KARACHI - Three opposition parties – PML-N, PML-F and NPP – on Tuesday announced to contest next general elections jointly against the ruling PPP in the Sindh province, while the JI also agreed with the PML-N to cooperate in Karachi during the upcoming elections.

The new alliance comes only a day after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) forged an electoral alliance with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), which is expected to make a considerable difference in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Now Pagara’s Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) and the National Peoples Party (NPP) joining the PML-N is likely to give a tough time to the PPP in rural areas of Sindh.

And in urban Sindh, the alliance of PML-N and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) will affect the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which has the strongest presence there.

After a three-hour meeting with PML-F chief Pir Pagara and NPP chief Ghulam Murtaza at Kingri House in Karachi, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif announced that they have decided to jointly contest on each seat against the ruling PPP in the next elections.

He said that Sindhi nationalist and other opposition parties, which are part of ‘opposition alliance’, would also be brought in the fold of their electoral alliance in the province “so the people of the Sindh could get rid of the incompetent and corrupt ruling alliance”.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Opposition Leader in National Assembly Ch Nisar Ali Khan, PML-N Sindh chapter chief Syed Ghaus Ali Shah and Mumtaz Ali Bhutto represented the PML-N at the talks. Pir Sadaruddin Shah alias Younas Saen and Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh helped Pir Pagara, while NPP chief Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi represented his party in the meeting.

Terming his visit as reciprocal, Nawaz said that he has arrived here on the invitation of the PML-F chief because there has been cordial relationship between the two for the last 20 years. He said theirs’ is a relation beyond any greed and political motives. Nawaz recalled that the late elder Pir Pagara Sahib had phoned him and asked him to continue cooperation.

Reading the six points on which the three opposition parties developed consensus, the PML-N chief said that the ruling coalition has once again planned to ‘steal’ the next elections so the opposition parties have decided to join hands to get free the people of the Sindh from their chains. The PML-N chief said that they will also contact nationalists and other opposition parties to field their joint candidates in Sindh.

Nawaz said that after remaining in the government for four years and eleven months, the walking out of MQM from the ruling alliance was a conspiracy to form caretaker setup of their (PPP and MQM)’s choice with a plot to steal and hijack the next elections. The opposition parties will approach the Supreme Court and the Election Commission to unveil the ‘unholy’ plot of the ruling alliance, he announced.

He reiterated the demand of the opposition parties to immediately remove the ‘political’ governors and the officers posted in the administrations with a plan to rig the elections so that a level playing field could be provided to all the candidates in the elections. He said the opposition parties will contact the SC and the ECP to unveil pre-poll rigging. Nawaz said that no one can dare postpone the elections and declared that elections will be held on time.

When asked about possibility of an alliance with the MQM for forming a coalition government after elections, Nawaz Sharif ducked the question by saying that “first let the opposition alliance win in the next elections”. When asked whether opposition alliance will succeed in defeating PPP-led coalition, the PML-N chief said a big heart is needed to defeat Zardari.

To a question about becoming guarantor of talks between the Taliban and the government, the PML-N chief said though he did not respond to the Taliban offer. However, he supported the talks for bringing peace in country. “Whether it is the issue of Fata, Waziristan, Karachi or any other area, if we sit on the table for dialogue, a solution comes out,” he said.

Nawaz praised the efforts of the Fazlur Rehman for peace in Fata.

Separately, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif visited the residence of the Jamaat-e-Islami leader, late Professor Ghafoor Ahmed, and condoled with his family members. On this occasion, after talks between the leaders, the PML-N and Jamaat-e-Islami agreed to cooperate with each other during elections in Karachi.