Dawn News

PML-N leaders not interested in meeting MQM team

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD, July 29: The PML-N says it has serious reservations over the MQM plan to convene a roundtable conference and is not even keen to have a meeting with MQM leaders on the issue.

Sources in the party told Dawn that Mian Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif were not interested in meeting MQM leaders who are currently meeting leaders of various political parties to invite them to the conference on national security issues.

The sources said a majority of senior PML-N members did not want the Sharif brothers to accept the MQM request for a meeting.

“We have serious reservations about the MQM’s move because so far it has failed to convince the nation and the political leadership about their claim that the country is facing serious external threats,” PML-N Information Secretary Senator Mushahidullah Khan said. He expressed his surprise over a claim made by MQM chief Altaf Hussain about threats being faced by the country and questioned government’s silence over the issue.

“While the MQM is warning us that there is a serious threat to national security, the government, the army, the Foreign Office, ISPR and security and intelligence agencies are keeping quiet,” he said.

Mr Khan said he personally believed that the motive behind the MQM’s move was to delay the general elections which were only a few months away. He asserted that the move was destined to fail.

About the possibility of a meeting between the leadership of the two parties, Mr Khan said he did not see any reason for such a meeting. He, however, said that so far the PML-N had not rejected the MQM’s request for a meeting.

When contacted, MQM’s deputy parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Syed Haider Abbas Rizvi said his party had taken the initiative of uniting the country’s political leadership because it believed that it was the right time to do so. Otherwise, “tomorrow no party will have the courage to take such an initiative”.

“This is the time for every party to rise to the occasion and think about national security and the clear danger,” Mr Rizvi said, adding that if the MQM failed in its efforts this time it would be to the detriment of the nation and the country. He said the MQM had been meeting the country’s political parties keeping political differences aside only for the sake of national security.

He rejected a perception that the MQM’s initiative was aimed at delaying the general elections. Rather, he said, if political parties once again wasted their time as they did in the past and did not sit together the “political tension” in the country would definitely rise before elections.

When asked to specify the threats the country faced, he said it was “Afghanistan beyond 2014”. When asked why the government and its agencies were keeping quiet about it, he said Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and the Foreign Office had already briefed the Parliamentary Committee on National Security which had representation of all parties, including the PML-N.

Mr Rizvi said the MQM had started contacting the political parties with a meeting in Karachi with President Asif Ali Zardari who directed the prime minister to help the MQM arrange the conference.

Besides meeting President Zardari, MQM leaders have met leaders of Jamaat-i-Islami, Awami National Party, PML-Q, Sunni Tehrik and JUI-F.

The MQM has received a positive response from the ANP and PML-Q.

Two religious parties in the opposition, the JI and the JUI-F, have welcomed the move. JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman told the MQM delegation on Saturday that a decision about participation in the proposed conference could only be taken by the party’s Majlis-i-Shoora.

Comments (54) Closed

Jul 31, 2012 10:20am
PML N decisions' proves that they are narrow minded people... They are not care or sinsare about the future and prosperity in Pakistan... They are got scared to lose the Punjab Govt. .. PML N is playing Double Game with poor punjab peoples....
Jul 31, 2012 10:23am
MQM is the biggest threat for the PML because the leader ship of PML is thinks that Politics is the family business of Nawaz's Family only.. They have only right to rule in Punjab... others are dumb, ineficient and brainless people in punjab...
Afzal N.
Jul 30, 2012 10:33am
Why should anyone take MQM seriously ? It is a party that is well known for political somersaults, supremo lives in London, 9 years MQM served a military dictator , now with feudal leadership of PPP. Why all of sudden, national security has emerged an issue ?
Jul 30, 2012 09:40am
I agree with PML (N) instance on this. God bless all.......
Javed Khan
Jul 30, 2012 09:40am
It is really not understandable that MQM being in Government is beating drums about an unknown threat. If it is an American threat, the foreign office should take the parliament into confidence where the opposition parties are also present. MQM has so far not raised any voice against the Drone attacks, stands firmly with Mr. Zardari on all issues, fail to bring peace to Karachi, its strong hold. Always talk against Jageerdarana, Sarmayadarana, Waderanaa Nizam but firmly sides with them and assure them of their vote in the parliament. I hope that the move is not towards extending the elections as the people of Pakistan are eagerly counting days to get rid of the status qu parties (PPP+MQM+ANP+JUF+PML-Q+PML-N) and see some REAL change.
Jul 30, 2012 03:40pm
Our biggest problem has been that since the 1970s we stopped planning for the future. The nation wants to see our politicians leave their differences, suspicions and egos aside and discuss the future of Pakistan. Is that too much to ask?
Jul 30, 2012 02:15pm
Well said. It seems that there is more politics in this move than a real concern for the security of Pakistan or its people. If MQM really cares about the security issue, it should work with ANP and PPP to get all thge guns out of Karachi.
shair khan
Jul 30, 2012 08:42am
It is very sad that leaders cannot get together to discuss gave issues facing the country. If you not talk you cannot converge. You can always agree to disagree on issues. But not having any conversation is not in the interst of the people. The current issue that we are facing will not get resolved soon. However, we need to start the conversation for the sake of the people.
T Ahmed
Jul 30, 2012 03:49pm
PML-N is the only political party that seems to be interested in protecting the right to free and fair elections of the Pakistani people. Thus, MQM and PMLQ stood against the freedom movement of 2007 and sided openly with the dictatorship of Musharraf. With Musharraf gone, MQM, PMLQ and ANP have stood by Zardari's side as the latter seeks to disenfranchise the Pakistani people and build up a Zardari dynasty. Imran Khan can only talk about "revolution" and from all indications will prove just another shallow-minded civilian dictator like Bhuttao. Unless Pakistani people are smart enough to see the facts for themselves and vote for the only responsible party left standing, the PMLN, the next decade will be as bad as the preceding one.
Jul 31, 2012 10:59am
Just like the one's in early nineties? :) it proved nothing but the bigotry of the Nawaz league.
Jul 30, 2012 05:53pm
new dramma
Jul 30, 2012 01:46pm
PML N can never get a foot hold and will never win in Sind with this attitude
Syed Kashif Nawaz
Jul 30, 2012 11:38am
It proves the short sightedness & inability of the PMLN leaders! They even can't see the clear threats & keep waiting until anything happens!
Jul 30, 2012 10:01am
All this is topi drama. Zardari wants general election to be postpond or delayed, so he can be president for another five years. Only Imran can safe pakistan.vote for Imran khan
Syed Shah
Jul 30, 2012 01:15pm
Imran can do nothing. He may or may not come to power. Even if he comes to power the green horn has nothing to offer. See his manifesto has nothing on the plate. It is empty. There are no structural reforms on offer. Without structural reforms it will be only a change of face. If you want to effect a change then go in for land reforms starting with land ceiling so that you take winds out of the sails of the landed gentry who go their vast lands in exchange for allegiance to the Brits and control of the populace through tyranny. Come independence this should have changed. It didn't. Now at least it should. Then we will see the common man in Parliament who will restore Muslim pride and Pakistan pride in the world and put Pakistan on a genuine path to prosperity.
Jul 31, 2012 12:17pm
Agreed with first two lines, not with the rest two.
Jul 30, 2012 10:53am
Nawaz Shareef done good job and committed on London decision that the MQM is terrorist organisation , no any one make him alliance.
Iqbal Ali
Jul 30, 2012 09:43am
After Salala and May 2 raid, i wonder what it will take for N League to believe that this country is in danger... I think for Sharif brothers, country means Raiwind
Jul 30, 2012 02:24pm
Well said with real recommendations.
Jul 30, 2012 02:22pm
They have the national parliament to discuss national security and external threat. Non-selected members of Political parties have no official authority to make and impose any resolutions. They can discuss all they want, if they have an interest in it. Do we see such wheeling and dealing in other countries that surpasses the national parliament?
Dr. Ali
Jul 30, 2012 11:12am
It is right decision not to sit with bunch of corrupt and selfish people. None of these parties including Jamaat-i-islami is serious about the country. Nawaz made a good decision.
Jul 30, 2012 09:17am
They should meet not only to discuss the security situation but to plan a peaceful election. All parties should at least agree on the Most important point, DO NOT ALLOW GUNS near the polling stations. In fact no one should be allowed to carry guns during the entire election campaign, otherwise we can predict trouble, lots of trouble!!
Iftikhar Husain
Jul 30, 2012 11:23am
I am not surprised that PLMN has declined the invitation it seems they have their own agenda which is secret. There is no hope of this meeting to bear any fruit.
Jul 30, 2012 05:51am
As long as Mr.Ahsan Iqbal, remains the advisor of Mian Sahib,the party will be further distanced from all others.
Jul 30, 2012 06:15am
Why not attend the meeting and find out if there is an external threat or not. Does PML-N think that everything on the security front is hunkydory? Bunch of petty-minded people who cannot think beyond themselves!
Iftikhar Ali Khan
Jul 30, 2012 06:10pm
These are delaying tacties. Stop this topi drama. Go for Election. PMNL is right .
Jul 30, 2012 06:35pm
LOL, So Hina Rabbani briefed Parliament and yet out of all political parties only MQM thinks there are threats to internal security? Yes, there are internal security threats Pakistan is facing but those are from it's elected Parliamentarians no one else. 40% Parliamentarians are citizen of another country but are privy to sensitive information possible Nuclear and this is the threat Pakistan should be facing. Don't these Parliamentarians know specifically the US, that in case of war with Pakistan which is coming they cannot hold sensitive information and will be asked to reveal or face possible retribution? Do you guys seriously think a Parliamentarian who will never ever visit a day in jail for Pakistanis will happily go to prison in US?
Jul 31, 2012 10:50am
this would have been a brilliant idea if it was initiated by PML-N.
Jul 30, 2012 08:15pm
what threats is MQM talking about ? there is something fishy for sure...
Jul 30, 2012 08:15pm
MQM should first bring peace to karachi...how many people are killed daily...i am losing count.
Jul 31, 2012 10:48am
first tell Sharif brothers to start paying taxes. Secondly, I dont see anything wrong in sitting down to chat on issues. If the threat is unreal then well and good and if its real then why not come to the table and discuss the issue? Nawaz is all talk and no action. Nawaz league is equally responsible for the current condition of Pakistan. They are on the opposition benches and havent done didly scott to make any changes.
Jul 30, 2012 08:32pm
If Mr. Nawaz Sharif promise to take military action against MQM, I promise to vote him.
Jul 30, 2012 08:42pm
If Mr. Nawaz Sharif promise to take military action against MQM, I hope this way can win the hearts of millions of Urdu speakers which are not with MQM.
Ghulam Dastagir Adv
Jul 30, 2012 10:20pm
it is very sad to say that some of the politicians and people from different areas of life have posed that MQM's move is only to delaying the general elections, though it is not correct at all, and the people must know that the MQM is the party who condemn the drone strikes in 2004 and initiates rallies even jointly with its rival Jamat e Islami. Moreover, could anyone in Pakistan assure us that nothing will happen in our eastern borders (especially in North Wazirstan area) from neighbouring Afghanistan??? and If it happened in near future what might response from the people who are against the political stability and unification of Pakistani nation against external threat?? time is never comes when once it passed, so it is time to unite, and best people amongst who are try to unifying the Pakistanis.
Gerry D'Cunha
Jul 31, 2012 10:30am
Even Imran Khan cannot clear the dirt of 65 years. The only solution for Pakistan to come to its normal position would be to lease the country for 25 years to any foreign country, expert in 'law&order' 'corruption' 'religious intolerance' and then return the country to its honest people to rule, of course the new generation of Pakistan.
Jul 31, 2012 12:19am
If the Palestinians and Israelis can meet, if the Protestants and Catholics in Ireland met to resolve their differences, if the Soviets and US kept meeting, if India and Pakistan often meet; why is it that one Pakistani political party is not even willing to meet and talk with another ?
Jul 31, 2012 12:56am
camron munter met nawaz and imran, they both assured " usa" for cooperating in future. imran has nothing to deliver. you can judge his statement what he want. the truth came out of his mouth " mian jee jaan doo , sadi wari aan doo" it is only he want his share in musical chair game. nawaz, imran and zardari are same. wake up pakistani nation try to find a leader like Ahmadinejad, simple down to earth, honest and brave person
Hamid Khan
Jul 31, 2012 03:32am
Will Altaf Hussain physically come to pakistan to participate in this conference or will stay in London. if he really cares for Pakistan he must come back to Pakistan rather than issue sermon from London
Adnan ahmad
Jul 31, 2012 11:27am
"Iss hamaam main sab nangay hain" no political party is angel and we all know that. When it comes to PMLN its problem is non compromising attitude on different issues, what ever the reason is almost all of us knows that. But to tell about MQM which has been called Bhatta hore,Qatil jamaat and don't know how many other names, to find out reasons again just look at the situation of Karachi deeply. Uptill now it is not clear the intentions of MQM to call this conference but it seems like the only reason is to show that MQM is not a local party( more than 90 percent seats in and around Karachi) but to represent that its vote bank is all over Pakistan. The elections are not far so to take advantage of this situation every party has its own moves in their chest. I hope and pray who ever wins the election will bring stability and piece in Pakistan and promote the true value of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Jul 31, 2012 11:22am
how come MQM is aware of the threat and not PML ??
Jul 31, 2012 04:55am
I totally agree with Javed Khan.... why MQM is beating drum? why are they worry about it? what have they got in 60 yrs from the Pakistanis.... nothing and nothing. They still don't accept them as a polital party, if I am not wrong they are the 3rd largest polital party. having strong roots in urben Sindh and now gaining support in different part of the country. Have you noticed the language being used against MQM??? But yes they got the gift of 'Karachi Operation" from 92 - 97 and lost 15000 lives. and have we forgotten the drama of "Jinnah Pur" ?? have we forgotten the calrification of Rt Br Imtiaz?? we may have because we don't keep use less facts in our mind! do we? The join the didtator during which they buiild the Karachi.... they spent billions but nobody can point any corruption.... May be they are educated and smart so the ordinary mind can't pick their corruption? I m in my early 30's and I can safely say the best time I have seen for Pakistan was when so called dictator was ruling though everybody including the media were enjoying the freedom of expression....
Jul 31, 2012 05:10am
there should be mutual understanding among all the parties...all the time they find out the ways to talk against each other..thats not good..
Gerry D'Cunha
Jul 31, 2012 11:19am
Who cares for the poor and destitute people of Pakistan. If you so much love 'Islam' leave your wealth to the poor and needy - how many will do that?
Jul 31, 2012 06:06am
Jul 31, 2012 11:09am
I agree. People forget how Shahbaz begged taliban to pardon Punjab from the bomb attacks coz they agree with Taliban thinking or something.
Jul 31, 2012 11:06am
Responsible party? U kidding me. They are equally responsible for the current state of Pakistan. I have not seen a single positive initiative from the nawaz league. Tell me one? PML-N is not a league....its a two member party which has brought the country to its knees before and will do it again - not that its not on its knees already.
Moosa Pervez
Jul 31, 2012 05:50pm
Very true. One example is that immediately after the nuclear tests Nawaz sharif government freezed all the foreign bank accounts of the expatriates Pakistanis. That was really a very hard time for the poor Pakistanis who were working abroad, sending their remittances for the betterment of their country and keeping accounts in the local Pakistani banks instead of Switzerland else. Thanks to President Ghulam Ishaq Khan who came to the rescue and he rejected the orders of his prime minister. What you name this guy ?. Should we give him another chance to play with our assets ? Momin soraakh se sirf ek hi baar dasa jaata hai.
Moosa Pervez
Jul 31, 2012 06:09pm
Until now Pakistan has been saved by only one power that is Almighty Allah. All the politicians have tried their best to vanish this God gifted land. Imran has not been tested until now but he will also be a big failure because the whole society is corrupt. We need complete overhauling and leaders like the guy who brought Malaysia on track.
Moosa Pervez
Jul 31, 2012 06:16pm
That was an opportunity for Pakistanis when Pakistan National Alliance took part in the elections. But what was their actual purpose not bringing Islamic rules but to get rid of Bhutto. Who is honest, the liberals, the mullahs or the retired generals ? No body. Every body look to their pockets which should be full by all means.
Moosa Pervez
Jul 31, 2012 06:21pm
We have reached to that edge that even a foreign country will not be ready for that. No body wants to get a bad name for him. Here a traitor is called a saviour and a saviour is called a traitor.
Jul 31, 2012 06:27pm
Benazir came back and you saw what happened to her!
Jul 31, 2012 10:24pm
Nawaz league will lead in Punjab again, why? because people feel that they are one of them. MQM and ANP too. These elections are going to make Pakistan weaker because results will be a linguistic segregation. AZ is coming back Only hoe is Imran, I'll fly thousands of miles to vote for him, vote for +ve elements. he is worth this last try. LAST it will be.
Zeeshan Shamsi
Aug 01, 2012 01:17am
Everyone likes to take sides with one party or the other, however, take a step back and you will notice that they are ALL responsible for the current demise of the country. Yes, it is Election season, and all LIARS are out talking about vooing the public. People outside Karachi love to hate the MQM for right or wrong reasons, and people outside Punjab have no respect for the Sharif brothers...just a history of a few years shows that everyone has skeletons in their respective closets...some are beneficiaries of Martial Laws and dictatorships, while others in recent government soared the Pakistani National debt to twice its size, without any real landmark development in the country...while we sit around in our "drawing rooms" and hate one party or the other. Get your facts right. They are ALL responsible for the current sad state of National affairs..
Aug 01, 2012 03:38am
By reading some of the comments here one would think why Pakistani are not really smart to see what is coming to their way? In America you can see a security report which says that Haqqani group's logistics resides in FATA and operated and controlled from this side. It doesn't take a geneious to realize that soon American will be thinking about awarding some sort of sanctions. After the sanctions the couple of hours of electricity that you get nowadays will become 24 hours of loadshedding. Get your priority straight and open your blind eyes for God sake.