MQM-P, GDA agree to give PPP ‘tough time’ in next elections

Published September 6, 2023
GDA’s Sardar Rahim, along with Mustafa Kamal, Dr Safdar Abbasi, Dr Farooq Sattar and MPAs Rana Ansar and Khawaja Izharul Hasan, speaks at the press conference on July 25.—Shakil Adil / White Star
GDA’s Sardar Rahim, along with Mustafa Kamal, Dr Safdar Abbasi, Dr Farooq Sattar and MPAs Rana Ansar and Khawaja Izharul Hasan, speaks at the press conference on July 25.—Shakil Adil / White Star

KARACHI: While persistently toeing their anti-PPP narrative, the MQM-P and GDA on Tuesday agreed to continue their recently-developed political understanding to give a tough time to their common rival in the next elections.

In a fresh meeting, the leaders of the two sides blamed the PPP for introducing a parallel system of governance based on corruption, nepotism and political discrimination in Sindh.

The fresh resolve from the two sides came during their meeting at the MQM-P’s headquarters in Bahadurabad which was visited by GDA leaders.

The MQM-P leaders were also confident that their partnernship with the GDA could also lead to formation of a coalition government in Sindh after the next general elections as growing resentment against the PPP may lead to a major change in the province only if free and fair elections are held.

Ruling party in Sindh accused of introducing a parallel system of governance, based on corruption and nepotism

“That’s why we ask the caretaker government to be cautions and honest in its job and just ensure free and fair elections,” said MQM-P leader Mustafa Kamal while talking to reporters after the meeting.

“The PPP has only excelled in corruption and nepotism, but now the people of Sindh and across Pakistan can no longer be made fool. We would fight at all democratic forums and would resist with all due rights provided by the Constitution. We hope to form the next Sindh government with the support of the GDA,” Mr Kamal said.

The fresh understanding between the MQM-P and the GDA started developing only weeks before the dissolution of the Sindh Assembly, which completed its five-year term in August 2023.

Though the two sides were part of opposition benches in the Sindh Assembly, they came close when the GDA supported the MQM-P’s bid to appoint its lawmaker Rana Ansar in July 2023 as the first woman Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly after the Speaker declared PTI’s Haleem Adil Sheikh to be removed from that position after the May 9 violence.

Then the two sides were instrumental in suggesting with consensus names from the opposition for the current caretaker setup. The GDA and MQM-P have so far held over half a dozen meetings over the last two months mainly discussing the future prospects of their political partnership.

Though the two sides haven’t suggested anything like electoral alliance for the upcoming elections so far, the growing warmth in their relations hint at their post-polls partnership.

Dr Safdar Abbassi of the GDA welcomed the “positive gestures” from the MQM-P and said that the recent understanding between the two sides would hopefully lead to a long-term political partnership.

“We successfully completed the process of consensual opposition leader,” he said while referring to the appointment of MQM-P lawmaker Rana Ansar as the Leader of Opposition in the recently dissolved Sindh Assembly.

“Then we held consultations and made multiple decisions with consensus when the names for the caretaker setup were discussed. So these are positive signs which show political, maturity, harmony and understanding and respect for each other. This would continue,” Dr Abbassi said.

He also asked the MQM-P for a joint political strategy for the recent deteriorating law and order in Sindh’s rural areas where protests were going on for the past several days over the abduction of some members of the minority Hindu community by bandits in riverine areas.

He blamed the past government of the PPP for the recent crisis, which protected the bandits and all criminal activities in rural Sindh.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2023

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