MQM factions reunite ahead of local govt elections in Karachi, Hyderabad.

Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal and MQM Organisation Restoration Committee founder Dr Farooq Sattar announced on Thursday that their parties would be joining the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).

The MQM factions reunited ahead of local government elections in Karachi, Hyderabad and Thatta divisions, scheduled for January 15, as their once splintered leaders threw down the gauntlet against contenders PTI and PPP.

The MQM-P had challenged the election commission's decision for the prospective use of two separate electoral rolls simultaneously but its plea was rejected.

The announcement also came a day after the MQM-P staged a power show in Karachi to protest against the polls and threatened to leave the ruling coalition if its demands were not met.

The MQM-P leaders warned Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to take a clear stand if he had any respect for the rights of the people of urban Sindh or let the party 'decide about its future' as a member of ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition.

Addressing today's press conference in Karachi, Kamal said that Karachi was not liberated from Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) only for PPP Chairman Asif Ali Zardari to take over and 'think of it as his'.

'Zardari thinks Bilawal will be the prime minister. He wants to make Bilawal the premier,' he claimed, adding that this would not be possible if the people of Karachi were against him.

He announced that the PSP would be 'migrating to the MQM-P', adding that they would work under Khalid Maqbool, who is the MQM-P convener.

'Yes, we had our differences. We openly expressed differences,' he conceded but said that the people of Karachi would have to 'leave their comfort zones'.

'Karachi feeds the entire country. The PTI didn't do anything. The PPP hasn't done anything,' he said, adding that Karachi and Sindh would soon witness the results of today's announcement.

'Today is a very big day,' he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Farooq Sattar said that the people of Pakistan saw hope in the MQM. 'We have kept aside all our differences. This is a message for the entire country. We are presenting a united MQM.'

He said that if MQM was given a chance, the $10bn raised by Pakistan at a climate conference in Geneva, could be generated in Karachi.

'We don't want to dig up the past,' he said, adding that political maturity was the need of the hour. 'People should know what the ground reality is. We are making a reformed MQM, a rebranded MQM and...

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