KARACHI: In an attempt to take a tough joint stance on the controversial Finance Supplementary Bill 2021 in parliament, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on Wednesday reached out to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and asked for its support in the National Assembly and Senate to “save people from inflationary effects of the bill”.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, top leaders from the two sides said that they had agreed that the PML-N and the MQM-P would make every possible effort to make amendments to the proposed draft as the people were already under an immense burden of food inflation and hard hit by rising prices.

The PML-N delegation, led by its secretary general Ahsan Iqbal and comprising Shah Muhammad, Miftah Ismail and Nasiruddin Mahmood, visited the temporary headquarters of the MQM-P — an important coalition partner of the federal government — in Bahadurabad and held detailed talks.

MQM-P convenor Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, who welcomed the PML-N leaders and led the talks from his side, said that they were agreed with Mr Iqbal on the effects of the supplementary finance bill and they feared that the life of the common man might become more difficult with the passage of the bill.

He added that legislators had already filed objections to the bill in the NA and they would further take it up with key members of the government. “There’s no doubt that inflation is skyrocketing and common man is going through a very tough time. Let me assure you our only commitment is with people of this country. So whatever decision MQM takes it will be in favour of the people of Pakistan.”

Mr Iqbal of the PML-N said that when this ‘mini-budget’ was tabled in the NA they were clear that it should not be passed at any cost and to achieve this target they decided to contact every political party. “The MQM-P truly represents the lower, middle and lower-middle class of the country. And despite being part of the government, it has its own point of view.”

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2022

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