KARACHI: Hours after the press conference of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan chief Farooq Sattar and Pak Sarzameen Party leader Mustafa Kamal, announcing to regroup under “one name, one symbol and one manifesto”, it appears that massive confusion remains in the rank and files of both the Karachi-based parties on the shared mutual grounds.
The new-entrant in PSP, Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra maintained that the objective of the alliance is to get united for Karachi. “It has been decided in the press conference that both the parties will concede their respective party name to work under one platform with a new identity”.
Interestingly, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Rehan Hashmi repudiated Vohra’s view.
“MQM-P will continue to work under its name. We will work with our electoral symbol. We are going for an electoral alliance. Its basically an electoral alliance for peace, law and order of Karachi,” he said.
Hashmi said that MQM-Pakistan is a brand name of Muhajir community, not its founder.
Taking a subtle jibe at its ‘alliance partner’, Hashmi said: “PSP doesn’t represent any constituency or community. It’s a bi-product of MQM-founder,” he immediately added, “this is what some people say.”
Responding to a question, Vohra said that the respective leadership of MQM-P and PSP should stick with the decision to avoid creating any confusion for the party workers and supporters.
Both the party representatives said that the decision on who will lead the ‘merger’ or ‘alliance’ will be taken after a series of meeting between both the respective party leaderships.
Announcing their decision at a joint press conference, Sattar and Kamal said they had decided to do away with their differences to ensure that the vote bank from Sindh and Karachi is not divided.
“We will contest the upcoming elections under one name and symbol,” Sattar said, sitting alongside Kamal at the Karachi Press Club.
“We have decided to form a political alliance for the betterment of all,” Sattar said, adding that the political alliance is the need of Karachi, Sindh, and Pakistan.
The MQM-P chief said the new name and electoral symbol, under which the newly-formed alliance will contest the general elections, will be mutually decided in meetings to be held between the leadership of the two parties in the coming days.
Sattar added that it is the duty of the party’s leadership to take its workers onboard with the decision as they want to return “Karachi’s government to the city”.
He dismissed politics of confrontation, stating that the two parties “don’t want politics of confrontation to be encouraged in this city [Karachi]” and requested workers of both parties to play their part in working towards their common goal.
“We should ensure that Karachi never faces the kind of political violence it witnessed in the past.”
“We seek a good working relationship and a political alliance with each other, and this is what we wanted to talk to you all about,” added Sattar.
“PSP and MQM had been deliberating these points in the recent past. We need good statesmanship at this juncture. To this end, we need a positive and combined effort,” said the MQM-P leader.
Regarding missing workers, the leader of MQM-P said the process of recovering them should move forward and appealed that the party’s offices, which are legally its property, be reopened.
About the recently conducted census, Sattar said it is the wish of the party to ensure that Karachi’s citizens are counted properly and represented.
He also thanked the workers and supporters of the party for making MQM-P’s November 5 rally a success.
Mustafa Kamal, speaking after the MQM-P chief, endorsed Sattar’s announcement to continue the joint struggle under one name and symbol.
“Whatever our identity will be, it certainly won’t be MQM because that name will always belong to the party’s founder,” the PSP chairman said, referring to the leader of MQM-London.
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