LG polls: Taliban factor divides political parties in Sindh




The death of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) former chief Hakeemullah Mehsud and policies framed by political leaders after his death have divided the political parties ahead of local bodies election.

Like general elections, the parties are divided into two groups and anti-Taliban political parties have decided not to undergo an alliance with pro-Taliban political parties.

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Awami National Party (ANP) have announced electoral alliance and on the other hand, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) are working to form a coalition in the coming elections in the province.

The PPP and ANP have made an alliance with Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in the general elections, but both political parties have ruled out any possibility of alliance with the MQM in the coming local government elections due to ideological differences.

“The PPP and JI were on same page on various issues, but the PPP has decided to part ways with the JI after the statement of JI chief on death of TTP chief,” PPP Sindh General Secretary Taj Haider said.

“We have decided not to make an alliance with the JI in Sindh,” Haider added.

“We have also decided not to form a coalition with the PTI due to its policies and strategies regarding the Taliban,” he added.

“As far as the MQM is concerned, they did not approach us for electoral alliance and no one from the PPP contacted MQM for an alliance in the LG polls in the province,” he clarified.

“We have ideological and strategic differences with the MQM and we formed an alliance in the general elections due to the Taliban, who forced us to unite by carrying out attacks. But there is no such situation this time,” he maintained.

“In local government elections in Sindh, we have alliance with the ANP and JUI-F, as the ideology and policies of both political parties are much similar to the ideology and policies of the PPP,” he said.

“I think political parties should not close doors of negotiations by taking statement of JI chief,” JI Sindh Ameer Dr Mairajul Huda Siddiqui said.

“We have our doors open for negotiations with every small or big party in the province and if anyone contacts us for alliance in local bodies election, the JI would welcome it,” he added.

“The talks between JI and PTI for alliance in local government elections have now reached a final stage and both parties have decided to work together for restoration of peace in the metropolis,” he said.

“We are devising a strategy to save residents of the city from terrorists and provide them a terror-free environment,” he said, adding that if the talks were successful, “we will announce electoral alliance in the coming local bodies elections”.

An ANP leader said, “We have seat adjustment with the PPP in Pashtun and Sindhi speaking areas.”

“If the PPP forms an alliance with any other party in Sindh, then it would not harm the ANP,” he added.

“During the last five years, the ANP supported and welcomed every positive step of the PPP and stood with them in the hour of need. This alliance would continue in the future,” he said, adding that the “PPP and MQM had good relations at the top level, but the PPP would prefer us before going into a coalition with any other political party.”