ISLAMABAD - The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) seems to be on a relationship building spree as only a day after it held a meeting with the leaders of its ideological and political rival Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in order to create an alliance for the coming elections, it has met with the leaders of one of its other political rivals and coalition partner, the Awami National Party (ANP), in which both have agreed to evolve a joint strategy to bring peace in Karachi, the economic hub of the country.
The meeting was held at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa House in Islamabad where the leaders of both parties held discussion over the political situation of the country. The two parties agreed to take action against all criminals without any discrimination, implementing the zero-tolerance policy. The ANP leaders accepted MQM’s invitation to visit the party’s headquarters, Nine-Zero, in Karachi. The MQM delegation was headed by Dr Farooq Sattar while Senator Haji Adeel led the ANP side. ANP Sindh chapter President Shahi Syed was also present during the talks.
Addressing a joint press conference after the meeting, Farooq Sattar and Haji Adeel said that they wanted peace in Karachi and would support action against all types of mafias. Dr Farooq Sattar stated that President Asif Ali Zardari had come up with the proposal to summon a round table conference and they were contacting all political parties in this regard. “The country is facing threats from inside and terrorism is devastating the country, we have to carve out a way to resolve these issues and try to restore the confidence of masses in democracy,” Dr Farooq Sattar said.
He said that the ANP and MQM would jointly foil any conspiracy against Karachi. He said, during the meeting, he apprised the ANP leader of the need to convene a round-table conference. “All religious and political parties, even the armed forces, should come together at a round-table conference to formulate a strategy for the country’s security and survival… No single party is in a position to handle the situation alone,” said Dr Sattar.
Both parties also discussed Karachi’s situation and said that both were trying to defeat those who were conspiring against the city, said Dr Sattar and added that the delegation also discussed extremism and the ongoing sectarianism in the city. He said that he also invited the ANP leaders to visit MQM headquarters Nine-Zero, adding that the absence of government’s writ was the cause of violence in Karachi. Speaking on the occasion, Haji Adeel lauded MQM’s proposal of a round table conference, adding that, so far, his party had not contacted the prime minister on the subject. Haji Adeel said that the ANP believed in non-violence. “We take MQM’s move as a good decision as we also believe in table talk,” he said.