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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday held separate meetings with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and discussed with them the political situation in the province against the backdrop of the fake bank accounts and money laundering case being heard against leaders of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) stuck to its demand that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah step down for being accused of facilitating top PPP leaders, including Asif Ali Zardari, in alleged money laundering.

The prime minister first met Governor Imran Ismail and discussed with him the political situation in Sindh.

A press release issued by the Prime Minister Office (PMO) said the prime minister and the governor discussed the situation that arose after the issuance of a report by a joint investigation team (JIT) on fake bank accounts.

The JIT in its report had proposed 16 references of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Mr Zardari, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Faryal Talpur, real estate tycoon Malik Riaz and others.

PM Khan told the governor that he was fully aware of the problems being faced by the people of Sindh in general and Karachi in particular. “The federal government will continue to play its role in solving the problems being faced by the people of Sindh,” he added.

The prime minister also met MQM leaders and exchanged views with them over the political situation and development activities in Karachi.

Federal Minister for Information Technology Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Law Minister Farogh Naseem and MNA Syed Aminul Haq represented the MQM, while federal Finance Minister Asad Umar, PM’s Special Assistant Naeemul Haq and MNA Mohammad Amir Dogar attended the meeting from the government side.

They discussed the problems being faced by the people of Karachi and Hyderabad.

The two sides agreed to cooperate with each other for resolution of issues confronting the people of Sindh.

The prime minister set up a committee headed by Governor Imran Ismail to improve coordination between the MQM and the federal government on development activities in the province.

The meeting was informed that Prime Minister Khan would lay the foundation stone of a university in Hyderabad next month.

The prime minister assured the MQM leaders that all bottlenecks in the way of revival of Karachi Circular Railway would be removed.

Meanwhile, media reports said the prime minister assured the MQM of de-sealing all its offices and recovering missing persons.

Talking to Dawn, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said he had spent a couple of days in Karachi and met heads of several political parties to forge unity on the PTI’s demand for resignation of the Sindh chief minister.

He said his meeting with the heads of political parties in Sindh remained fruitful and they all demanded resignation of the chief minister. The people of Sindh had been fed up with PPP’s politics and its leaders, he added.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2019