KARACHI: Amid speculations circling in the media regarding his resignation, Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) late on Friday night left for Dubai as a video footage aired on private TV channels showed him arriving at the Karachi airport.
It was yet to be ascertained as for how long he has left for UAE as the governor house in Karachi could not confirm date of his return.
Political and journalistic circles are observing the development with great interest in the context of prevailing political situation of the province.
The MQM, including its chief Altaf Hussain, have been protesting against what they claim a one-sided action against the party’s office bearers, being conducted by the Sindh government in Karachi.
Tension engulfed the port city on Wednesday when a former lawmaker of MQM was detained by the law enforcers during the ongoing targeted operation against miscreants. Markets, businesses, shops and fuel stations were shut down in several areas after the arrest of Nadeem Hashmi, who has been sent on week-long physical remand by an ATC, was reported on TV news channels.
Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani will presumably take charge as the acting governor in Ishratul Ibad’s absence.
In his more than a decade long time at the governor house, this is not the first instance when the MQM leader tendered his resignation and then withdrew it later on insistence of his party chief Altaf Hussain.
Upon persuasion by former president Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) – the former coalition partners of MQM of having a long history of love-hate relationship – Hussain advised Ibad to take back his resignation on more than one occasion.
In June 2011 and again in February this year, he tendered his resignation hours after the MQM pulled out of the ruling coalition in the province and at the centre in protest against noncompliance on their ‘reservations.’
On both counts, Altaf Hussain asked the governor to reconsider his decision in the light of requests made by the business community, industrialists, religious scholars, and people belonging to different spheres of life and for the sake of peace and stability in Sindh.