PPP woos back MQM into the cabinet

Published: May 5, 2011
Interior Minister Rehman Malik along with Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad and MQM leader Farooq Sattar addressing a press conference at Nine Zero.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik along with Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad and MQM leader Farooq Sattar addressing a press conference at Nine Zero.


The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) achieved a major breakthrough late on Wednesday when it managed to woo its estranged coalition partner the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) back into the federal cabinet.

The bickering between the two sides appeared to be a thing of the past at the Governor House on Wednesday night as a beaming contingent of MQM senior leaders, including Dr Farooq Sattar, Babar Ghauri and Dr Sagheer Ahmed along with Governor Ishratul Ibad and Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik professed the setting aside of all differences ‘for the sake of democracy and reconciliation’.

“We have decided to rejoin the federal government,” Sattar announced, stressing that the decision was made possible only because of the good relations and spirit of reconciliation demonstrated by MQM chief Altaf Hussain and President Asif Ali Zardari.

Malik said he welcomes his ‘friends’ from the MQM back into the federal cabinet and added that he would like to dedicate this milestone to the friendship between the chiefs of the two parties. “PPP-MQM unity is for the good of the public.”

Sattar, who held the overseas Pakistanis portfolio and Ghauri, who was the ports and shipping minister, had resigned from the federal cabinet late last year after differences developed between the two coalition partners over a controversial statement made by then home minister Sindh Dr Zulfiqar Mirza.

Although the MQM continued to sit in the treasury benches, there was always the lingering threat that it would shift its 25 seats to the opposition, which threatened PPP’s majority in the parliament that had already been weakened with the departure of Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F.

On Wednesday, however, neither side made any mention of the ministries offered to the MQM in the new set up in which the PML-Q also has a huge role. Malik denied reports that the MQM had been offered three federal ministries, including ports and shipping, labour and manpower and the provincial home department slot in exchange for joining the cabinet. “There were no  discussions about any ministries today,” he insisted, adding that the prime minister’s office would make an announcement to this effect.

MQM’s decision to rejoin the cabinet came after a flurry of activity on both camps. A five member delegation of the MQM along with the governor had met the president a day before on Tuesday.

Also, earlier in the day on Wednesday Malik visited MQM headquarters Nine Zero. Sattar said the PPP leader offered his condolences for the murders of MQM workers, including Liaqat Qureshi and Farooq Baig.

Malik said there would be action against target killers in the city. “The IG Sindh and DG Rangers have been directed to take action against all criminals no matter under whose banner they operate, the Peoples Aman committee, the PPP or the MQM.”

Sattar said the MQM had stressed on three points in the discussions held today, including law and order, and action against target killers in Karachi; extortion rackets operating in the city to which many traders and industrialists are a hostage; and conspiracies to derail the economic hub of Pakistan.

“We have been assured that all are reservations will be removed and a sense of participation would be given to us as coalition partners,” he said.

The MQM leader added that he was looking forward to a people friendly budget and that the government would complete its tenure.

Bin Laden

The interior minister said the country’s intelligence agencies and Pakistan Army were being ‘unduly’ blamed, especially by the Western media. “Nothing is what it seems,” he said. Although Malik did not say how the government planned to clear the air by saying  that new information would be shared with the public regarding Osama bin Laden’s killing in Abbottabad, he urged the people to dispel the negative propaganda.

He said the police, Pakistan Army and the ISI remained on high alert to ward off any threats by terrorists.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2011.


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Reader Comments (18)

  • Hasan
    May 5, 2011 - 3:40AM

    Well, PPP wins, in the end.
    The JIT report, the blackmailing by PPP all worked in the end.Recommend

  • Pro Pakistan
    May 5, 2011 - 5:55AM
  • Ali Turk
    May 5, 2011 - 8:20AM

    Off course it was done in national interest…..crap

    what fakes….power hungry breedRecommend

  • Faisal
    May 5, 2011 - 10:07AM

    So we have a complete Team of Pervaiz Mushraf in action now…. ca any one highlight the difference ?Recommend

  • SS
    May 5, 2011 - 11:25AM

    Surprise! Surprise!Recommend

  • May 5, 2011 - 11:35AM

    The Muttaheda should be given responsible ministries to see the results of effective performance. They know how to focus on a problem and get to its root causes. That’s because they come from the educated middle class, which no sane Pakistani can ever deny.

    This is a sensible move on both President Zardari and Convener Altaf in the larger interest of the nation and the province. Let us all pray and work for a better Pakistan. Salams.Recommend

  • May 5, 2011 - 11:37AM

    Why are you being cynical? Give it time and a chance to work. Show some goodwill and entreaty, mister. Salams to you.Recommend

  • Bilal Ahmed
    May 5, 2011 - 11:39AM

    MQM back again.
    No walk out raise of petrol and CNG prices now.Recommend

  • D. Powers
    May 5, 2011 - 12:51PM

    @Nazir Habib: I wish you were right, but we shall get more of what we have been getting in the past three years – Karachi burning, Balochistan slipping away, Lawlessness in KPK, corruption, mismanagement, apathy, terrorism, energy deficits, economy going to the dogs…. Recommend

  • kdm
    May 5, 2011 - 1:57PM

    Zardari has no option left after two days of violence. Recommend

  • 007
    May 5, 2011 - 2:07PM

    can’t the parties stay united and work for Pakistan!!! For God’s Sake PLEASE stop thinking about winning elections and start working for the country if u are part of the national assembly and also call yourselves God-Fearing Muslims!Recommend

  • Faisal
    May 5, 2011 - 2:22PM

    @Nazir: are u living in the fantasy world? How can it work, it can only work in their own interests forget about the National interests. You seem to be an MQM supporter as compared to me who is looking for new and true leadership. Salam to youRecommend

  • Aamer
    May 5, 2011 - 2:50PM


    I hope you were just being funny, because if thats not the case then you are too naive or a MQM jiyala.

    What good has MQM done while it was in the government with PPP uptil now? They’re doing it for the sake of greed just like PML-Q. MQM is party that cannot survive without being in power, its somewhat like candy for a baby.Recommend

  • Ya right
    May 5, 2011 - 2:56PM

    Long live MQM – Long live Altaf Hussain – the middle class representatives are back – oh – only to loot us more!! Bang the drum!!Recommend

  • IamConcerned!
    May 5, 2011 - 3:14PM

    buahaha..they’ll bring revolution?! haha gimme a break!! they are part of every government and then point fingers at them too.Lol who are they trying to fool here? Karachiites?! lol Recommend

  • Fareedi
    May 5, 2011 - 8:28PM

    Together in Greed and Lust… One and all! And anything for the dead and the dying of Karachi.
    Any good news for the poor Pakistanis too?Recommend

  • Malik
    May 6, 2011 - 12:22AM

    The MQM like the PML(Q) has joined government in the supreme national interest, just like a fish that cannot live without water. Like the three witches in Macbeth, they will really cook a broth to the devil’s taste.Recommend

    May 6, 2011 - 4:52PM

    Over the years MQM has developed serious addiction to power and they cannot repeat cannot stay out of the power corridors for too long. There is one very important synergy between MQM and PPP. Both the parties have a knack in making fool of people of Pakistan. PPP has repeatedly been successful in be fooling the people in the name of Roti, Kaprra and Makan and MQM has done equally well by raising attractive slogans like elimination of corruption, elimination of Jagirdari system and hereditary politics etc etc. Recommend

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