MQM-P defers sit-in over ‘navy’s peace drill’

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Saturday announced postponement of its sit-in till the conclusion of the multinational peace exercises of the Pakistan Navy.

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MQM-P Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said the party took the decision in the larger interest of the nation.

He said the move was initially called over ‘indifference’ of the Sindh government towards the party’s demands.

However, the MQM-P leader clarified they were not withdrawing from the demands, and reserved the right to protest after the peace exercises.

Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori said the MQM’s concerns about delimitation of constituencies remained in place. The PPP, he claimed, has admitted that delimitation in 53 constituencies was incorrect.

Earlier, Governor Tessori reached the Bahadurabad office of MQM-P, where he held talks with party Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and other leaders and urged them to withdraw the sit-in announced for Feb 12.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said the local bodies elections held in such circumstances would be illegal and unconstitutional.

“We decided to take the extreme step (of protest) after looking at the non-seriousness of the Sindh government,” he said.

He told the media that the MQM-P will consult its coordination committee about postponement of the sit-in. He added it was not possible to back off from the demands.

Siddiqui also clarified that a new date for the sit-in will be decided after the conclusion of the navy’s peace drill. It could be held after the by-elections also, he added.

He said the party gave up its rights and put the interest of the country first. In the past, many parties had neglected the interest of the country and continued their political agendas.

The Sindh governor said the reasons for the MQM-P’s sit-in are the same for which they have been struggling for a long time. The party was requested to postpone the sit-in on behalf of the federal government and the navy, as delegates from across the world will be coming in.

He said the MQM’s demand regarding delimitations was still in place. “The PPP friends admitted that delimitations in 53 constituencies were wrongly conducted.”

Mr Tessori further said the Sindh chief minister said he wrote a letter to the election commission because of the MQM. But the commission did not pay any heed, and the people of Karachi raised questioned over it.

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