MQM-P’s Soft Reminder to PTI on ‘Unfulfilled Promises’: Convenor Quits as Federal Minister

“Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem (of MQM-P) is being considered for governorship of Sindh which has made these folks unhappy”; ” “In order for us to succeed, we ought to make you lose” mantra is being followed by PPP”

DESPARDES — Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui on Sunday announced he was quitting his Federal Minister for Information Technology post due to “unfulfilled promises” of PM Khan-led government at the Center, but that his party was not abandoning the PTI-led government despite reservations.

“Lack of seriousness of PTI government has compelled me to resign,” Siddiqui said at a presser at the MQM-P headquarters in Karachi on Sunday.

“We had promised PTI to help with the formation of the government and we held our end of the deal. However, none of the promises made to us have seen any progress”.

PM Khan today meanwhile directed Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar to lead a delegation of the party to meet with the MQM-P leaders.

Both PTI and MQM-P last September formed the Karachi Strategic Committee to resolve civic issues of the mega city: shortage of water, failed sewerage system, garbage, poor public transport, electricity.

The committee was tasked with suggesting short, medium- and long-term measures for the betterment of the metropolis. That’s not happening due to turf war between the center and the province, a source privy to the development says.

“Karachi’s situation demanded the federal government play its role in resolving people’s problems without imposing governor’s rule or emergency,” Federal Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem (of MQM-P) had said after being appointed the head of the “high-powered” committee.

Since then, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)-led Sindh government and the two parties at the Center have been in a war of words leading to ‘conspiracy theories’ about ‘governor rule’.

PPP which opposes any such move heads the provincial government since 2008 — Karachi is its capital and Pakistan’s economic powerhouse.

The latest, according to the source is that “Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem (of MQM-P) is being considered for governorship of Sindh which has made these folks unhappy”.

“Pakistan’s future is linked with Karachi as it is its financial hub,” says an expert. But most of the time rule of law have been transgressed, circumventing accountability and planning regulations have further led to a crisis”.

According to a financial professional, a dip or rise in Karachi’s socio-economic stream creates a negative or positive force multiplier effect on the country’s overall economy. The mega port city is not only the largest contributor to federal taxes and levies but the biggest bowl of employment, trade and commerce, etc. and akin to the New York City.

But the decades-old battle of wits between PPP — which has majority in the province — and MQM-P which holds a sway in the city continue to dampen matters.

PTI’s successful entry in city affairs in 2018 polls has added new dynamics to PPP’s effort to wrest the city from MQM-P.

Meanwhile, all major issues –local in management sense –affecting the City of Lights –remain in freezer. “In order for us to succeed, we ought to make you lose” mantra is being followed by PPP,” says an independent observer.

The groupthink which developed among Karachiites that the PPP and MQM-P wrestling is going nowhere, led PTI to snatch a significant portion of MQM-P’s vote bank in last elections.

Since then MQM-P and PTI have banded together to tackle Karachi crisis amid stiff resistance from PPP government in Sindh. “Bottom line is there are No Action Talks Only (Nato)”, says the observer.

Earlier this month, MQM-P rejected PPP offer to join hands, saying it had formed an alliance with the PTI “in the interest of Karachi”.

PPP chairman Bilawal had asked for MQM-P help to topple the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government in the center. He had offered to give them the same number of seats they have in the center.

However, people close to MQM-P and PTI say the two parties shall remain coalition partners in the Center — the MQM-P has always been a partner with the ruling party.

The two together may in fact — on provincial level — go head-to-head with PPP on Karachi crisis.

“Both parties with some others have a sway in city affairs and in the provincial assembly.” “The issues are city-centric and therefore not about weakening the political government at the Center which PTI runs” an observer says. “Still, you never know”, he adds.

“If we have to save Karachi, we have to resolve these issues on a permanent basis,” Federal Minister for Law Dr. Naseem had said back in September while launching the strategic committee for the city.