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altaf hussain, mqm
MQM chief Altaf Hussain. —File photo

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain called Awami National Party President Asfandyar Wali on Tuesday and stressed the need for launching a joint struggle to counter terrorism.

According to a statement released from London, Mr Hussain told the ANP chief that while Punjab was the only province where a peaceful poll campaign was going on, fear and panic was being spread in the remaining three provinces.

He said the parties being targeted by terrorists in Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan would have to chalk out a plan to stop terrorist attacks.

“Whether only Punjab is Pakistan because it is the only province where electioneering is being carried out freely while the worst kind of terrorism is continuing in the other three provinces,” he wondered.

Advocating the need for launching a joint struggle against terrorism, Mr Hussain told the ANP chief “although we have lived our lives, we will have to think about our younger and future generation”.

Mr Hussain also offered condolences to the ANP leadership over the killing of ANP leaders and workers in Tuesday’s suicide attack on a rally in Peshawar.

According to the MQM statement, the ANP chief said that a conspiracy was being hatched to keep all liberal forces out of assemblies.

“Leftist forces are now being eliminated and a plan is being made to bring in right-wing extremists in the assemblies,” the statement quoted the ANP chief as saying.

The ANP leader warned that the country would suffer if strong notice of the situation was not taken. In another statement, Mr Hussian also condemned a bomb attack on a convoy of PML-N Balochistan President Sanaullah Zehri which left Mr Zehri’s son, brother and nephew dead.

“Effective measures should have been taken for improving the law and order situation and general elections should have been held afterwards. No purpose would be served if lives continue to be lost in the name of elections. It will not be beneficial for democracy either,” Mr Hussain said.

He said that everyone knew that terrorists were issuing threats and saying they did not believe in elections and they would see to it that elections were not held.

He said that except in Punjab, it was becoming increasingly difficult to continue election campaign in other provinces. The election commission, he said, would have to think if they wanted to hold elections only in Punjab or in the entire country.

Mr Hussain said that authorities should desist from creating divisions in the remaining country.

“If a positive and meaningful solution was not found of the serious condition prevailing in the country, Pakistan would be limited to Punjab and other provinces would be forced to follow their own path according to their thinking.”