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Rauf Siddiqui

April 29, 2013

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Muhammad Abdul Rauf Siddiqui, a politician from Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), has been a member of the Sindh Assembly from 2002 to 2007 and then again from 2008 to 2013.

During this time as a lawmaker, he has also held several ministry portfolios in the provincial cabinet. Within MQM, he holds the post of executive council member.

Siddiqui, who was born in Nawabshah in 1961, obtained his education from the University of Karachi and the American Global International University. He joined the MQM in 1988.

Siddiqui contested elections in 2002 from NA-242 and PS-115. He won from both constituencies but decided to retain the Sindh Assembly seat.

The MQM lawmaker was appointed the Sindh Minister for Excise and Taxation in 2003. During the same assembly’s tenure, he was later appointed home minister from 2004 to 2006, reportedly because of changes that MQM chief Altaf Hussain wanted in the provincial cabinet. The chief minister at the time, Arbab Ghulam Rahim, also reportedly wanted to keep the home ministry to himself in order to have control over affairs relating to law and order in the province.

Siddiqui’s portfolio was changed once again to minister for culture, tourism and social welfare, which he held from 2006 to 2007. The change took place during yet another cabinet reshuffle in September of 2006.

In 2008, he contested from PS-114 and was once again elected to the Sindh Assembly. This time, Siddiqui was handed the provincial ministry for industry and commerce. In June 2011, he handed in his resignation along with 13 other MQM provincial ministers, in order to protest the postponement of elections on two Karachi seats of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly.

When MQM joined the federal and provincial governments again in October 2011, Siddiqui was reinstated as the industry and commerce minister. Meanwhile, days later, the MQM minister filed an application for registering a blasphemy case against former home minister Zulfikar Mirza for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The application followed controversial remarks made by Mirza against MQM, but proved to be unsuccessful.

In 2012, Siddiqui made the news when he quit his post as industry and commerce minister. His resignation followed the devastating Baldia Town factory fire, which resulted in the deaths of over 250 people and which he said had ‘shaken his conscience’. He further said he acted in accordance with the directives of his party high command.

— Research and text by Heba Islam