The heads of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Sunni Tehreek (ST) met on Monday to discuss the possibility of an alliance ahead of the upcoming general elections.
According to PML-N officials, the party is preparing to counter Minhajul Quran International (MQI) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri if he decides to participate in the polls.
They added that the PML-N’s right vote bank could be divided in the polls if Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) decides to participate.
Furthermore, sources said that the ST and PAT both have a vote bank in the rural areas of the country as both are from the Barelvi school of thought. Both parties have deep roots in different sects such as Sufi, Qadri, Sabri, Chishtia Awaisia, Qalandira, and Nakshbandia, among others.
According to an official handout by the PML-N, party chief Nawaz Sharif said, during his meeting with ST head Sarwat Ejaz Qadri, that his party was ready to cooperate with them for the eradication of anarchy in Karachi.
He added that the PML-N had a roadmap on how to restore peace in Karachi and wanted to bring all likeminded political parties under one umbrella.
The ST chief endorsed Nawaz’s point of view, saying they would work together to materialise the PML-N’s roadmap for Karachi.
Meanwhile, ST Central Leader Shahid Ghauri told The Express Tribune said that the ST Ulema had urged the party to make an alliance with the PML-N for the upcoming general election. He added that once the alliance is finalised, the ST would file its candidates on all seats of Karachi and Hyderabad.
An ST delegation also expressed their condolence with Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif over the death of their younger brother Abbas.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2013.