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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tension between MQM and Govt eased after MQM delegation's meeting with PM

ISLAMABAD, Dec 19 : The tension that had cropped up between the MQM and the ruling PPP party appears to have been eased after a high level representative delegation of MQM met the Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani at the PM's House on Sunday afternoon.

The delegation headed by Dr. Muhammad Farooq Sattar, Minister for Overseas Pakistanis, other members included Mr. Babar Khan Ghauri, Minister for Ports and Shipping, Syed Haider Abbas Rizvi, MNA, Mr. Adil Siddiqui, Provincial Minister Sindh and Mr. Raza Haroon, member Rabta Committee MQM and Minister for IT, Sindh expressed its serious reservations and resentment over the statement of Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza which he gave a few days back. Mirza had alleged that some of the criminals involved in target killings in Karachi were members of the MQM.

The Prime Minister assured the MQM delegation of appropriate measures to address the grievances both at the government and party level.

The MQM delegation apprised the Prime Minister of their reservations regarding the coalition government in Sindh. The delegation thanked the Prime Minister for his personal interest on the matter and assurances. They also appreciated his patience and political sagacity.

A joint statement read out by the Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira in the presence of Dr Farooq Sattar and Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere for over three and a half hours which covered all matters relating to coalition governments.

Replying to a question Dr Farooq Sattar said they had one point agenda of their strong resentment over the utterances of Sindh Home Minister and the Prime Minister and members of his team listened them with patience.

"The Prime Minister noted our reservations and assured that these would be addressed", Sattar said. He hoped that action would be taken to address their concern.

Farooq Sattar said other matters were also discussed at the meeting. Though he did not give details, but sources said the issue of RGST also came under discussion and the Prime Minister asked the MQM to extend support to the government on this bill.

The Prime Minister was assisted by Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Minister for Defence, Mr. Rehman Malik, Minister for Interior , Mr. Qamar Zaman Kaira, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Syed Khursheed Shah, Minister for Labour and Manpower, Dr. Zaheeruddin Babar Awan, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Petroleum, and Raja Pervez Ashraf, Minister for Water and Power.

The MQM delegation is also scheduled to meet President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday to discuss the concerns of the party with him.

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