After taking Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) into confidence, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has finally decided to visit Karachi to deal with a range of issues including internal party matters and law and order situation.
Nawaz will have a meeting with Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan and Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, while a meeting with Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F) head Pir Pagara is also a possibility.
The prime minister will hold meetings with his party members during the trip, and listen to their Sindh-related concerns, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) sources told The Express Tribune.
“The PM could not delay the visit anymore as internal differences had started sprouting up following some negative mails to the party leadership after PML-N initiated ‘nice’ ties with MQM,” a party official said.
“PMLN does not want to give its rivals an opportunity to create disorder in its rank and file,” he said.
This will be his first tour of the metropolis since taking office in June. The one-day tour was earlier scheduled for July 31.
The recent visit of a PML N delegation, led by Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, to the MQM headquarters Nine Zero has sparked a debate within the PML-N’s provincial leadership.
The PML-N leadership in Sindh had expressed its reservations over a possible alliance of their party with the MQM, sources said.
Federal Information Minister Pervez Rashid did however clarify that the PML-N has not yet invited the MQM to join the federal government.
Pervez Rasheed while detailing the purpose of the visit said that Karachi is an extremely important city and PMLN has always deemed it the country’s backbone so, “it is not possible that we would leave it to the miscreants and anti-state elements.”
“The prime minister’s special focus would be the security situation in Sindh, particularly in Karachi,” Rasheed said.
He added that during the parliamentary party meeting held on Monday, the prime minister discussed the issue of ties with MQM, but he did not receive a positive and encouraging response in this regard from within the party. Majority of the PML-N lawmakers termed MQM an unpredictable ally keeping in view their track record of leaving and rejoining regimes while staying in power, the PML-N official said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2013.
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