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PML-N Nawaz Sharif and chairman SUP Jalal Mahmood Shah sign a joint declaration on electoral alliance between both parties in Karachi on Thursday. – Photo by Online

KARACHI: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Sindh United Party (SUP) on Thursday ratified a joint declaration for forming an electoral alliance to contest upcoming general elections, and vowed to support each other's candidates through seat adjustment.

The declaration was signed by PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and SUP president Syed Jalal Mahmood Shah in a ceremony held at a local hotel.

The 7-point declaration stipulates that maximum autonomy will be granted to provinces in the ambit of the Constitution of Pakistan, and further legislation in the interest of federation shall be explored.

Speaking on the occasion, Nawaz Sharif said a welcome agreement had been reached between both parties, which would be beneficial for the entire country. “I wish all like-minded political parties unite at a single platform for the cause of country,” he added.

He said some people indulged in mud-slinging to get cheap popularity, which had no actual worth. Baseless character assassination of people on the behest of corrupt elements should be ended, he said. “Uneven development and social disparities should immediately be ended to pull the country out of crisis,” he said, adding Pakistan would have been far ahead in terms of developmental progress had military dictators not intervened into the national politics.

The PML-N chief reiterated that he was against the division of Sindh and said he had a commitment to the country to serve it.

“I have no hesitation in signing the declaration with the SUP because it is my own agenda to bring peace in Sindh by eradicating crimes including unrestrained targeted killings and extortion,” he added.

Sharif said one should not give hasty statements to bring an end to loadshedding and stamping out corruption within a month. “It is tantamount to mislead people and escape from your actual responsibility,” he added.

He expressed dismay on alleged violation of merit in Sindh in various government departments, adding Punjab was far better as it strictly followed merit.

President SUP Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah said the forces, who raised voice against illegitimate and undemocratic rule, were kept behind bars and labeled as traitors. He said a vested interest group had been running the country since its creation.

Shah said the declaration between both parties was, however, not a complete program for provincial autonomy but a milestone to open room for subsequent negotiations.

The declaration lays down that Indus Water Accord 1991 will be implemented in letter and spirit. It says the territorial and geographical boundaries of Sindh shall be protected. The NFC Award will be improved in such a way that the provinces get maximum space to generate resources and become masters of their financial destiny.

Besides, strong and effective measures will be taken to combat all forms of religious, sectarian and ethnic violence and terror in Sindh and a firm position shall be taken against perpetrators, it added.

Pakistan shall follow independent foreign policy with the stability and interest of citizens being the basis of such policy. Lastly, effective measures will be taken against the menace of corruption and bad governance, added the declaration.