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January 15, 2020

MQM-P- PTI deadlock persists: Siddiqui skips cabinet meeting

National

January 15, 2020

KARACHI: As a sign of persisting deadlock between the ruling PTI and the disgruntled MQM-P, the MQM-P convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui did not visit Islamabad to attend the federal cabinet meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday despite his assurances to Prime Minister Imran Khan in a telephonic conversation on Monday.

On Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan phoned Siddiqui, who had recently resigned from his federal ministerial portfolio, and told him to come to Islamabad to attend on Tuesday’s federal cabinet. During the telephonic conversation Siddiqui put forth his reservations to the premier, who assured the former that the issues would be addressed.

The prime minister’s telephone call was preceded by a visit of the federal minister Asad Umar to the MQM-P headquarters in Karachi earlier in the day, where he failed to convince the party’s senior leadership to rejoin the federal cabinet.

Talking to The News on Tuesday, the MQM-P leaders emphasized that there was no scheduled meeting between the Prime Minister Khan and the MQM-P.

Syed Aminul Haque, an MQM-P leader, said that the news reports on various media channels that Siddiqui deliberately avoided a scheduled meeting with PM Khan on Tuesday are spreading misconceptions.

“Siddiqui had made no commitment with Prime Minister Khan for attending the meeting. The MQM-P leaders had discussed their reservations with Asad Umar, and he assured us that he will convey the party’s concerns to the prime minister,” Haque told The News. “We trust Umar because he is a prime minister’s close aide and also heads the committee to oversee development projects in Karachi.”

However, Haque reiterated that the MQM-P would not pull out of the ruling coalition, but strongly underlined the party policy that they would not return to the cabinet unless their grievances were addressed.

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