After years of political animosity, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Altaf Hussain’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) appear to be coming closer as the two leaders held their first telephonic conversation and exchanged good will with each other.
In a rare move, Imran Khan called Altaf Hussain on Saturday and appreciated the ‘bold’ stance taken by the latter on national issues, separate but identical statements issued by media offices of both the parties said.
The two leaders agreed to bury their past differences and vowed to work together for the betterment of the country, the statements added.
PTI and MQM have been considered staunch rivals in the past, at times holding public rallies and resorting to personal attacks against each other’s leadership.
Recently, however, the two parties have come closer, mainly due to back-channel efforts by some common friends and political leaders in Pakistan, observers say.
The second-tier leadership of the two parties prepared the ground that culminated in direct interaction between their leaders.
During their conversation, both sides discussed common agenda points and vowed to work together to achieve their goals.
Altaf Hussain has recently started taking a tough stance in public, on issues like unabated US predator attacks inside Pakistani territory, release of CIA contractor Raymond Davis and Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
The same issues take centre-stage in Imran Khan, and several right-wing parties’, political agendas.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2011.