Resignations won’t be accepted: Prime Minister

WEB DESK: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a meeting with parliamentary leaders of different political parties decided on Thursday not to accept resignations of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) members from National Assembly and Senate.

JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was also tasked to contact the MQM leadership to convince them to take back their resignations as the government was ready to address their genuine grievances.

— Fazl asked to hold talks with MQM

In a parliamentary leaders’ meeting held in the Parliament House with prime minister in the chair, PTI was not invited to attend it. Talking to media persons after the meeting, Fazlur Rehman said he has been tasked “to contact Altaf Hussain and MQM leadership so that they agree to take back their resignations and return to parliament.”

He said the prime minister and parliamentary leaders of other political parties want to resolve the issue through negotiations while he feels that resignations once submitted with the speaker’s chamber cannot be withdrawn. Fazlur Rehman, however, said that acceptance of the MQM resignations would stir a political crisis and that he will make efforts to defuse the situation.

He said that he would consult legal experts before approaching the MQM leaders to know whether their resignations are accepted or still there is a chance to woo them back in the assemblies. The MQM lawmakers submitted their resignations in the National Assembly, Senate and the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday, citing reservations over the Rangers-led operation in Karachi.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar contacted MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar over the phone and requested him to take their resignations back. Sattar, however, responded that his party has already conveyed its concerns to the government that should be addressed on a priority basis.

“The government does not want to see the MQM out of parliamentary politics,” Dar said. He also assured the MQM leader that he will discuss the issue with the prime minister and contact him again. The MQM has long been protesting against the Rangers and other security forces over the ongoing operation in Karachi, saying the operation is targeting only workers and activists of the party. Officials privy to the recent developments say that the MQM would return to the parliament if the federal government forms a monitoring committee to oversee the Karachi operation and the Rangers release some ‘important workers’ of the MQM arrested during different raids in the metropolis.

Source: Business Recorder

By Amir Saeed