LAHORE – Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Jamaat-e-Islami have stressed upon the need of developing consensus among political forces on issues of national importance to confront internal and external challenges.

MQM delegation led by Federal Minister Dr Farooq Sattar called on JI Ameer Syed Munawar Hasan at Mansoora on Tuesday. JI Naib Ameer Dr Muhammad Kamal, Secretary General Liaquat Baloch and other leaders were also present.

As their rivalry on Karachi’s political horizon still fresh in several minds, the top leaders of MQM and JI met to discuss the idea of holding round table conference focusing on timely general elections and consensus interim setup. It also discussed with the JI men the unusual movement of US naval ships near Karachi.

The JI leadership asked MQM to join Jamaat for a greater alliance to save Karachi from becoming the land of great game of world powers. The MQM leadership said that they would deliberate over JI offer.

Addressing a joint press conference after one-hour long meeting, Sattar said the MQM was contacting other political parties to discuss issues of national importance. MQM had already met President Asif Zardari and meetings with the PML-Q and ANP leaders were also scheduled.

Dr Farooq Sattar said both sides had discussed the Karachi situation, movement of US ships in coastal areas, loadshedding, economic situation and next general elections.

He said in the present situation, no single political party could solve the prevailing problems and take the country out of chaos. He said that in the next elections a split mandate was expected and the political parties inside the parliament and those outside would have to jointly plan the solution for the nation’s problems and evolve a consensus on one point agenda of national security.

Syed Munawar Hasan reiterated his proposal for forging a grand alliance of the political parties to exert pressure on the government for holding timely elections. He said a grand alliance was essential to pressurise the government for setting up an interim government and holding timely elections in a free, fair and impartial manner on the basis of transparent electoral rolls and under an independent Election Commission. He said the JI had already invited Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan and PML-N leader Shahbaz Sharif to join the grand alliance. He said national harmony was need of the hour and political forces should continue meeting one another as it would help removing misunderstandings.

He welcomed the MQM delegation at Mansoora and said it was for the first time that the parties in the ruling alliance felt themselves helpless despite being in power. He said implementation of the Supreme Court orders was the responsibility of the government as well as the masses. He said there was no need for all Parties Conference in connection with the letter to be written to the Swiss authorities for reopening of cases against President Zardari.

He said the situation in Balochistan was worsening day by day while Karachi was in the grip of target killers.