KARACHI: Ahead of today's election for speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly, the MQM-P has made their support for the PTI's candidates contingent with the choice cabinet porfolios they have sought.
Like before the MQM-P has once again achieved the arm twisting position due to its critical numbers. The PTI desperately needs the seven NA seats of the MQM to secure majority and win election for the prime minister. Knowing the desperation, the MQM-P raised the demand for their favourite porfolio of Ports and Shipping, just a day before the crucial election of the speaker and deputy speaker. But, the PTI indicated its inability to give this portfolio to their Bahadurabad-based partners.
Sticking to guns, the MQM-P even reportedly threatened to withdraw its support for the PTI-nominated NA speaker, deputy speaker and even Imran Khan as the prime minister if it does not get the choice portfolio. The PTI leaders after contacting the Banigala-based leadership tailored their offer to lure the seven-MNA group into the federal cabinet. Following late night negotiations, the MQM-P asked for three ministries instead including education, health and information technology. The MQM-P also pressed for water tight guarantees for implementation of its "Nine-point agreement" as a critical element of support to the PTI. While the negotiations continue till the filing of the story, it remains to be seen what transpires at the D-Day today (Wednesday).