- Sindh governor Tessori visits PSP office late at night.
- He calls upon all MQM factions to unite for Karachi.
- Says MQM should again win trust of Karachi people.
KARACHI: Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori has called upon all the factions of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to unite on a single platform to resolve the issues of Karachi, reported The News.
In a late-night development, the governor visited the Pakistan House — the secretariat of the Pak Sarzameen Party.
He held meetings with the party leaders, including Mustafa Kamal and proposed the merger of the MQM splinter groups into a single platform under the leadership of MQM-Pakistan Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.
He asked the MQM factions to put aside their grievances. “Sindh is ours. Pakistan is ours. We have to come forward and support each other,” said Tessori.
“We need to make a resolve that we will do things that were not done by the state.”
The governor added that the people of Karachi are braving long hours of loadshedding, traffic menace, dilapidated infrastructure and a host of issues.
“If there are no electricity, gas and other utilities, what are we doing then?” he asked, adding Karachi has played the role of a mother whenever people in other parts of the country faced catastrophe.
Earlier, PSP Chairman Mustafa Kamal welcomed the Sindh governor for visiting the Pakistan House. He said that he was out of the city and that was why the meeting was delayed. He reiterated that his party was ready to work with anyone for the betterment of city.
“The city is a cradle of peace now, there is our part in it and we want to take it farther,” remarked Kamal. The PSP chairman asserted that the country was passing through a critical phase and more tough time was about to come. Karachi is the economic vanguard of the country and Karachi will help steer the country out of economic woes, he vowed.
Tessori said he was proud to be a Mohajir and a true Pakistani. He thanked Mustafa Kamal for welcoming his efforts. He said his position as governor didn’t allow him to make political comments but he could make moral comments.
The governor said everyone needed to work together for Karachi, and Mustafa Kamal and he were on the same page regarding the development of Karachi. He said he wanted the city to make progress. Karachi is a friend of everybody but nobody is a friend of Karachi. He said Karachi has been made a city of criminals, and citizens do not feel safe when they leave for work.
He said that he was made Governor of Sindh on Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui’s recommendation. Anis Kaimkhani and Mustafa Kamal feel the same way about Karachi as Dr Siddiqui.
“We have to do the job that the state could not do. If the state cannot give us anything, it can at least give us respect because we deserve respect.” He said people have driven us out of their hearts and we have to deliver to enter their hearts again.
Kamal said his party considers Tessori the governor of MQM. He denied meeting the MQM leadership in public or in private. He said it was his party’s second meeting with the governor. He said the country was facing a crisis, and a more difficult time was about to come. Karachi’s problems can be solved even if a little attention is paid to them.
Meanwhile, Tessori on Thursday said that all factions of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), including the Pak Sarzameen Party, have agreed on Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui’s leadership, adding that there is no role of the establishment in the unification of MQM.
Talking to anchorperson Shahzeb Khanzada in Geo News show Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath, Tessori said: “Being the governor of Sindh, I can only request my friends. I cannot force anyone. And I request them because Karachi is a friendly city for everyone but there is no one who is friendly to Karachi.”
Tessori said that if we waste time correcting each other, there would be further loss of Karachi only. He believed now it was mandatory for all the stakeholders to join hands and come together to work for the development of the city.
“We all say that Karachi is a city of lights but the fact is that now it is becoming a city of criminals. I made this request to Mustafa Kamal when he visited the Governor’s House. My aim is to develop this city and to facilitate its residents.”
“Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui is the leader, he leads the MQM and he will be leading the party in the future,” said Tessori, adding that he can’t play a political role but he will request the leaders of PSP, MQM and Farooq Satter to join hands.
“I made a request to all of my friends that rather than criticising each other become workers of this city and serve the people. Upon my request, Mustafa Kamal and Farooq Sattar agreed. They also agreed upon the leadership of Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. Neither Farooq Sattar nor Mustafa Kamal raised objections to Siddiqui’s leadership. They spoke respectfully. They respect Siddiqui,” the governor said.
Tessori said that they had made mistakes in the past and the city suffered huge losses. Now it’s time to work together with respect, unity and love, he added.
“I have no idea how quickly they will move to make a [unification] decision, but if it were to happen, it would have to be sustainable and based on the will of Karachi’s residents,” he asserted.
“They should embrace each other with all their hearts. As I said I can’t force anyone but I can only ask my friends. I appeal to them to keep their egos aside and work for the betterment of the city and its people,” he said.
The governor said that he couldn’t comment on Altaf Hussain because he was no longer a deputy convener of his party or a political leader.
“Being the representative of the federation, I can only say that if anyone talked against the federation and the province, I would stand against them. This is not something to be done on someone’s wish. If that were the case, it would have been done by now. Today’s situation is before us,” he noted.
He said that he cannot guarantee what has happened in the past. He said that he sees no intervention of institutions in political matters. “I took the initiative and there is no intervention of the establishment or institutions [in the unification of MQM factions].”
Tessori said that he will not become a part of any process where the country and institutions were discussed in a negative way. “I believe we have wasted a lot of things. It’s been around 75 years of freedom but we are still waiting all night for gas and electricity.”
Tessori said that the era of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had ended. Even Imran Khan has not bagged more than 10% votes in recent by-elections. Karachi is unhappy and its people are not willing to vote because no one works in Karachi. If someone initiates development projects in Karachi, the people would also vote for him.
He said that he doesn’t know about the entire country but the PTI was rejected in Sindh. The PTI didn’t start any development project in Karachi in its three-and-a-half-year government. The PTI didn’t prove itself so competent for the mandate that was given to it. Imran Khan visited Karachi only three times during his tenure. His people would wait for him but now they are depressed. And they themselves say that they failed to work for Karachi, the Sindh governor added.
Earlier on Wednesday night, a top-level delegation of MQM led by its Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui held a meeting with Kamran Tessori here at the Governor House.
The delegation comprised members of MQM’s Coordination Committee. The media reports said that the meeting was convened so that the Sindh governor could brief the MQM’s top leadership about his hectic efforts to ensure the merger of different political parties and politicians who were earlier part of the MQM. A statement issued by the MQM after the meeting, however, didn’t mention any such briefing.
A press statement issued by the MQM said that the meeting praised the steadfastness and commitment shown by the workers and office-bearers of the party while serving their party. The meeting also paid tribute to the sacrifices rendered by the imprisoned activists and slain workers of the MQM.
The meeting also expressed concern about the longstanding issue of delay in the recovery of missing workers of the MQM.
The participants of the meeting appreciated the services of the Sindh governor for improvement in the civic facilities for the residents of urban areas of the province. They reaffirmed the commitment of the MQM to establish an empowered local government in the province and devolution of powers to the elected representatives of the common people.
The participants of the meeting said that the MQM was the true representative of the residents of urban areas of Sindh and it would continue with its mission of securing their due fundamental rights.
The meeting reiterated the resolve of the MQM to continue making efforts for resolving the issues of Urdu-speaking families belonging to lower-income groups in the urban areas.
The participants said that the doors of MQM were open to every such person who gave the solemn assurance to abide by the Constitution, rules, and discipline of the party.
The meeting expressed serious concern that much delay had occurred in implementing the accords the MQM had signed with the Pakistan Peoples Party before joining the present coalition government in the Centre.
Imran Khan surpasses political rivals in popularity survey: Miftah
- Miftah, Abbasi, Khokhar testing waters for launch of a political party.
- Khokar is more keen to launch the party than the other two.
- There is space for launching a new political party, they believe.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Miftah Ismail has said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan had surpassed all political leaders in popularity in a recent opinion poll, The News reported on Wednesday.
Miftah along with Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and Mustafa Khokhar, who had earlier come up with the idea of seminars on “Reimagining Pakistan”, is also presently testing waters for the launch of a political party.
Miftah told The News no decision has been taken as yet, but presently they are seriously thinking on the issue.
He disclosed that they had also done a public opinion survey in July this year, which showed Imran way ahead of all in popularity.
What Abbasi said about his political future in Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and about the need for a new political party is part of the trio’s strategy to test the waters before reaching a final decision.
Abbasi, Miftah, and Mustafa are presently discussing the launch of a political party with different people besides encouraging discussion on the issue in the media and social media to assess whether it is a doable option.
Among the three, Khokar is more keen to launch the party than the other two who are not fully clear as yet whether they should do it or not.
All three, according to Miftah, agree there is space for launching a new political party in the present political situation. The question, he said, remains whether they have the capacity to attract people to join a new political party.
Through a leading entity, conducting public opinion polls, Miftah said they have also got a survey done to assess the popularity of different political parties and leaders. Their reading of the survey report made them reach the conclusion of a need for a new political party.
The three believe a significant number of voters, who are presently inclined towards Imran Khan and PTI for their rejection of PML-N, can be attracted by a new political party because neither the staunch supporters of Imran Khan nor of Nawaz would vote for any other political party.
In view of the post-May 9 difficult situations faced by Imran Khan and his party, the PTI, it is believed the new political party may attract significant voters (not the staunch supporters) of the PTI, who would never vote for PMLN or other political party in Punjab.
Among the three, Khokhar, left the PPP after the party’s leadership objected to his certain statements criticising powerful quarters. Miftah got the cold shoulder from the PML-N top leadership for publicly defending his economic solutions, which are different from that of Ishaq Dar’s.
Miftah also criticised Dar’s policies as finance minister and argued that he too was criticised as finance minister by Dar. However, his criticism of Dar’s policies has made him an alien to Sharifs.
Abbasi has started distancing himself from the PML-N top leadership for the last several months. The PML-N top leadership was keen not to let Abbasi drift from them, but the latter sounded dissatisfied with the politics of all the three leading political parties including PML-N.
Abbasi also did not show his keenness in the PML-N ticket for the next elections, while he had already declined to continue as senior vice-president of the party after Maryam Nawaz was announced as senior vice-president and chief organiser of PML-N.
On the direction of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam had visited Abbasi at the latter’s residence in Islamabad to convince him not to leave the office of senior vice-president of PMLN. Shahid had politely declined. Now, he appears to be quitting the PML-N anytime.
What will happen when Nawaz Sharif lands in Pakistan?
- Nawaz Sharif to attend rally on Oct 21, appear before court the next day.
- “Consultations being held on seeking protective bail from another court.”
- Dastagir adds that Nawaz can get nation out of difficulties even today.
LAHORE: The legal minds of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are holding consultations on challenges party’s supremo Nawaz Sharif faces upon his return to the country, it emerged on Tuesday.
Speaking to Geo News, former federal minister Khurram Dastagir said that Nawaz will go to attend a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan after landing at the Lahore airport on October 21 and will appear before a court the next day.
However, he added, the party is holding discussions on legal matters for the intervening period between his arrival and appearance before the respective court and consultations are being held on seeking protective bail from another court [to avoid arrest].
The former prime minister has been in London since November 2019 after he left the country for medical treatment. He was serving a jail term in corruption cases when the Lahore High Court (LHC) allowed him to seek treatment from abroad.
On Monday, Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti created a stir when he said that the PML-N supremo would be arrested upon return but backtracked his remarks following a strong response from the party.
The PML-N is preparing for a grand reception for Nawaz and plans to hold a massive rally of 1 million people in their stronghold — Lahore.
Dastagir, while responding to a question, said that the former premier had gone abroad on the permission granted to him by two courts and would enter with their approval.
“An appeal is pending before a court and Nawaz Sharif will pursue it upon return,” he said.
The former minister added that people should understand that those responsible for the corruption are those who have been doing political engineering since 2014.
“The situation was bad in 2013 but Nawaz Sharif brought the country out of the worst situation and even today, he can get the nation out of these difficulties.”
To a question, Dastagir said the 15-party coalition is responsible for the successes and failures of the 16-month government.
“PML-N’s 16-month performance is a story of pulling the country out of crises,” he added.
When asked about the reports of the formation of a new political party, he responded, “Shahid Khaqan Abbasi should have told that there is peace in Karachi today and credit goes to the PML-N.”
Referring to the spike in militancy in the country, the PML-N leader said the terrorism that is increasing today is because of Imran Khan and Arif Alvi who offered amnesty to the Taliban in 2021.
About a rumoured “secret” meeting of Shehbaz Sharif earlier this month, he said, “I do not know about the meeting in Gujranwala, I cannot deny or confirm it.”
Senate committee recommends ECP hold polls within 90 days
- Committee recommends ECP announce polls schedule at earliest.
- ECP official says preliminary delimitations will be published on Sep 27.
- About 60 days are required for filing and disposal of representations, ECP.
ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs has asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to conduct elections within 90 days by reducing the time for filing representations for delimitation from 30 to seven days, The News reported.
In a meeting presided over by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Taj Haider, the committee also drew the electoral body’s attention towards its constitutional obligation of holding polls in the context of the National Assembly’s dissolution.
The Senate panel recommended that the commission announce the schedule of the election at the earliest to ensure clarity on the uncertainty around conducting elections.
Briefing the committee on the polls-related matters, ECP Secretary Omar Hamid Khan said the preliminary delimitations will be published on September 27.
However, he explained a period of approximately 60 days will be required for filing and disposal of representations.
He told the committee that some 91,809 polling stations were to be established out of which 49,919 had been designated as sensitive or highly sensitive.
He pointed out that out of the 49,919 polling stations, 17,411 had been categorised as highly sensitive and another 32,508 as sensitive while 41,809 (around 45%) were designated as normal.
He contended that the general election will encompass 266 National Assembly constituencies and 593 provincial assemblies’ constituencies. Moreover, he noted around 1 million polling staff will be required for the upcoming general election.
The committee inquired about the methods for the consolidation of results. The secretary of ECP said electronic devices having ECP-developed software will be used to send snapshots of Form-45 to returning officers and software was also equipped to keep track of time and place of snapshots in order to ensure the legitimacy of elections.
Regarding the use of funds for development schemes, Senator Haider emphasised that funds should be allocated to the approved schemes. The secretary ECP explained that there was no ban on development schemes approved prior to August 15.
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