Possible MQM joining of Sindh govt: Differences surface in PPP ranks

KARACHI: Differences have emerged within the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) ranks over possible joining of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in the provincial government.

According to sources in the PPP, the PPP legislators from Karachi and interior Sindh are raising similar concerns over possible joining of MQM in the provincial government as expressed by Opposition Leader in National Assembly Khursheed Shah.

The sources said that some party leaders were not ready to include MQM in the government, arguing that there was no need to include MQM in the Sindh government as PPP enjoys majority in the assembly.

They said that the MQM was pressurized from ongoing operation in the city and it wanted to gain political stability after joining provincial cabinet and government. The leaders said that if included in the government, the MQM should not be given more leverage and should be asked to join the government unconditionally.

Talking to PPI over telephone, PPP legislator from Lyari, Sania Naz said that they were not taken into confidence over inclusion of MQM into the government, however, she said that hopefully the decision taken by former president Asif Ali Zardari and party leadership to induct MQM would prove fruitful.

She said that the MQM’s inclusion in the current government setup would affect the ongoing targeted operation in the city.

She claimed that the operation conducted by law enforcing authorities should not be called as Karachi operation, instead, it should be called ‘Lyari operation’ as only raids were carried out in Lyari.

She said that if MQM wanted to join government, they would be welcomed but no one would be allowed to sabotage peace of Lyari. “We welcome them in the government if they wanted to work for the peace and prosperity of the province,” she said.

When contacted, PPP Secretary Information, Latif Mughal, denied rifts in the party over MQM inclusion and said that party had offered MQM to join Sindh government soon after the election results.

“We offered them to join the government but they refused our offer, however, we never withdrew our offer and if they are mulling over to join us, we will warmly welcome them.”

Mughal said that MQM should join the provincial government as it had majority mandate of the urban areas of the province. “According to a ratio of urban and rural Sindh, we are ready to give 40 percent share to them in the provincial government,” he concluded.

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