• Bilawal’s party sees alliance threat to 1973 Constitution
• Hafiz Naeem accuses MQM-P of selling mandate
KARACHI: While the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan have agreed on what they called bringing constitutional reforms if voted to power in the 2024 elections, the Pakistan Peoples Party sees their understanding as a threat to the 1973 Constitution.
The PML-N has been engaging Sindh-based political parties in what appears to be an attempt to create an alliance against the party of Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in the province. At a recent meeting, the PML-N agreed to an MQM-P demand to support a constitutional reform package that would include a legal cover for the local government and disbursement of funds to district through a provincial finance commission on the pattern of the National Finance Commission (NFC) award.
However, it appears the fresh understanding between the PML-N and MQM-P does not go well among other political stakeholder of the metropolis as the Jamaat-i-Islami also voiced concern over the alliance and termed in another ‘fraud’ with the people of urban areas of the province.
The PPP and JI are poles apart ideologically, but they appear to be on the same page as far as the new alliance is concerned. Both parties criticised the MQM-P and PML-N in their separate reactions.
The PPP mainly targeted the MQM-P for demanding changes to the Constitution and warned the PML-N to not expect loyalty from those who had betrayed their founder.
Senator Waqar Mehdi, the general secretary of the Sindh chapter of the PPP, said the terms agreed between the two parties might lead to “dangerous consequences”.
“The two parties have actually agreed to sacrifice the 1973 Constitution for the sake of their political alliance,” he said, adding: “This strategy can put the country’s solidarity at risk.”
He said that the PML-N was running out of patience after losing its popularity and that’s why it agreed to the extra-constitutional demands of the MQM-P.
“We will not allow anyone to play with the Constitution,” he declared.
He said that only the PPP had served the people of Karachi and they could not be fooled by the MQM-P anymore.
‘A tasteless drama’
The JI also came with a strong reaction against the fresh understanding between the two parties and accused the MQM-P of “selling out” the people’s mandate for the sake of a few ministries.
Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Idara Noor-i-Haq headquarters, JI-Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman called the verbal spats between the PPP, MQM-P and PML-N “nothing but a tasteless drama”.
“These parties exchange friendly fire before elections and join hands after the [poll] results. They were part of the PDM government and they will have to explain what they did for Karachi during their 16-month-long government,” he said.
“As far as the MQM-P is concerned, it has always sold out the mandate of Karachi to feudal lords. The party has done it again. So there’s no surprise and shock for the people of Karachi,” he said.
About frequent statements by the PML-N and JUI-Fazl against the PPP, the JI leader challenged the two parties to ask their local government representatives to vote against PPP’s Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab to show the people of Karachi their sincerity.
“We all know they will never do that. This is just a game being played before every election,” he said.
Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2023