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Senate Elections: Will MQM-P join PDM?

PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has invited MQM-P to join the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). Will MQM-P join it?

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PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has invited MQM-P to join the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). He was addressing a joint press conference with PDM and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman Sunday.

Bilawal made his offer three days before the Senate polls. “Let us raise the voice for the rights of Karachi together,” he said. The PPP leader said MQM-P should fight against the government by becoming a part of PDM.

In addition, Bilawal said the PDM had challenged the PTI regime “on every front” and wished to send a message through the upcoming Senate election 2021 that “even the government’s lawmakers are not with the government”.

“We will be successful in our mission,” he stressed. “We have prepared for both the open ballot and secret ballot method” in the Senate elections, he added, observing that the democratic lawmakers would support the PDM.

Bilawal vowed to go to the PTI government’s home base and challenge it there. “We will also give a tough time to the government in KP,” he added.

“The formula that has been worked out for Pakhtunkhwa will unite and challenge the government. On the one hand, there’s [PPP candidate and former premier] Yusuf Raza Gillani and, on the other, is PTIMF candidate”, he explained, referring to Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

“The PML-N seats won from Punjab will benefit us in electing the Senate chairperson and these votes will be very important,” he added.

“The MQM-P was elected from Karachi but the federal government left Karachi orphaned. We have talked to the MQM-P, members of the PTI government, and other allies of the regime.

“We hope that the Supreme Court will rule in accordance with the Constitution and the law,” Bilawal added.

PDM is “fully united” for the upcoming Senate elections 2021, said the JUI-F chief. He said leadership meetings would be held immediately after the Senate elections and a new strategy would be worked out and clarified.

“The PDM is the only voice of the people across the country and getting rid of such rulers [incumbent government] will be a service to the people of Pakistan,” the PDM and JUI-F chief said.

Clarifying that the PDM was just the name of the movement and not an electoral alliance, he said the Opposition parties were trying not to cut each other’s votes in the election from a moral perspective.

“They thought that the PDM parties would damage each other’s votes themselves but the PDM is united in all four provinces as well as the centre and is contesting the Senate elections.

Read more: Maryam Nawaz unhappy over dismaying performance in Lahore?

“God willing, successful results will come out of the Senate elections,” he added, noting that there was “an atmosphere of hopelessness in the ranks of the PTI government.”

MQM-P is with PTI

MQM has convened an important meeting of the Raabta (Coordination) Committee this evening to consider PPP’s proposal for the Senate polls.

The party’s leadership has directed all its Members of the Provincial Assembly to reach Karachi. The MPAs will be housed at different places in Karachi for three days and will reach the Assembly together to cast their votes on polling day.

MQM leaders have thus far expressed the view that a vote for Yousuf Raza Gilani would be tantamount to a vote of no confidence against PM Imran Khan and so they are of the opinion that “unity cannot be sacrificed for two Senate seats”.

Talking to the media after lunch, PTI leader Maulvi Mahmood said that he had invited the parties for lunch in honour of the candidates standing for Senate election. He said despite an invitation, the MQM delegation could not come due to a busy schedule.

Read more: PDM narrative ‘flops’ due to anti-Pakistan agenda: Ch Fawad

On the other hand, the MQM spokesperson said that the party’s members could not attend the PTI luncheon due to a prior organisational engagement.

The spokesperson said that all the parties are engaged in preparations for the upcoming polls with their own respective approaches and that MQM is in constant touch with the PTI and GDA leadership regarding the Senate elections.

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