Daily Briefs

Photo : Dawn

20 January 2020, Monday

MQM-PTI differences continue, as the former refuses to join the coalition

PR Daily Brief | D. Suba Chandran

What happened?
Despite the negotiations led by Pervez Khattak, the Defence Minister of the PTI with the MQM-P in Karachi, the latter has refused to join the ruling coalition led by the PTI. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, leader of the MQM-P and a member of the National Assembly resigned from the federal cabinet recently. 

The MQM-P leader was quoted stating, that the reasons for the MQM-P leaving the PTI coalition is related to development in Karachi. He said: “We are extremely worried over economic terrorism perpetrated against Urban Sindh during the last 11 years and the nation has suffered irreparable damage on the account of the 18th (Constitutional) Amendment.” (The News, 19 January 2020)

What is the background?
On 12 January 2020, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui resigned from the ruling coalition. He was then a federal cabinet minister heading the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT). He is also the convenor of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan. 

MQM-P has seven seats in the National Assembly, and five in the Senate. Also in January 2020, the PML-Q, another coalition partner of the PTI raised serious issues in Punjab, raising questions about its continuation with the coalition. The support of the MQM and PML-Q is important for the PTI. 

For the MQM-P, the primary issue is its political standing within Karachi, since its vote bank is primarily in the city in Sindh province. Unless it is seen as performing, it would be difficult for the MQM-P to retain its position. Its political influence is waning in Karachi, after the split within the MQM. Besides, Sindh is ruled by the PPP, where the MQM-P is not a part of the ruling coalition. 

Recently, Bilawal Bhutto, leader of the PP gave a public call to the MQM-P to leave the PTI coalition and join the PPP government in Sindh.

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