Sanity has finally prevailed in Karachi after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) vying for power in the by election for NA-246 agreed on a code of conduct. Just a few days ago the National Assembly constituency of NA-246 Azizabad was presenting a scene of a warzone when workers of both parties collided at Jinnah Ground. The PTI delegation led by their candidate from the constituency Imran Ismail was visiting Jinnah ground, the venue of a PTI rally on April 19 when he was attacked by a group of people which PTI claimed were from MQM. The attack resulted in damage to the cars and few workers of PTI were injured as well. On the other hand MQM alleged that the posters of its party chief Altaf Hussain were torn up and the ‘martyrs memorial’ was desecrated by PTI workers which resulted in the clash. Both parties also lodged FIR’s against each other that further aggravated an already hostile situation.
The situation was looking dangerous until Governor Sindh Ishratul Ibad intervened and brought representatives of both parties to the dialogue table. The meeting was fruitful and both the parties agreed to bring the temperature down. In a statement Governor Sindh said that both parties have agreed to refrain from provocation and the use of derogatory language against each other. The decision to follow a code of conduct is one of its kinds in Karachi and is commendable; the mature step taken by the leaders of both parties will ensure a peaceful election. The civility shown by both parties will also have a positive effect on the overall situation of Karachi, which has been tense since the raid by Rangers on MQM’s headquarter nine-zero which resulted in the arrest of many of its workers. We welcome the development and hope that both parties will stick to the code of conduct resulting in a peaceful by-election in NA-246 Azizabad.