KARACHI: Accepting repeated requests by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party — the two major coalition partners in the PDM-led federal government — Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan on Sunday decided not to take part in the upcoming by-elections on the National Assembly seats.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the coordination committee, held at the party’s temporary central office in Bahadurabad, with senior deputy convener Nasreen Jalil in chair.

Senior deputy convener Mustafa Kamal, deputy convener Abdul Waseem, Anees Qaim Khani and Khawaja Izharul Hasan and federal minister Aminul Haque also attended the meeting.

The MQM-P said that the meeting discussed at length whether or not to participate in the recent by-elections and carefully reviewed the current economic and political situation of the country.

The coordination committee members opined that the reasons for PDM’s participation or non-participation in the upcoming by-elections were completely different from the situation in Karachi.

They said that the non-participation of the PML-N and PPP in the elections was their own decision and stance, with which the MQM did not have to agree.

Says decision has nothing to do with non-participation by PDM

It was also expressed in the meeting that the seats in Karachi where by-elections would be held traditionally belonged to the MQM-P and the party could easily get them back.

However, the coordination committee members said that general elections were scheduled to be held in the whole country after a few months resulting into the establishment of a new government for the next five years.

Polls to cause economic burden

The coordination committee heard the views of all the members and later came to the conclusion that holding the by-elections before the general elections would not only be an economic burden for the country, but the hopes of party voters and promises with them would not be fulfilled if the elected representatives went to the house for a limited period of time.

Therefore, the party’s coordination committee decided not to participate in the current by-elections considering the economic situation of the country.

The party decided that it would focus its full attention and resources on the general elections to be held a few months from now and preparations for it would begin in earnest.

MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui confirmed the decision of the coordination committee.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2023

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