PM invites MQM to rejoin federal cabinet

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Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani called Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussein on the phone on Sunday and invited the MQM to rejoin the federal cabinet, as sources said a five-member delegation of the MQM led by Dr Farooq Sattar was due to meet Gilani on Monday (today) in Islamabad.
Altaf told Gilani that he would consider the invitation with due regard and would ask the party’s Coordination Committee to look into it. According to MQM’s international secretariat in London, Gilani spoke to Altaf about the current political situation in the country. Gilani also told Altaf about the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s dialogue with the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid to include the latter in the coalition government in the centre.
Gilani said that despite the fact that it was not the proper time to talk about the issue, it was the PPP’s desire that the MQM rejoin the federal cabinet in order to improve bring stability to the country. The prime minister expressed his condolences on the death of MQM leader Liaquat Ali Qureshi. Altaf shared with Gilani his concerns over the continuous killings of MQM workers and demanded action against the killers.
Gilani assured him the killers would be arrested and no leniency would be shown to such criminal elements. Meanwhile, a joint meeting of the MQM’s Coordination Committee was held simultaneously in Karachi and London. The committee’s Deputy Convener Dr Sattar told reporters that the party was in contact with the government and whatever was decided would be final. He said despite promising not to, the government had increased oil prices again.
Earlier in Lahore, Gilani said the PPP’s alliance with the PML-Q was in the interest of the country as it would help strengthen the government and thereby benefit the people, but added that there was no provision in the constitution for the post of deputy prime minister. Talking to reporters after visiting Mian Amer Mahmood’s residence to offer his condolences on the death of the former Lahore nazim’s mother, Gilani said the PPP did not “divorce” the PML-N, but the latter had left the government on its own.