Islamabad, 7 November 2023: In a surprising turn of events, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have revealed their joint decision to participate in the forthcoming general elections as allies.
This announcement follows the recent announcement by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that the general elections are scheduled for February 8, 2024, sparking heightened political activity across the nation.
As the elections draw near, the competition between Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has escalated, marked by the PPP’s claims of undisclosed affiliations between the PML-N and the present caretaker government.
The PPP recently made public its willingness to form an electoral alliance with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in an attempt to counter its former ally, the PML-N.
Today, a delegation representing the MQM, consisting of Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Farooq Sattar, and Mustafa Kamal, held a pivotal meeting with PML-N leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif at the PML-N’s Central Secretariat located in Lahore.
Following the meeting, a joint statement was issued by the PML-N and MQM, affirming their mutual commitment to jointly develop a comprehensive strategy aimed at addressing the concerns of the Pakistani populace and steering the nation towards a trajectory of progress.
Furthermore, the two parties have formed a six-member committee, entrusted with the task of crafting an all-encompassing charter specifically designed to resolve the challenges faced in Sindh and its urban areas. This detailed charter will be presented to the leadership within a span of ten days.
Saad Rafique, a prominent PML-N leader and former federal minister who was present at the meeting, confirmed that discussions had taken place during their prior involvement in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).
He underscored the common aspiration of both parties to jointly participate in the upcoming elections, emphasizing that extensive consultations will be conducted regarding various political, economic, and legal policies.
Additionally, the PML-N and MQM expressed their commitment to keeping lines of communication open to engage with other political entities, offering an opportunity to deliberate on matters of national significance.
Farooq Sattar of the MQM emphasized the pressing need to address formidable challenges, including unemployment, inflation, and poverty.
He stressed that the scale of these challenges necessitates a comprehensive alliance, noting that no single political party in isolation has the capacity to navigate the nation through its current crises.
Farooq Sattar proposed the formulation of a “charter for national interest,” a project that will be collaboratively undertaken by the MQM and the PML-N. The resulting charter will also be shared with other political parties to encourage collective engagement.
The announcement of the alliance between the PML-N and MQM introduces a significant dimension to the evolving political landscape in anticipation of the general elections.