KARACHI: While City Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab said on Saturday that there was no proposal on table for inclusion of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan in the provincial cabinet, government sources said there was a strong possibility that the latter might be formally invited after Eidul Fitr by the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party to join the Sindh government.

Confiding this to Dawn, the sources said that the provincial government would offer two ministers, an adviser and a special assistant to the chief minister to the MQM-P, which is expected to join the Murad Ali Shah-led cabinet after Eid.

At present, both PPP and MQM-P leaders said that there was no power-sharing formula agreed between the two parties.

The sources, however, said that behind-the-scene discussions between the two parties were moving forward and the PPP had agreed to give portfolios of transport, health and information technology to the MQM-P.

Muttahida may be offered portfolios of health, transport and information technology

As for the governorship of the province, the sources said that it was initially decided by the coalition partners that it would be given to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. However, the PMN-N took back its claim on the joint request of the PPP and MQM-P.

The MQM-P is already part of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led federal cabinet and two of its members — Syed Aminul Haque and Syed Faisal Ali Subzwari — are federal ministers.

However, the remarks of Administrator Wahab at an event that there was no proposal under consideration for inclusion of MQM-P in the provincial cabinet caused a stir.

While talking to media persons at the ground-breaking ceremony of a road connecting Omar Colony Road to Korangi Creek Road, he said that there was no proposal to include MQM-P in the provincial government and also brushed aside reports of a reshuffle in the cabinet.

Later, talking to Dawn, he explained that the MQM-P and PPP had agreed on certain terms on political grounds but their accord didn’t mention any guarantee of their partnership in the government.

“I am not ruling out the possibility but I am just saying that at the moment there’s no such proposal [regarding induction of MQM-P ministers in the Sindh cabinet],” he said. “Secondly, the MQM-P is right now part of the opposition benches in the Sindh Assembly. They haven’t yet showed any intention to move from the opposition benches to treasury benches.”

Barrister Wahab further said that the agreement between the two sides was not about the power sharing or about ministries in the cabinet. “It’s more about solutions of different challenges and issues through political harmony and reconciliation.”

When contacted, the MQM-P sounded in agreement with Barrister Wahab.

Senior MQM-P leader and federal minister Senator Faisal Subzwari told Dawn that the “Charter of Rights” signed by his party and the PPP was not about power sharing between the two sides.

He was of the view that the agreement provided the foundation of future relationship, which mostly related to an empowered local government system, due rights of urban Sindh and long-term political inclusion to ensure maximum relief to every segment of the province.

“So it’s true that so far we are part of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly,” he told Dawn. “The agreement between the MQM-P and the PPP is more about the future and sustainable solutions of the problems being faced by the province. And for this, the two parties are in constant touch.”

He said that the two parties had already set up committees and then sub-committees to find out the way out of all relevant issues.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2022

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