–PPP chief offers ministries to MQM-P in exchange for ending its alliance with PTI
–MQM-P spokesperson says party believes in the welfare of the people, not seats
KARACHI: Hours after Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari offered ministries in exchange for breaking alliance with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) declined offer, saying the party cares about the welfare of the people instead of seats.
In a statement, MQM-P’s spokesperson said that the party formed an alliance with the federal government for the welfare of people of Karachi not for the seats in federation or provincial government set-up.
He said that MQM-P will not decide to leave the federal government on the wish of someone, adding that the party believes in the politics of rights of people instead of seats.
The -P spokesperson urged Bilawal to empower local bodies by introducing a bill in Sindh Assembly. “Instead of offering us to join Sindh government, PPP should empower local bodies by laying bill in the provincial assembly,” he said, adding that MQM-P will fully support PPP in this step.
He demanded that provincial government should transfer institutions like; Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KW&SB), Karachi Development Authority (KDA), Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) and others to the local government.
Earlier in the day, addressing a ceremony in the provincial capital after inaugurating four development projects, the PPP chief said that his government would offer an equal number of ministries to the MQM-P if it breaks off its alliance with the Imran Khan-led federal government.
“Topple it, topple it, topple Imran’s government,” he added.
“For Karachi’s sake, all the ministries that the MQM-P has in the Centre, we will give them in Sindh. But the only condition is to send him [Imran Khan] back home,” he said.
“Today or tomorrow, all the facilitators, all the allies will have to take this decision, will have to save Pakistan and end Naya Pakistan,” he added.
It is worth mentioning here that MQM-P is one of the core allies of the federal government and its MNAs Farogh Naseem and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui hold the federal ministries for law and information technology, respectively.
The scion of the Bhutto dynasty also criticised the PTI government over its decision of removing 800,000 people from the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), saying that it was “cruel and unjust of the government to snatch Rs1,000 from the poor women in this economic situation”. He vowed to challenge the exclusion of the more than 800,000 people from the programme in a court of law. “The entire nation is embroiled in a plethora of issues. The problems of the masses are escalating every day,” he added.
He said that the government’s anti-encroachment drive was rendering the residents of shantytowns homeless in extreme winter. He also urged the mayor of Karachi to halt the anti-encroachment drive to protect the people from the cold weather.
Condemning the government’s gas policy, the PPP chairman said that the people of Sindh were suffering due to suspension of gas supply, adding that, “We will have to snatch our share from the government.”
He lamented that the federal government was not providing Sindh its rightful share in resources and funds, adding that the PPP cannot “compromise” on the province’s rights.
“At the same time, we will have to think and come up with a way to expand the scope of our development. How can we work more with fewer funds,” he said, adding that public-private partnership was one way to work on mega-development projects.
Bilawal said that PPP had initiated several development projects in Karachi, which include the construction of two bridges and an underpass which, he said, were “obviously very important for Karachi’s communication network” and will help in improving the city’s traffic woes. He said that Karachi’s development was important for the entire country, not just the city’s residents.
“PPP government is the only government in the country that is working and we can show that,” he said but acknowledged that his party’s efforts to provide health, education and other facilities to Sindh’s people were not enough to “meet the demand”.
However, he further said that foreign publications too have lauded the policy of the Sindh government.