We were coerced to join Imran govt, claims MQM-P

Published April 8, 2022
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM) convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui addresses a gathering.—DawnNewsTV
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM) convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui addresses a gathering.—DawnNewsTV

KARACHI: Within a week of its political break-up with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan has claimed that it was not their own choice to join the Imran Khan-led government following the 2018 general elections as they were ‘forced’ to do so.

They said that when the party first decided to quit the coalition it became a target of political vendetta that led to arrest of MQM-P workers and even leaders.

The claim came at the party’s workers’ meeting held in Bahadurabad late on Wednesday night where senior leader Senator Faisal Subzwari recalled the situation developed after the 2018 general elections when the MQM-P had entered into an agreement with the PTI leadership that promised resolution of problems of urban areas of Sindh.

Under the agreement, in addition to other demands, a university in Hyderabad was to be established and an empowered local government system was supposed to be put in place in the province, he added.

Defends pact with PPP under ‘new’ circumstances

Without naming any individual or institution that ‘forced’ the party to join the PTI government in 2018, his address to the party workers suggested that the decision of joining was ‘against the will’ of the MQM-P leadership, which ‘cost it badly’.

“All those promises which were made by the PTI, led by Arif Alvi, were never honoured,” he claimed.

“Then we decided to lodge a protest and quit the federal cabinet. We principally decided that we would not become members of the cabinet again. But you all know what happened next. Our workers and even senior leaders were arrested. We came under serious pressure and faced consequences and vendetta for our decision.”

In his address, party convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi defended the recent deal of the party with the PPP which led to its political break-up with the PTI government.

He said it was the success of the MQM-P amid such a crisis that the ruling party of Sindh itself offered a space and showed willingness to resolve all problems.

“Isn’t it a success of the party which is cornered, exploited and targeted for certain reasons that it has again succeeded in taking a centre stage in the national politics where all entities are considered as part of national mainstream,” he said.

“No one can deny the past, bad experiences of alliances with the PPP, but the situation we are facing now is different and it requires different strategy. It is the success of your [MQM-P workers] patience and commitment that all those forces which had written you off are now coming back to you and asking your demand. They are ready and desperate to clinch a deal on your terms. It’s no one’s success, but yours.”

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2022

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