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MQM-P leaders say their options are open

By Zia Ur Rehman
March 10, 2022
MQM-P leaders say their options are open

KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQMP)’s senior deputy Convener, Aamir Khan, on Wednesday, after Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to MQMP’s temporary headquarters in Bahadurabad, categorically stated that while they were with the government, they had other options too.

Talking to journalists after their meeting with the PM, Aamir Khan said: "It was a good gesture from the prime minister, who came to our office after a gap of three and a half years. We are the government's ally but we have other options open too,” he declared.

Contradicting the foreign minister Qureshi’s statement, the MQMP leader said that the no-confidence motion was not discussed in the meeting with the prime minister. Earlier, the Prime Minister's Office said the premier discussed the current political situation with the MQMP leaders, who in turn assured him of full support. Also, Foreign Minister Qureshi had told the media after the meeting that PM Imran Khan and the MQMP leadership discussed the political situation of the country. “MQMP and PTI are allies and will continue to cooperate with each other,” said Qureshi. He had added that the premier formulated and finalised his strategy with the MQMP in his meeting. “MQMP has expressed its full support to PM Imran Khan. It did not keep any demands in front of us,” said the foreign minister. But Aamir Khan's contradiction of the PM Office's statement and Qureshi's stance confounded political observers.

Later, a press release issued by the MQMP also said that MQMP’s Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui had informed PM Khan that whatever decision was taken will be in the best interest of the people of Sindh and Pakistan. “Some of our demands, such as conducting a new census and establishment of Hyderabad University, have been fulfilled but most of the points are yet to be implemented which he assured us to resolve soon,” said Siddiqui. He reiterated that the MQM-P leaders clearly told PM Khan that the party was an ally of the government and if its demands were not taken seriously, "then we have other options".

After the two main leaders of MQMP hinted at "other options", party sources said the MQMP leaders were expected to meet the Pakistan Peoples Party supremo in Islamabad on Thursday to discuss the no-trust motion. An MQMP source told The News that MQMP leaders will meet today former president and PPP supremo Asif Ali Zardari in Islamabad to discuss the no-trust motion tabled in the National Assembly. Talking in Capital Talk on Geo, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s central leader Rana Sanaullah said that the MQMP delegation will meet Zardari today through the efforts of PMLN.

Meanwhile, talking to Geo News, MQMP Convener Siddiqui said that the PM had come to meet the party and they offered him tea. On a question of the sealed offices of the party, Siddiqui said that his party does not need political offices. He added that “Nine Zero” was not theirs, so why would they ask for it. “Leave the no-confidence, we do not have faith in the system,” the MQM-P Convener told Geo News.

Geo News also reported that after the PM Khan and MQMP leaders meeting, the party’s regional office at Hyderabad’s Bhai Khan Chowk that was sealed in August 2016 after Altaf Hussain’s provocative speech was reopened.

For its seven parliamentary seats and support, the ruling PTI had promised to give MQMP two federal ministries. However, the party claimed to have only one minister, Syed Aminul Haq, Minister for IT and Telecommunication, in the federal cabinet as it disowned Farogh Naseem as the party’s minister. The MQMP had also signed a nine-point memorandum with Khan’s PTI. But the ruling PTI did not fulfill some of the key demands, such as reopening of the MQMP’s sealed offices.