PTI and MQM-P officially brothers-in-arms now | Pakistan Today

PTI and MQM-P officially brothers-in-arms now

  • PTI, MQM-P sign agreement for forming govt in Centre ‘in larger interest of the nation’ as BNP-M joins the former for the sake of missing persons
  • PTI to support MQM-P’s demand for review of Karachi operation, appoint officials on key position on merit besides financial package for port city
  • Imran Khan promises BNP-M his party will help stop enforced disappearances, address economic grievances of Balochistan

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the formation of a new government in the Centre with its erstwhile rival, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).

Surprisingly, both parties have a history of leveling allegations and filing defamation suits against each other. Imran Khan had vowed not to sit with MQM and even accused it of orchestrating the murder of PTI leader Zahra Shahid, which was followed by a defamation suit of Rs 5 billion by the MQM-P. In return, the PTI had sent MQM-P a notice of Rs 10 billion.

Earlier this week, PTI’s Karachi chapter and several newly-elected party leaders, including Faisal Vawda, had opposed the decision to include MQM in the federal government and decided to record their protest with the party’s supreme leadership if a deal is finalised.

A PTI leader had said that like-minded party workers believe that a coalition with the MQM would be very harmful to the party.

But now it seems both parties have shunned their differences and come together “in the larger interest of the nation and to fulfill its constitutional obligation” after a meeting at the Bani Gala residence of PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

THE DEAL:

According to the agreement signed between MQM-P’s Faisal Sabzwari and PTI leader Arif Alvi, the recommendations of Council of Common Interest (CCI) on Karachi population census would be implemented and the PTI will favour a petition filed in the Supreme Court with regard to local bodies system in Sindh.

The agreement also urged for review of Karachi operation and consultation with all the stakeholders, besides meritorious appointments on all posts.

The PTI has also agreed to a “direct financial package for the severely neglected” Karachi that shall be disbursed by the federal government with a special emphasis on water. The concerns regarding the Octroi taxes will be addressed, which was abolished in 1988. A university of International level and repute shall be established in Hyderabad, the agreement went to add.

In terms of law and order, Sindh police will be reformed in a bid to de-politicise the department.

As MQM-P is out protesting the alleged rigging in the general elections, the PTI agreed for an election audit that would take place in the constituencies pointed out by the MQM-P.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that his party had decided to support PTI in the Centre “in the larger interest of the nation and to fulfill its constitutional obligation”.

Siddiqui, while speaking on a TV channel on Thursday night, confirmed his party’s leaning after the results of the General Election 2018.

“The Pakistan People’s Party does not need anyone in Sindh. The MQM-P will sit alongside the PTI on government benches,” he had said. “We respect everyone’s mandate and want everyone to respect ours.

The MQM-P clinched 16 seats in the Sindh Assembly in the July 25 general election, and has six seats in the National Assembly. The PTI had invited the party to join it in the Centre.

BNP JOINS PTI FOR RECOVERY OF MISSING PERSONS:

Besides MQM-P, the PTI has agreed to the charter of demands put forth by Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) Chairman Akhtar Mengal.

According to the BNP-M’s charter of demand, “All missing persons should be released and this kind of enforced disappearances should be avoided and the National Action Plan (NAP) be implemented in letter and spirit.”

The PTI has vowed to address the economic grievances of Balochistan as well and at least 70 per cent dividend will be given to Balochistan from Saindak, Reko Diq and other major minerals deposit. Six per cent quota of Balochistan in federal services should be honoured and foreign services’ quota should be adopted regularly.

As the province is facing draught-like situation, the BNP demanded the construction of dams to address the issue in a bid to discourage the migration. “All afghan refugees should be sent back to their country honourably,” the BNP further demanded.

The demands put forward by the new allies, however, include recovery of missing persons and reviewing the Karachi operation which may not go down well with the powers-that-be.

It would be a daunting task for PM-in-waiting Imran Khan to convince the powerful military establishment to address the concerns of both the political parties.

PTI CLAIMS SUPPORT OF 8 MORE INDEPENDENTS:

PTI, with 116 seats in the National Assembly, has gained another seat after the ECP rectified its data entry error, reported a private media outlet. The ECP in its website showed that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaniyat won a seat in the polls held on July 25, the seat in actual was won by the PTI.

Besides, support from MQM-P, BNP-M, PML-Q, the PTI has managed to rope in a total of eight independent candidates.

Their names are Sanaullah Musti Khel, Basit Bukhari, Saleh Muhammad Khan, Fakhar Imam, Muhammad Amjad Farooq, Abdul Ghafar Wattoo, Asim Nazir Shabbir Qureshi, and Ali Mohammad Mehr.

Other parties that won NA seats and have declared their support for PTI include Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), Balochistan Awami Party, Awami Muslim League and Jamhoori Watan Party.

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at [email protected]



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