Govt rushes to keep MQM in fold after Bilawal’s offer

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai
ISLAMABAD: A day after the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) offered the Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) to join Sindh Government and help it oust the federal one, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed a committee to establish contacts with the MQM-P, reported Geo News. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari extended an olive branch to the MQMP when he offered the party an equal number of seats in Sindh Government. The offer was made on the condition that the MQM-P will quit the federal coalition and help the PPP oust the PTI-led government. Sources told Geo News a government committee headed by the Pakistan Tehreeke- Insaf’s (PTI) former secretary general Jahangir Tareen will meet the MQMP leadership this week on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan. It is still not clear who the members of the committee, which will be led by Tareen, are. The government will review the MQM-P’s demands, hear its grievances on the issue of missing persons and take stock of the party’s demands for Karachi’s funds. Khawaja Izhar says ready to side with PPP if it improves local bodies system in Sindh Speaking on Geo Pakistan, MQM-P leader Khawaja Izhar said his party was ready to accept Bilawal’s offer and join forces with the PPP if it improved the local government system in Sindh. “Our hopes from the federal government are dying as they did not honour their promises,” he said. In response to Bilawal’s offer, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar, who is also an important leader of the MQM-P, had said the party will take the final decision on whether it should quit the coalition government or not. He said while the MQMP and the PPP could “sit together” to solve Karachi’s problems, the mayor said his party had not joined the coalition government for seats but to resolve Karachi’s outstanding issues. “MQMP has never indulged in the politics of ministries. We supported the PTI so that Karachi’s issues could be resolved,” Akhtar had said. He said the Karachi’s problems were discussed with senior PTI leader Jahangir Tareen but the party did not take responsibility. The MQM-P also issued a statement on Monday, in which it said that while the party was not satisfied with the PTI-led government’s performance, it will continue to support it. Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan on Tuesday said that the nation has given the mandate to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the present government will resolve all public issues with the assistance of its coalition partners. Firdous Ashiq Awan, while slamming opposition’s allegations in her Twitter messages, said those became failed in political grounds were now finding a backdoor and trying to make conspiracies against the government. She asked Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to focus on resolution of real issues in Karachi including corruption, commission and theft instead of wasting time on trying to break coalition partnership of the government. The real issue is the seizure of Karachi by a corrupt gang for a decade which restricted development of the metropolis, she added. Awan said the nationals have broken political alliance due to their wrongdoings and Prime Minister [Imran Khan] made the nation united and free from the politics of corruption. Bilawal will have to adopt a democratic attitude to prove himself being the heir of public politics adopted by his grandfather and mother, the special assistant added.