MQM to support PTI in forming government at the Centre, says convener
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Wednesday announced its decision to extend support to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) for the formation of the upcoming federal government.
The decision was revealed by MQM-P convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui while appearing on Geo TV's evening show 'Aaj Shahzaib Khanzada Kay Saath'.
"Yes, we have agreed to cooperate with them [PTI] for the formation of [a coalition] government at the Centre," Siddiqui said when asked by the host whether his party is ready to join the Tehreek-i-Insaf.
Strongly asserting that the party had "gone through so many [unpleasant] experiences in the past" with the PPP government in Sindh, Siddiqui said it was not conscionable for MQM to join the PPP in opposing the formation of a PTI-led government "given the current situation in Sindh".
Earlier, as news emerged of an All Parties Conference (APC) convening in Islamabad on Thursday, the MQM-P had confirmed that it would not attend the gathering purposed to chalk out a future strategy against alleged rigging in the July 25 elections.
“The MQM-P will not be attending the APC,” MQM-P spokesperson Aminul Haq told Dawn.
Haq, who is a newly-elected MNA from Karachi, said former Sindh governor Mohammad Zubair — who had recently resigned from his post — on Tuesday night contacted their party leader, Faisal Subzwari, inviting the MQM to attend the APC.
Haq, also a member of the MQM-P’s Coordination Committee, said they have decided not to attend the APC because they had a "bitter experience" of working with the PPP both at the Centre and in Sindh as a coalition partner and due to the fact that it (PPP) is a part of the joint opposition.
The MQM leader also said that they planned to work with PTI for the "urban development" of Karachi, Hyderabad, and Mirpurkhas.
He recalled that when MQM leaders met with PTI leader Jahangir Tareen in Karachi recently, they had discussed the revival of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), initiating the second phase of K-IV project for the provision of drinking water to Karachi, transport issues, and the redressal of other civic problems the urban centres of Sindh are faced with.
The MQM-P won six National Assembly seats — four in Karachi and two in Hyderabad — in the July 25 elections, compared to 24 NA seats in 2013.
However, even with just six seats, the MQM-P has become an important factor in national politics, since the PTI lacks a simple majority in the lower house of parliament and cannot form a government on its own.