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MQM to join PTI in forming govt

02 August, 2018

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KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Wednesday said that it has decided to join the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government in the Centre.

“Pakistan People’s Party does not need anyone in Sindh. We will sit alongside PTI on government benches,” MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui told a private TV channel. “We respect everyone’s mandate and want everyone to respect ours,” he said. “We are not aspirant to any office or ministry position,” he added.

While responding to a question, Siddiqui said that the MQM-P will not be attending the all-parties conference on Thursday. To another question, he said demands of the MQM-P will not change.

Separately, Dr Farooq Sattar said that his party has pledged support to PTI as it was a great opportunity for the party to serve Karachi and solve the problems faced by the city and its people. He said that it is heartening to note that the federal government has shown interest in resolving the problems faced by Karachi, adding that MQM will support PTI in this regard.

The MQM-P had reportedly put forward certain conditions for joining the PTI-led government in the Centre. An official privy to the engagements between PTI and MQM told reporters that the meetings between the leaders of two parties had remained ‘positive’ and ‘encouraging’. He said the MQM-P had indicated its willingness to enter into coalition with the PTI in Centre if demands put forward by it were met.

The MQM-P had reportedly asked the PTI to amend municipal laws, take the party into confidence while selecting the provincial governor and let party reopen offices that were closed in the previous regime. The MQM-P wanted more powers as well as funds for Karachi and Hyderabad local governments. The MQM-P had also called for an end to targeted operations against its workers and demanded release of those captured by the law enforcement agencies. The party had also asked for vote recount in 12 constituencies of Karachi. It further demanded that a university be set up in Hyderabad and quota system in the province be abolished.

According to sources in PTI, several party leaders, including Faisal Vawda, were opposing the decision of entering into a coalition with the MQM-P and decided to record their protest with the party’s supreme leadership. Another party leader believed that coalition with the MQM-P would ultimately damage the PTI.

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