Deadlock In Ruling Coalition Over Karachi Delimitation

Deadlock In Ruling Coalition Over Karachi Delimitation
Talks between the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) over Karachi local government polls and delimitation remained inconclusive as deadlock persisted. The talks were held at Bilawal House and were chaired by former president Asif Zardari. Also attending the meeting were interior minister Rana Sanaullah and prime minister's advisor Malik Ahmed Khan.

The Sindh government's legal team briefed the MQM-P delegation on the local body elections. The MQM-P conveyed its reservations to the PPP on conducting local government elections on 15 January 2023.

Sources say that the legal experts were of the view that delimitations were not possible immediately, and new constituency delimitations would require at least four months.

The Sindh governor said that there was "pressure" from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions on 15 January.

After the meeting, the MQM-P delegation and the federal ministers left Bilawal House without talking to the media. The MQM-P leaders reached the Governor House from Bilawal House, and they reportedly told Sindh governor Kamran Tessori that if a positive solution to the problem was not found, their party would be forced to "take a tough decision".

Sources also said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would soon contact PPP Co-chairman Zardari about the meeting the scenarios that have arisen thereafter. Sindh governor Kamran Tessori also contacted the PM and apprised him about the developing situation.

It is very likely that a meeting will again be held on Wednesday.

In terms of the inside story of the meeting, sources said that the MQM-P stuck to its position. “Harsh words were also spoken in the meeting at times, but Zardari cooled things down,” they added.