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MQM puts PPP into a tight spot

Sattar, Ghauri send resignation to President, PM
PML-N accepts Altaf’s challenge of public debate
Staff Reporter/ Agencies
KARACHI: The PPP-government came under further pressure Tuesday with its second-largest partner, Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Farooq Sattar and Babar Khan Ghauri dispatched their resignations to President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani. Muttahida Qaumi Movement said Monday that it was withdrawing its two ministers from the federal cabinet in a move that could threaten the narrow parliamentary majority of President Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
Talking to media, Sattar said that they had resigned because the government failed in solving the problems faced by the people of Pakistan. He said that the government did not consult his party on policy decisions.
The statement issued here from MQM Center ‘Nine-Zero’, said the party’s reservations still exist adding government neither took MQM into confidence nor did has any consultations with it.
Prime Minister Gilani has also called for a meeting of the federal cabinet to discuss political developments.
MQM has 25 lawmakers in the national assembly but only two ministers in the federal cabinet, Babar Ghauri for ports and shipping and Farooq Sattar for overseas Pakistanis.
The loss of its 25 lawmakers would leave the coalition in a parliamentary minority and could bring down the government.
“The decision has been taken because the government did not heed to our complaints about the remarks of Sindh Home Minister maligning the MQM,” Faisal Sabzwari told reporters. The resignations will also be a blow for the PPP just weeks after Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) party took its three cabinet ministers and seven lawmakers out of the government, sparking fears of a domino effect.
Meanwhile, MQM Chief Altaf Hussain has given a final warning to the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government to mend its ways or else MQM would be forced to part its ways with the Sindh coalition too and move from government to the opposition benches. Altaf Hussain was addressing his party workers from London following the decision of Party’s Coordination Committee to tender resignations of its two Federal Ministers to the government late Monday night.
He said MQM can no longer continue backing government on anti-public decisions, declaring it is no use of holding such ministries which incessantly fail to serve any good to masses.
“Had Pakistan Peoples Party acted on my advice given time after time, the PPP and people would not have to face the present circumstances,” he regretted.
Altaf Hussain reiterated that his party wants that the present government completes its five-year term. “We continued to stand with the government so that the democracy did not get derailed”, he added. He also came down hard on Pakistan Muslim League-N Chief Nawaz Sharif for criticising MQM in public meeting in Muzaffarabad, and called Sharif ‘a by-product of dictatorship.’


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