KARACHI: In a move that could badly hit the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), the Pak Sarza­meen Party (PSP) has announced that it will field its candidates from Sindh in the forthcoming Senate election.

Although the PSP is not a parliamentary group and has not yet contested any elections, it enjoys support of eight members of the provincial assembly, who quit their parties and joined the caravan of former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal after his March 3, 2016, return to the country.

Seven MPAs of the MQM-P — Muhammad Dilawar, Bilquees Mukhtar, Shaikh Abdullah, Irtiza Farooqi, Nadeem Razi, Mehmood Abdul Razzaq and Shiraz Waheed — and one MPA of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Hafeezuddin, have joined the PSP and still part of the 168-strong house.

The Senate elections are going to be held on 12 seats in Sindh — seven general, two each reserved for technocrats and women and one seat for minorities.

A PSP statement issued here on Friday said that a meeting of the central executive committee, chaired by president Anis Kaimkhani, finalised names of party candidates to be fielded in all categories for the March 3 Senate elections.

“The candidates of the PSP will obtain nomination forms on Saturday from the office of the election commission,” it added.

As four senators belonging to the MQM-P are going to retire this year, chances of the MQM-P retaining its position in the upper house of parliament appeared dim following the PSP decision.

Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2018