MQM confirms support to PTI in exchange for federal package for Karachi

Published August 3, 2018
MQM delegation meets PTI members to sign the Memorandum of Understanding. —PTI media wing
MQM delegation meets PTI members to sign the Memorandum of Understanding. —PTI media wing

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Friday inked an agreement with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), promising to extend its support to the latter for the formation of government in the Centre, DawnNewsTV reported.

In exchange for MQM-P’s support for the upcoming federal government, PTI promised that a special federal package will be announced for Karachi, with an emphasis on the provision of water for its residents.

Additionally, the PTI agreed that Sindh police reforms will be implemented, a university will be established in Hyderabad, and constituencies identified by MQM-P will also be audited, according to the contents of the memorandum of understanding.

The MoU signed between members of both parties. —Photo provided by the author
The MoU signed between members of both parties. —Photo provided by the author

“The agreement was a constitutional and democratic necessity,” said MQM leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

Earlier on Wednesday, the MQM-P had announced its decision to support the PTI for the formation of the upcoming federal government. The party has won six National Assembly (NA) seats in the July 25 election.

Other parties that won NA seats and have declared their support for PTI include Pakistan Muslim League-Q with four seats; Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) with two; Balochistan Awami Party with four; Awami Muslim League and Jamhoori Watan Party with one seat each.

GDA’s head Pir Sibghatullah Rashidi, also known as Pir Sahab Pagara, also telephoned Jahangir Tareen to declare his support for Imran Khan.

Moreover, nine independents have joined PTI so far. Their names are Sanaullah Mustikhel, Basit Bukhari, Saleh Muhammad Khan, Fakhar Imam, Muhammad Amjad Farooq, Abdul Ghafar Wattoo, Asim Nazir Shabbir Qureshi, and Ali Mohammad Mehr.

The PTI won 115 NA seats, but due to an error which the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) admitted on Friday, the party's tally for elected members stands at 116.

Issuing a statement of clarification, the commission said that the similarly named Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaniyat did not win a seat in the National Assembly and the win attributed to it earlier actually belongs to PTI, thereby bringing the latter's initial tally to 116. "We made a mistake in reporting the data," the commission stated.

With the support of independents and other parties, PTI will have a coalition of 143 seats in the Centre.

Jahangir Tareen during a media conference said, "Out of the 13 independent candidates for the National Assembly, nine have joined PTI."

"We are in touch with Ali Nawaz Shah from Sindh as well as Shahzain Bugti. Also, talks are underway with Akhtar Mengal," he added.

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