MQM-Pakistan seeking to work closely with federal government

WEB DESK : The leadership of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-Pakistan) is seeking to work closely with the federal government in a bid to get a reprieve in the ongoing Rangers-led operation in Karachi and to keep the membership of the party intact.

A source in the party told Business Recorder on Wednesday that MQM-Pakistan was pushed towards isolation after the August 22 speech of its founder in Karachi, and subsequently has been left with no option but to seek help from the federal government to get out of the crisis.

Some key government ministers including Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan and former Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid gave statements in favour of MQM-Pakistan and expressed their satisfaction in the leadership of MNA Farooq Sattar, he said.

The federal government has also helped release some of our workers picked up by the security agencies, he claimed, adding MQM-Pakistan has decided to support the federal government on several different issues on principled grounds. He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself intervened when MQM-Pakistan opposition leader in Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hassan was arrested in Karachi.

MQM-Pakistan sided with the federal government in all recent issues ranging from opposition parties’ demand of holding the prime minister accountable in the Panama Papers to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s call to lock down Islamabad. MQM-Pakistan Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi told Business Recorder that his party has been demanding accountability of all those whose names have surfaced in the Panama Papers while the other opposition parties want to hold the prime minister only accountable – a stance taken by the PML-N.

He said that his party was united under the leadership of MNA Farooq Sattar and there was no chance of any merger between MQM-Pakistan and Pak Sarzameen Party. “If anybody from Pak Sarzameen Party wants to join our party, we will welcome him,” he said.

Mashhadi said that his party criticised the federal government for using tear gas against the PTI workers, but was against the Islamabad lockdown as it was illegal and unconstitutional. PSP spokesman Iftikhar Alam said that the party is working for peace and prosperity in the country and is organising workers in Karachi, interior Sindh and other parts of the country too. “We will definitely take part in the next general elections and would love to remain an independent party,” he said.

He, however, said that his party is willing to work with the leadership of MQM-Pakistan for betterment of the people, but denied rumours of a possible merger. Political analyst, Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi, said that a merger of MQM-Pakistan and PSP is unlikely in the current political scenario as there is a clear struggle to get voter support in Karachi and interior Sindh.

Source : Business Recorder