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Saturday May 25, 2024

Tessori’s audio leak suggests Muttahida not achieving much in talks with PML-N

In new audio leak, governor says that reason why some view MQM-P's mandate as fake is because of PML-N and PPP

By Azeem Samar & Zubair Ashraf
February 29, 2024
Sindh Governor Kamran Khan Tessori gestures during a meeting at Governor House Karachi on January 15, 2024. — X/@KamranTessoriPk
Sindh Governor Kamran Khan Tessori gestures during a meeting at Governor House Karachi on January 15, 2024. — X/@KamranTessoriPk 

A day after Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Mustafa Kamal’s audio leak created ripples in the post-election scenario, another audio leak surfaced on Wednesday in which Sindh Governor Kamran Khan Tessori can be heard expressing doubts over the willingness of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to include the MQM-P in the federal government.

Later, a spokesperson for the governor confirmed that the voice in the audio was Tessori’s. However, he said the audio had been edited and disseminated out of context and Kamal had explained this issue in detail.

In the new audio leak, the governor says that the reason why some view the MQM-P's mandate as fake is because of the PML-N and PPP.

"We were in the government with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) while you [the PML-N and PPP] were in opposition and facing potential imprisonment. It was us who came forward and provided you seven votes," the Sindh governor says in the audio most likely referring to the no-confidence motion against former prime minister Imran Khan.

Tessori adds that the MQM-P’s decision to leave Imran’s government angered the party’s voters leading them to not vote for the party in the 2024 elections.

The governor stresses that those seven seats in the last National Assembly were the MQM-Ps legitimate mandate.

Like Kamal’s audio leak, the governor in his audio leak appears to be briefing an MQM-P meeting about the talks being held with the PML-N for the formation of the federal government after the 2024 elections.

He explains that the MQM-P’s negotiating committee has urged the PML-N to consider the past one-and-a-half years of support the MQM-P offered them and the PPP, which allowed them to form the federal government after the success of the no-confidence motion against Imran.

Tessori then alleges in the audio leak that despite the MQM-P’s support to the PML-N and PPP, the two parties were not seemingly willing to fulfil the promises that were made in an agreement signed by Shehbaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, particularly those regarding amendments to the Article 140-A and delimitations.

The governor then expresses his disappointment with the PPP at the latter dismissing the MQM-P's 17 National Assembly seats as fake mandate. He calls it inappropriate behaviour on part of the PPP.

"We told them that if people are saying our mandate is entirely fake, then some are also claiming that other parties [PML-N] have a mandate that's 200 per cent fake as they received votes over a two-day period," Tessori can be heard saying.

He tells the MQM-P meeting that the party negotiating team had communicated its concerns directly to the PML-N.

Tessori then states that the PPP wanted its own governor for Sindh. He says that after securing the key positions of presidency, Senate chairman and two governors, the PPP wanted its governor in Sindh as well.

"Despite acquiring these key positions, the PPP is pressuring us to relinquish the Sindh governorship, even suggesting a name from their party," Tessori reveals.

Tessori recommends resisting dictation and supports Kamal's statement that joining the PML-N-led coalition government would be a risky move, as the government would face constant criticism that had already begun. He concludes by stating, "Joining these parties under these circumstances would be a sin without pleasure. We would gain nothing and likely end up with ministries like science and technology, while the governorship would also remain with them."

The governor can be heard saying that the recent incident with the PML-N leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and Hanif Abbasi had shown that the new regime even before its formation was gravely unpopular with the masses in the country.