Rejoining the coalition: No timeframe yet for MQM’s return

Party officials say although decision is inevitable, a timeframe can’t be given.

Express August 22, 2011


The Mutahida Qaumi Movement has rejected media reports that the party will announce joining the treasury benches on Sunday.

Reliable sources in the party refuted these claims terming them as “mere speculation”. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) officials said although much is being written in newspapers and said on television, the party has not made a final decision in this regard as yet.

The officials however acknowledged that the MQM’s return on treasury benches is inevitable for the continuation of the democratic process in the country. They said that their party has even conveyed this message to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) but it is too early to give an exact time frame. It may happen after Eid, they said.

MQM officials also said that the party is in talks with the PPP at various levels and that President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani have had discussions with MQM chief Altaf Hussain.

The party’s spokesperson, Wasay Jalil, told The Express Tribune that currently, restoring peace in Karachi is the most important thing for the MQM. “The deteriorating law and order situation in the city has surpassed any other issue,” he said.

Meanwhile a high-level meeting on the law and order situation in the city was held at Sindh Governor House on Sunday. Governor Eshratul Ebad chaired the meeting which was attended by Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Home Minister Manzoor Hussain Wassan, Sindh Chief Secretary Raja Muhammad Abad, Additional Chief Secretary Home Waseem Ahmed, IG Sindh Wajid Ali Durrani, Acting Director General Rangers and Additional Inspector General Sindh Saud Mirza.

The governor was briefed by the home minister on the current situation. The governor asked police officials to provide lists of wanted criminals to all station house officers and directed them to ensure the recovery of missing people.

“People want peace and it is the government’s responsibility to ensure their safety and maintenance of law and order,” he said.

He said that the police should take action against criminal elements irrespective of their political affiliations and added that the government has taken all political parties on board.

“These recent incidents have damaged the reputation of the law enforcement agencies especially the police. The police must regain its lost reputation and respect among the public,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd,  2011.

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