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PML-N’s Sindh Focus: Shaping Electoral Alliances

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The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is intensifying its efforts to forge alliances ahead of the upcoming February 8 elections, with a pronounced focus on the province of Sindh. Khawaja Saad Rafique, a prominent PML-N figure, conveyed this shift in focus during a press conference held at the Karachi Press Club on Sunday. Rafique, accompanied by party leaders Ayaz Sadiq, Kheel Das Kohistani, Ali Akbar Gujjar, Nihal Hashmi, and Bashir Memon, expressed concern over the prevailing frustration in Sindh’s rural areas. The PML-N delegation is currently in Karachi to engage with various political groups, aiming to solidify a robust coalition in Sindh, traditionally dominated by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

As part of their outreach, PML-N leaders are scheduled to meet with representatives of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) at the party’s Bahadurabad headquarters, indicating a concerted effort to broaden their political network. Rafique highlighted the dire need for attention to Karachi’s state and infrastructure, asserting that the city has been neglected for decades. The agenda for the meeting with MQM-P includes discussions on the local government system’s efficacy and strategies to revitalize it, given Rafique’s lament that the city had been systematically “ruined” under a well-thought-out plan.

During the press conference, Rafique revealed that a pre-election understanding had been established with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and MQM-P, signaling a collaborative approach to the upcoming electoral challenges. He emphasized the PML-N’s commitment to rising above political differences under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif and fostering dialogue, contrasting this approach with what he criticized as the divisive tactics of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Rafique envisioned a post-February 8 atmosphere conducive to dialogue, stating that maligning opponents is not part of the PML-N’s agenda.

Ayaz Sadiq, another key PML-N leader present at the press conference, emphasized the party’s amicable relations with various political entities. He underscored the PML-N’s intention to engage in political coalitions with parties sharing common ground, portraying a collaborative and inclusive approach to the electoral landscape.

Looking ahead, Sadiq announced Nawaz Sharif’s planned visit to Balochistan on November 14 for election campaigning. He hinted at the party’s commitment to replicating its success in establishing peace in Karachi by extending efforts to ensure stability in Balochistan. Sadiq suggested that during Sharif’s visit, there could be notable additions to the PML-N as the party explores potential coalitions in the western province.

Addressing the cacophony of opposing statements from various political parties, particularly the PPP, Rafique dismissed the political rhetoric as typical election-time posturing. He emphasized the need for a broader collaboration beyond traditional party lines, calling for a “Charter of Economy” to unite all political factions in addressing the country’s challenges.

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