In a show of unity, representatives of bitter rivals Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Awami National Party (ANP) held a meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Even more surprisingly, the ANP accepted an invitation to visit MQM headquarters, Nine Zero, in the heart of Karachi – a city where the parties’ rivalry has been at the centre of sustained violence.
The meeting came as a part of MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s call for forging unity among political forces to save Pakistan from “unseen threats.”
Speaking to the media after the meeting, MQM leader Farooq Sattar said that all political and religious parties of the country should work together for peace and to ensure national security and stability.
“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,” Sattar said.
Accepting Sattar’s invitation to visit Nine Zero, ANP leader Haji Adeel said that both parties could better work together to restore peace in Karachi to make the metropolis a place “like it was in the past, when it fed millions of families from across the country equally.”
Both MQM and ANP leaders decided during the meeting to tone down rhetoric against each other and make Karachi a better place to live for all ethnicities. The gathering between the two parties followed another meeting between rivals, MQM and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), in Lahore.
The MQM has also met with the PML-Q in this regard.
‘No political motive’
Talking to The Express Tribune later on Wednesday, MQM spokesperson Wasey Jalil said the meeting was in response to Altaf Hussain’s call to involve all parties in a national debate.
He added that an MQM delegation had already sought time from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership for a similar meeting which might take place within the next three or four days.
Jalil insisted that there was no ‘political motive’ behind these gatherings, and that the MQM merely wants to gather parties on a single platform to make a national policy for Pakistan.
Meanwhile, in Peshawar, ANP Provincial Information Secretary Arbab Tahir told The Express Tribune that they would decide an appropriate day to visit MQM headquarters in wake of the invitation. He added, that although MQM and ANP had had their differences, “No party can deny political contact between each other, it’s necessary for sustainable democracy.”
Tahir said that one agenda for the anticipated visit would be to expose elements involved in acts of terrorism in Karachi. He added the ANP was in favour of deweaponisation in Karachi, as it’s the only way of bringing sustainable peace to the city.
WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY OUR CORRESPONDENT IN PESHAWAR
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2012.
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National Unity? Hyenas gathering to distribute remains of corpse!!!
everything is possible in this country. Amir Liaquat can return on television iftar shows. PPP can be re-elected. So why can't MQM - ANP join hands..long live Pakistan....:-)
Where both the parties were sleeping when innocent people were killed in Karachi?
its good sign
@Nasir Mahmood: Check out the history, and you will find out how many well known people have visited this a very simple house at 120 yards.
Why not MQM offered to go to Mardan House? This is just an effort to buy time for next elections.
band-out fit trying to manipulated the future of the country.
Respect for MQM and ANP.
@ Saqib: being in the government for God knows over a decade, makes you a status quo party.
I beg you guys please don’t vote these parties back in power.
Let see, if Mr. Shahi Syed also accompany the ANP delegation expecting to visit 90. If ANP leader Khan Abdul Wali Khan can visit 90, then why can't Mr. Shahi Syed. Does he consider himself a greater leader than his own leader ?
MQM and ANP together? Seems like Tom & Jerry are UNITED :) What a DRAMA..
That is an excellent move which should result in the formation of a govt of national unity after the next election.
MQM is not a Status Quo , Party
Ha ha ha... in national interest we killed each other in Karachi for 5 years,
In national interest we meet again, before elections.
Imran Khan's prediction is true again. Status Quo parties are now getting united against PTI.