Pakistan

MQM-P’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui announces resignation from federal cabinet

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan  (MQM-P) leader and Minister for Information Technology, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, on Sunday announced that he will be resigning from the federal cabinet, dealing a blow to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government.

The announcement was made at a press conference held by the party in Karachi.

“We had supported [PTI] in forming the government. We held up our end of the deal but not even one point of out demands has seen any progress in these 16, 17 months,” he said.

Despite quitting the cabinet, the MQM-P leader said that his party will not be withdrawing its support to the government.

The disgruntled federal minister  further explained his disappointments with the ruling party, saying that “the party had neither proposed the name of Senator Farogh Naseem for the cabinet nor asked for the law ministry.”

“We signed two agreements with  the PTI: one in Banigala and another in Bahadurabad on some conditions,” he said.

Siddiqui denied that his decision owed anything to Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s proposal to help topple the PTI government in  exchange for ministries in Sindh government.

“This has nothing to do with that,” he said.

“We had presented our demands before the ruling party but none were addressed during the past sixteen months and it is now pointless to be in the cabinet anymore,” he added.

‘MQM-P’s concerns are legit’

Separately, sources said Prime Minister Imran Khan contacted Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and directed the local Sindh leadership to meet with MQM-P leaders.

MQM-P’s grievances are legit and all their promises will be fulfilled, PM Imran was quoted as saying by sources. Sources added the prime minister had said Karachi was the country’s economic hub and it would not be ignored.

Talking to Geo News after the bombshell announcement, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said “the initiatives for the public welfare have been delayed due to the economic constraints.”

“A committee headed by Federal Minister Asad Umar will meet MQM-P leaders tomorrow and try to address their grievances,” she said adding “MQM is PTI’s coalition partner and will remain so.”

The minister has not sent his resignation yet, she added.

PPP-MQM alliance

Senior analyst Mazhar Abbas was of the view that it was better for the MQM if it reached some sort of agreement with PPP as their complaints were related to Karachi.

“The party is keeping all its options open,” he said.

Bilawal’s offer  to join Sindh govt

The chairman of Pakistan People’s Party late last month had asked the MQM-P to break away from the ruling coalition in the Centre and join the Sindh government, saying Sindh and Karachi could only get their share of development if Imran’s government collapses.

A very charged Bilawal had told MQM: “You can stop this injustice being done with Karachi and Pakistan by breaking your alliance with PTI and toppling Imran Khan’s government to save Karachi and we will fully support you. For the sake of Karachi, for the sake of people of Karachi, we are ready to offer to the MQM in Sindh, as many ministries as they have in the Centre today.

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