Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) wants three demands to be fulfilled before it extends support to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) as opposition party in the Sindh Assembly.
In a joint conference with MQM on Sunday, PML-F general secretary Imtiaz Shaikh said the demands include resignation of Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad, complete support for Nusrat Sehar Abbasi as opposition leader in the provincial assembly and the annulment of Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance 2012.
“We came into opposition before the MQM and nominated Nusrat Sehar Abbasi as the leader of opposition. There should be no reservations on that.”
Sheikh added that despite the court’s order for nomination of the leader of opposition in the Sindh Assembly, the move is being delayed by the Pakistan Peopled Party.
Demanding the resignation of Sindh governor Ishratul Ebad, the PML-F leader said, “The MQM cannot be in the opposition till its governor submits his resignation. To prove that it is genuinely in the opposition, the governor will have to leave his post.”
The PML-F also touched upon the Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance 2012, which led it to withdraw from the PPP-led coalition.
Shaikh clarified that they are not against the local bodies system but want a form of governance which is acceptable to the entire province.
“To dispel the air of uncertainty and rumours, the party should accept our demands,” said Shaikh surrounded by MQM leaders Raza Haroon, Khawaja Izhar ul Hassan and Syed Sardar Ahmed.
MQM leader Raza Haroon responded that he would take these “messages” to his party. Referring to the third demand he said laws are man-made and amendments can be made in greater interest of the province.
On its first day as part of the opposition, the MQM delegation came to meet Imtiaz Shaikh.
“There should be no opposition in the opposition,” said Haroon.
He also said that on Monday, a meeting of their parliamentary committee would take place to decide their next move.
MQM submits eleven resignations
Earlier, MQM submitted 11 resignations of members appointed in provincial ministries to the Sindh governor.
The move came after MQM ended its almost five-year-long alliance with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) because the ruling party withdrew cases against Lyari-based Peoples Amn Committee members.
MQM will now sit in opposition in both provincial and federal assemblies.
Regarding the fate of Sindh’s governor, deputy convener of Rabita Committee Dr. Farooq Sattar refused to comment, saying it was yet to be finalised at party level.
Talking to The Express Tribune, he rubbished accusations that the decision to quit the government ahead of polls was taken only to gain influence in the formation of interim government.
“The allegations are absurd and ridiculous,” he said. “If such claims were true, we would have never resigned from the federal government, and would have never submitted a charge-sheet to the PPP.”
He accused PPP of patronizing the criminals who were involved in the killing of innocent citizens.
About the nomination of the opposition leader, Sattar said that MQM was not concerned about it.
The MQM ministers who resigned include, Syed Shoaib Ahmed Bukhari, minister for bureau of supply and prices; Adil Siddiqui, minister for public health engineering; Saghir Ahmed, minister for health; Faisal Ali Subzwari, minister for youth affairs; Zubair Ahmed Khan, minister for coastal development authority; Abdul Haseeb Khan, minister for religious affairs and Sheikh Muhammad Afzal, minister for environment.
Ministers without a portfolio, Syed Sardar Ahmed, Nisar Ahmed Panhwar and Khalid Bin Wilayat also resigned.
Other members in the Sindh cabinet- Raza Haroon, the advisor to chief minister for information technology, Nadia Gabol, the coordinator for human rights and Haider Abbas Rizvi who resigned from the National Assembly on the dual nationality issue, and is a special assistant in the Sindh cabinet and has a status of provincial minister- submitted their resignations to the chief minister of Sindh.
At the federal level, Sattar, who holds the ministry of overseas Pakistanis, would submit his resignation to the president.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2013.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ