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Monday, June 27, 2011

MQM parts its ways with PPP government

KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has finally announced to quit the government in Sindh and center due to differences with its ally, PPP, over postponement of Azad Jammu and Kashmir elections in Karachi.

Citing government’s ‘dictatorial’ and ‘undemocratic’ approach, MQM announced that its Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan is also going to tender resignation from his office.

Although the move was a blow to the government, it was not expected to collapse as it enjoys a comfortable majority in parliament.

“This is not a gradual separation from the government. Our members will immediately quit provincial and federal cabinets to sit in opposition benches in National and Sindh Assembly,” Deputy Convenor MQM Dr. Farooq Sattar said in a news conference at party headquarters, Nine Zero, amid party slogans.

Criticizing the ruling clique over its attitude towards the allies, he said that the decision was taken after a lengthy deliberation within the party.

“The MQM leadership and workers have reached the conclusion it is difficult to go along with the Pakistan People’s Party, keeping in view its democratic and dictatorial attitude,” the senior party official told reporters.

“Our alliance was for the sake of people, power has never been our destiny”, Sattar said, adding that “We will continue to play our democratic role as opposition.

The MQM is unlikely to reverse its decision; however, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani are most likely to make their utmost efforts to convince it for a reunion.

Sattar refused the results of AJK elections, alleging that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party had ‘threatened’ MQM to withdraw from one of two seats in Karachi. MQM candidates had won polls on the two seats in last AJK general elections.

“We were threatened by PPP bigwigs in open words to withdraw from two seats which are currently represented by our workers. When we refused to change our stance, the PPP got the elections cancelled on the pretext of security issues,” he said.

“It was the rulers’ bossy behavior and an approach to sideline us”.

“The PPP was unwilling to mend its ways leaving us with no option but to quit the coalition government,” Sattar said. “Our resignations are ready and will be sent soon to the authorities.”

The MQM on Saturday announced boycott of the elections in protest against the postponement of polls in LA-30 and LA-36, taking out processions in Muzaffarabad, Abbottabad and Karachi.

Today, it filed a petition in the Sindh High Court (SHC) against the government decision, declaring the AJK elections illegal on grounds of alleged government interference in the process and the Election Commission’s postponement of the polls in Karachi.

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