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January 14, 2020

PM Imran Khan assures MQM-P of fulfilling its valid demands

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January 14, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan contacted the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui on Monday, and assured the disgruntled coalition partner that its valid demands will be fulfilled.

PM Imran Khan phoned the MQM-P leader and summoned him to Islamabad. During the conversation, Siddiqui put forth his reservations to the premier who assured the former that the party's issues will be addressed. The prime minister spoke on the issue during the media strategy committee session on Monday, where he said that the demands of the MQM-P related to release of funds, development works, and establishment of educational institutions will be met soon. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Jahangir Tareen also spoke with Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

A delegation of the PTI arrived earlier Monday at theheadquarters of MQM-P in an attempt to address the grievances of the disgruntled ally, which had quit the federal cabinet a day earlier citing "unfulfilled promises". The PTI delegation, headed by Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar and comprising Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Khurram Sher Zaman and Firdous Shamim Naqvi, reached the MQM office in Bahaduarabad earlier Monday.

Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Umar said that the PTI wished for the MQM-P to stay in the cabinet. "Our wish is that Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui remains in the cabinet," Umar said.

"PM will visit Karachi in the first week of February and update the MQM-P on the developments related to Karachi," he added, downplaying reports that the governor of the province would be changed.

Speaking to reporters along side Asad Umar, Siddiqui said that he had not taken back his resignation. "Our meeting was already scheduled, it was not negotiations," he said. --Agencies

Zia Ur Rehman adds from Karachi: A delegation of PTI led by federal minister Asad Umar on Monday failed to convince the leaders of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) – a major ally – to rejoin the federal cabinet.

The situation for the ruling party turned more fragile when the Pir Pagara-led Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), another coalition partner from Sindh province, also showed its anger on Monday with the federal government on failing to fulfill its demands.

During the meeting with the PTI delegation, Siddiqui complained against the government for not fulfilling most of the promises made in the nine-point MoU for the formation of a new government in the Centre.

Asad Umar, the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiative, said the main purpose of the meeting with MQM-P leaders was to update them on the development projects in Karachi that the federal government was working on. Acknowledging that MQM-P’s demands as correct, Umar said both the parties want to give the Karachi residents their rights they were deprived of in the past ten years. “We also want Siddiqui to stay in the cabinet,” he said. Asad Umar said several development projects have been initiated in Karachi and hopefully Prime Minister Imran Khan would visit the city early next month to inaugurate some of them.

Taking advantage of the presence of Umar-led government delegation in Karachi, the leaders of the GDA on Monday said they are also not satisfied with the federal government for not fulfilling their demands.

Sardar Abdul Raheem, the GDA’s spokesperson, said that the GDA had supported the PTI in forming the government in the Centre for resolving the issues faced by the residents of Sindh. “But we are disappointed with the PTI government’s performance as it has turned a blind eye to the province’s issues,” he told The News.

Raheem said that leaders of Sindh-based political alliance will wait for a few days more and soon convene a consultative meeting of leaders of the GDA’s component parties to review its coalition with the federal government. The GDA has three seats in the National Assembly and former speaker Dr. Fahmida Mirza is the part of the federal cabinet on the GDA’s quota.

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