Apparently at daggers drawn with Jama’at-i-Ialami in Karachi, the MQM leader Farooq Sattar called on JI Ameer Syed Munawar Hassan at Mansoora in Lahore on Tuesday. Both the leaders expressed the need for a countrywide alliance of parties and convening of a Round Table Conference (RTC) aimed at steering the country out of the mess, with Karachi figuring at the top of the list of problems.

Considering the critical situation we are in, it is imperative that the different parties join hands in stemming the rot. They should respond to the call for the RTC and setting aside their differences address the issues of target killings in Karachi and Balochistan, militancy and insecurity, corruption and bad governance. The JI leadership discussed with the MQM the baleful presence of US aircraft carrier around the Arabian Sea.

The proposed grand alliance would also have to see to it that the caretaker setup is unanimously selected. We must not forget that the hope for democracy mainly hinges on free and fair elections and lasting peace in Karachi that at the moment resembles a veritable war zone. The troublemakers whoever they are and howsoever powerful, the mainstream political parties would do well to drive out such forces from their ranks, if, as it is alleged by certain quarters, they harbour them in their ranks.