PTI reacts angrily to Muttahida’s threat of quitting federal coalition

Published January 20, 2019
PTI leader Dr Mustansar Billah speaks at the press conference at Hyderabad Press Club on Saturday.—Dawn
PTI leader Dr Mustansar Billah speaks at the press conference at Hyderabad Press Club on Saturday.—Dawn

HYDERABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Hyderabad chapter on Saturday strongly criticised the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) — the party’s coalition partner at the Centre — for “blackmailing” the federal government by threatening to quit it.

Speaking at a press conference at the local press club, PTI Hyderabad district president Dr Mustansar Billah, general secretary Faisal Mughal and other office-bearers including Nawab Khan and Mirza Aleem Baig reacted to MQM-P leaders’ speeches at its public meeting here a day earlier and said that they always “blackmailed” their coalition partners instead of serving people.

“They have been cheating the Urdu-speaking people of Karachi, Hyderabad and other urban areas of Sindh over the past 35 years,” Dr Billah alleged.

He said that the MQM-P today did have all powers they required to address people’s issues as they dominated the local government institutions in Karachi and Hyderabad but they appeared unwilling to provide any relief to the general public. He noted that stagnant sewage and heaps of garbage in streets and on roads in Hyderabad had made people’s lives miserable while an acute shortage of potable water also persisted in the city but the elected representatives of the MQM-P appeared indifferent.

MQM-P accused of victimising PTI’s Urdu-speaking voters

He said the MQM-P had been raising the slogan of getting the quota system abolished ever since it came into being but did not take any practical step in this regard despite sitting with different governments. He pointed out that even the slogan for the establishment of a university in Hyderabad also remained just a slogan.

“MQM-P leaders raise slogans of highlighting issues of the Urdu-speaking community only during electioneering but forget about it afterwards. Instead, they get their own problems resolved while enjoying powers, acquired in the name of the Urdu-speaking community’s rights which is really a shame,” the PTI leader said.

Dr Billah said that Prime Minister Imran Khan gave federal ministries to the MQM-P despite the fact that it had only six seats in the National Assembly. “Still, they are crying hoarse,” he added.

He also accused MQM-P leaders of victimising those Urdu-speaking people who had cast their vote for PTI in Karachi. “Their houses and business places are being demolished without any advance notice,” he claimed, and reminded the MQM-P that a vast majority of the community had already rejected it in the July 25 general elections. He said that PTI respected the Supreme Court order regarding removal of encroachments but advance notices must be served before bulldozing such structures.

The PTI leader rejected MQM-P’s warning that it might part ways with the federal coalition on the grounds that, according to the Muttahida, nothing was being delivered to the people of Karachi, Hyderabad and other urban centres.

“Sadly, MQM-P did nothing while remaining a close ally of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government and enjoying full powers for years in the past,” he said.

Dr Billah said MQM-P should have utilised the local government funds for addressing people’s civic issues instead of misusing them in the holding of the public meeting in Hyd­erabad.

He said PTI would establish a university in Hyderabad soon and would also resolve all issues being faced by the Urdu-speaking community.

“If the Urdu-speaking community voted for PTI in the next local government election, it would show to the MQM-P civic and other issues of the urban centres are addressed without any discrimination,” he added.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2019

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