HYDERABAD, March 28: Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party (STP) chairman Dr Qadir Magsi announced on Thursday that he would not participate in upcoming general elections and surrender his right to contest PS-47 Qasimabad.

“People are saying when heads of major nationalist parties, Qaumi Awami Tehreek president Ayaz Latif Palijo and Dr Qadir Magsi, are arguing with each other over an assembly seat, how can they give a new hope to people. Besides, landlords are laughing at us,” he said.

He said at a press conference at the STP House here that nobody should misunderstand that STP leadership had bowed out because of fear of defeat or because it wanted to appease someone.

“If Palijo Saheb wants to contest PS-47 he can do it,” he said.

He said in answer to a question that he would definitely support Mr Palijo in elections. “I have made a sacrifice because I am not interested in wearing a sherwani after coming to power…I just want people to support our joint candidates who will be fielded across Sindh,” he said.

He said that nationalist parties had promised Sindhis that they would field joint candidates and they had done serious work over the years to be able to fulfil the promise.

Dr Magsi said that nationalists had decided they would present themselves as an alternative to landlords who mostly contested elections in the province and it was very unfortunate that now some elements were using the row over assembly seat to malign nationalist parties.

He said that the STP had always respected popular sentiments and gave priority to earning people’s trust over petty politics. The party’s central committee had deliberated on the row over PS-47 before reaching the decision that people expected the nationalists to behave more responsibly, he said.

Therefore, the STP decided not to impede nationalists’ march towards national politics and fulfil its commitment to fielding joint candidates against landlords and corrupt politicians, he said.

Dr Magsi said that the STP had filed 57 nomination papers for provincial assembly and 12 for national assembly seats in Sindh. STP vice-chairman Dr Rajab Memon would contest NA-221 (Qasimabad) and senior vice-chairman Haider Shahani would fight for PS-50 (Tandojam), he said.

He said that the Sindh Nationalist Progressive Alliance and the 10-party combined opposition would take final decisions about seat-to-seat adjustments after submission of nomination papers and completion of the process of scrutiny.

He appealed to the caretaker prime minister to remove the caretaker Sindh Chief Minister, retired Justice Zahid Kurban Alavi, and said STP leadership had serious reservations over him. As head of the inquiry commission on damage to river dykes caused by the super flood, Mr Alavi had given a clean chit to the PPP government, he said.

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