KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan has agreed to attend a multi-party conference (MPC) to be organised by a civil society group to chalk out the future course of action for electoral framework.

A delegation of The Mediators — a civil society coalition for undisputed elections — led by its Karachi chapter coordinator lawyer Akhtar Hussain and comprising senior journalist Mazhar Abbass, Arts Council president Ahmed Shah, former president of the Sindh High Court Bar Association Salauddin Ahmed, Asad Butt and Qazi Khizr of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Mehnaz Rehman of Aurat Foundation, Karachi Press Club president Saeed Sarbazi, Dr Tousif Ahmed and Qazi Javed, visited the MQM-P’s temporary headquarters in Bahadurabad on Sunday.

They met MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and senior leaders Dr Farooq Sattar, Mustafa Kamal, Nasreen Jalil and Ameenul Haque.

The MQM-P welcomed the delegation and fully endorsed the declaratory “appeal of The Mediators to hold free, fair and an indisputable election”.

The MQM-P leaders assu­red the delegation of their cooperation and vowed to play role in making the civil society initiative a success. However, they asserted that for democracy to be strengthened, it is imperative that the local governments must be strengthened and full municipal powers be devolved to grassroots level by making an appropriate amendment to the Constitution.

The MQM-P accepted the invitation to attend the MPC to be convened by The Mediators, according to a statement.

KPC president Sarbazi told Dawn that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan had already agreed to attend the MPC proposed by The Mediators. He said civil society wanted the existing political crisis to be resolved by the political parties without intervention of the Supreme Court and off-stage players.

However, in a press release issued on Sunday, the MQM-P said the civil society representatives expressed their views that they have been struggling for democracy in the country for last over 50 years and they apprehended that ‘political differences’ have reached a point where forthcoming elections may become ‘doubtful’ and any political and constitutional crisis may be created.

Therefore, The Media­tors wanted all political parties to sit together and chalk out future course of action for electoral framework.

The MQM leaders appreciated the initiative of civil society for democracy and said they would put all points before the party’s coordination committee for discussion. The MQM-P vowed to continue their support and struggle for promoting democratic culture in the country.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2023

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