’s recent announcement of the election date, set for February 8, 2024. This revelation has spurred increased activity within the country’s major political parties as they gear up for the upcoming electoral battle.

A notable rivalry has emerged in the run-up to the polls, particularly between the PML-N, led by Nawaz Sharif, and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The PPP has raised concerns about a concealed alliance between the PML-N and the current caretaker government. Furthermore, the PPP has expressed its openness to forming an electoral alliance with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to counter their former ally, the PML-N.

It is worth noting that the PML-N, PPP, and MQM previously served as coalition partners in the prior government, collaborating to unseat Imran Khan’s PTI from power.

Today, a delegation from the MQM, consisting of Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Farooq Sattar, and Mustafa Kamal, met with PML-N’s leader, Nawaz Sharif, and his brother, Shehbaz, at the party’s Central Secretariat in Lahore.

In a joint statement released following the meeting, the two political parties announced their mutual commitment to devising a joint strategy aimed at alleviating the public’s hardships and setting the country on a path toward development.

Furthermore, they have decided to establish a six-member committee tasked with formulating a comprehensive charter to address the challenges faced by Sindh and its urban areas. The joint statement stated, “It will present the final proposals for cooperation between the two parties to the leadership within 10 days.”

Saad Rafique, a PML-N leader and former federal minister, confirmed that his party had previously engaged in discussions with the MQM during their time together in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government. He emphasized that a substantial understanding had already been reached, indicating a mutual desire to contest elections jointly.

Rafique revealed that both parties had agreed to engage in discussions on various political, economic, and legal policies. He expressed a commitment to keeping their doors open to other political parties and facilitating discussions on matters of national interest.

Farooq Sattar, a representative of the MQM, emphasized that the focus should not solely be on contesting elections but also on addressing the challenges that follow, such as unemployment, inflation, and poverty. He argued that, given the current crises, no single political party is in a position to single-handedly guide the nation out of its difficulties, underscoring the need for a broader alliance.

Sattar proposed the idea of a “charter for national interest,” which he said would be jointly developed by the MQM and the PML-N. He added that they intended to share this charter with other political parties, recognizing the importance of rebuilding public trust collectively.

In a separate statement, Mustafa Kamal emphasized the significance of Karachi in alleviating Pakistan’s current economic crisis. He stressed that for the nation to recover, Karachi must receive its fair share of attention and resources.

This unexpected collaboration between the PML-N and MQM has added a new dimension to the upcoming general elections, and it will be interesting to observe how this partnership influences the political landscape of Pakistan.

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