KARACHI, Dec 30: Maintaining that it did not want postponement of the general election, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) announced on Sunday night that it would participate in the long march to be organised by Dr Tahirul Qadri’s Tehrik Minhajul Quran on Jan 14 in support of reforms of electoral politics.

In response to an invitation extended by Dr Qadri to MQM chief Altaf Hussain seeking participation of his party’s workers in the Jan 14 long march, a meeting of the MQM coordination committee held simultaneously in Karachi and London decided that ‘hundreds of thousands’ of party workers would take part in the long march.

An announcement in this regard was made by senior MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar at a press briefing outside the party’s Nine Zero headquarters. He said that Mr Hussain had endorsed the coordination committee’s decision.

Without shedding light on how the objectives of the Tahirul Qadri-led march would be achieved, the MQM leader said his party was participating in it for elimination of corruption and use of money in politics, abolition of feudal system and establishing a just and equitable system in the country.

Asked whether the MQM’s decision could affect its relationship with its senior coalition partner, the Pakistan People’s Party, Dr Sattar said that although his party had remained in the coalition government for about five years, it was the MQM’s democratic and political right to take decisions in accordance with its ideology.

Backing the electoral reform agenda given by Dr Qadri in his Dec 23 public meeting in Lahore, he made it clear that like Dr Qadri’s party the MQM did not want to delay the forthcoming general election and it would not try to derail the democratic process in the country.

The MQM, he said, wanted to bring reforms in the country’s electoral system so that no one could secure his position in parliament on the basis of his money.

He said it was essential to install an independent and impartial interim government to hold fair elections in the country, but it was not the duty of PPP, MQM and the Awami National Party, as every political force should play its role in this regard.

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