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N
NNI
January 14, 2020

PTI-MQM-P deadlock persists as Siddiqui adamant to quit

Top Story

N
NNI
January 14, 2020

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) ConvenerDr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, after a meeting with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) delegation led by Planning Minister Asad Umar, said on Monday he stood by his decision of “staying away from the federal cabinet”.

Opposition leader in Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi and MPA Khurram Sher Zaman were part of the government delegation, while the MQM-P team comprised Maqbool Siddiqui, Amir Khan, Kanwar Naved Jamil, Khawaja Izharul Hassan and Aminul Haque.

Speaking at a post-meeting press conference, Siddiqui downplayed Monday’s talks, saying it was a scheduled meeting. He, however, reiterated his party would continue cooperating with the PTI government. “I stand 100 per cent with my decision,” Siddiqui said while talking to the mediaalongside Umar, adding his party would continue to cooperate with the government.

During the meeting, the MQM-P convener complained against the government for not fulfilling its commitments, and making just “verbal claims”, saying: “The government should follow the promises rather than making verbal claims, especially a final date for releasing funds to the municipalities must be given”.

The PTI minister, while describing the MQM-P’s demands as just, said he could understand the decision taken by Siddiqui to part ways with the federal cabinet but added: “It is our wish that Maqbool Siddiqui stays as a member of the cabinet”.

Umar remarked that major projects would soon be initiated in Karachi, as Prime Minister Imran Khan will be visiting the metropolis in the first week of February to inaugurate several projects.

Regarding the performance of Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Umar said Ismail had been doing “a great job” and there was no plan of removing him from the slot.The minister termed water supply a major issue of Karachi, and added that the second major problem was transportation. “It is better that we work jointly for Karachi and Pakistan. The Centre has granted Rs10 to 11 billion for the K-4 water project. Soon a briefing will be given on projects costing Rs162 billion,” he said.

Both the leaders told the media that the meeting was pre-planned while rubbishing rumours that the Centre was holding negotiations with the MQM-P.Earlier in the day, the MQM-P boycotted the Karachi Bahali Committee’s meeting presided over by the planning minister at the Governor House, and subsequently Umar arrived at the MQM-P’s head office in Bahadurabad to persuade the disgruntled members of the allied party.

On Sunday, Siddiqui had announced quitting the federal cabinet as the Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication over certain reservations with the PTI government.

While holding a press conference in Karachi, the MQM-P leader, however, said the party would continue to coordinate with the government. “We had facilitated the formation of this PTI government, and we are not stepping back from our support to this government but under these circumstances, it is not possible for me to keep the ministership,” he said.