A number of senior leaders in the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan are in favour of joining the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government in Sindh after the party quit the federal cabinet, SAMAA Digital has learnt.
Aamir Khan, who has a strong following within the party, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar and Kunwar Naveed Jamil want the MQM-P to join the Sindh government before the next local body elections in the province, a senior MQM-P official said requesting anonymity.
“A strong faction within the MQM-P compelled party convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui to quit the federal cabinet,” he explained.
The official suggested that the MQM-P could even withdraw its support to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf if it receives a “signal from the power corridors”.
In December 2019, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had offered to give the MQM-P ministries in the Sindh, in return for its support to dislodge the PTI government in the centre.
The MQM-P quit the federal cabinet on January 12, saying that the ruling PTI had failed to deliver on its promises.
A party needs at least 172 seats in the parliament to form its government. The PTI managed to form its government in the centre with the support of MQM-P and few other parties.
Knowing the importance of the party that is largely based in Karachi, Prime Minister Imran Khan sent on Monday his confidants to address reservations of the MQM-P. However, the PTI delegation led by Asad Umar failed to satisfy the MQM-P.
According to Dr Siddiqui, the MQM-P was not withdrawing its support to the federal government for the time being but it would not rejoin the cabinet.
“We are discussing our options within the party,” Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar said. “We can take any decision if our reservations are not timely addressed.”
Firdous Shamim Naqvi, a PTI member and opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly, thinks that the MQM-P won’t join the Sindh government. He believes that Bilawal’s offer to the party was just a political stunt.
Naqvi told SAMAA Digital his party would soon table a bill on local government for urban areas in the Sindh Assembly. The MQM-P would support the bill, he added.