MQM-P, PTI make ‘visible progress’ after talks Khattak hopes consensus will develop soon; PTI urged to resolve Sindh’s urban areas’ problems

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STAFF REPORTER
KARACHI The Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf (PTI) and the Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) said they made “visible progress” as the government bolstered efforts to woo its disgruntled ally a few days after MQM-P convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui resigned from the federal cabinet. “MQM-P has not left the government, and it won’t leave our side in the near future,” said Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, speaking to media after negotiations. The PTI leader said there were rumours of the MQM-P withdrawing support for the government when that was not the case. He said that the MQM-P had left the federal cabinet but was still supporting the PTI government. “We have discussed the problems, and a consensus will be developed soon,” the defence minister said. Khattak said when the PTI had taken reins of the country in 2018, Pakistanwas faced with numerous problems. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan will lead the country out of the economic crisis it was in at the moment and take Pakistan forward. He also informed that both parties would meet again soon in Islamabad to further discuss MQM-P’s reservations. “We will spend the rest of the tenure together,” Khattak said confidently. “The PTI knew about these problems before we joined hands to form the federal government,” Siddiqui said , saying that the MQMP had given the ruling party “unconditional support” during its time of need. “We joined the PTI government without vested interests,” he said, saying that the MQM-P was fighting the case of the common man. He said that the MQMP had been waiting for a long time for the government to resolve their issues. “The PTI is a witness to the demands we put forward before them and even you reporters may have the main points of the demands in your hands,” he said. “Before forming the collation MQM-P put forward the problems of Sindh and Karachi asking the government to resolve them,” the MQM-P leader said. The demands accepted by the government became their promises and the issues put forward by us became our demands, he added. “In the past 11 years economic terrorism took place in the province,” he noted. Siddiqui said the 18th Amendment had been misused in the past and that power had yet to be devolved to the lower level. He said Sindh’s urban areas “are in the Intensive Care Unit” and those areas of the country should be taken care of by the government whose shopkeepers, traders and industrialists were “fulfilling their responsibilities” and generating revenue. “I urge the PTI government to resolve Sindh’s urban areas’ problems quickly,” he said. Siddiqui said people shouldn’t be made to beg for their rights in cities where they were paying taxes and generating revenue for the governmentReplying to question Khattak said: “We have no magical wand, we didn’t promise anything we couldn’t accomplish, and the MQM-P has witnessed it.” In a bid to reconcile with their disgruntled allies, a high-level Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf (PTI) delegation met the MQM-P at their headquarters in Karachi. Jahangir Tareen, Asad Umar, Khattak and other local PTI leaders were present at the meeting. Amir Khan, Khalid Maqbool and several others were present from the MQM-P side.