Centre’s efforts to woo MQM-P dampen PPP aspirations [The Nation] 19 Jan, 2020

ISLAMABAD - The repeated attempts of the federal government to persuade its coalition partner, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan [MQM-P] have significantly reduced chances of the Sindh government to bring back its erstwhile allied partner [MQM-P] into its fold. The stalwarts of ruling party [PTI], only in a one week, twice held meetings with its annoyed partner to win back Khalid Maqbol Siddiqui in federal cabinet. MQM-P chief Khalid Maqbol Siddiqui has recently announced to distance itself from federal cabinet without sharing any particular reason. His sudden announcement of leaving the federal cabinet has visibly created chaos in the PTI government. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had recently offered the MQM-P to join hands with his government in Sindh. The back to back meetings of the PTI top negotiator, Jhangir Tareen and party’s economic wizard Asad Umar with MQM-P’s leadership have clearly reflected its confusion. These PTI’s members are now seemingly confident to woo Khalid Maqbol Siddiqui, as Asad Umar in his media talk commented that Prime Minister Imran Khan has not accepted resignation of MQM-P’s minister. Talking to The Nation, MQM-P spokesman Amin Ulhaq said, “We are adopting ‘wait and see’ policy. We are hopeful that federal government will fulfill our demands,” he said. On the other hand, the PPP has ostensibly lost its interest to convince MQM-P to become part of the Sindh government. “The confusion of federal government is visible from its back to back visits in Karachi,” said PPP central information secretary Nafeesa Shah, talking to The Nation. The PPP lawmaker hinted that her party would not make any attempt in near future to take MQM-P into its fold in Sindh. “We are giving an opportunity to Imran Khan-led government to save its government,” she said, mentioning that the offer of his party’s chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has exposed the numerically fragile government. Political pundits viewed that MQM-P in its recent political move has easily gauged its importance in the federal government. The Sindh based party will now confidently put its demand on any of its matter till it remains the allied of the federal government. The MQM-P, with its seven MNAs in National Assembly, is currently biggest allied partner of the federal government. It may be mentioned that other important allied partners Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid), Balochistan National Party (Mengal) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) are also unhappy with the federal government on different issues.

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