MQM-P’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui says he is quitting federal cabinet over ‘unfulfilled promises’

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KARACHI: Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui on Sunday announced his decision to leave the federal cabinet over “unfulfilled promises” on part of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

“We had promised the government to help with the formation of the government and we held our end of the deal. However, none of the promises made to us have seen any progress,” Siddiqui said while addressing a press conference in Karachi along with senior Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leaders in Karachi.

“It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to remain a part of the federal cabinet as questions are being raised upon my presence in the cabinet,” he explained.

Speaking about the agreement with the government, the MQM-P convener told the media that two agreements were made with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), one in Bani Gala, the other in the Bahadurabad, in the presence of Jahangir Tareen.

Siddiqui said that they [MQM-P] had supported the federal government in every difficult phase but “injustice was still being done with Sindh”.

In response to a question regarding the ending of its alliance with the government, Siddiqui said, “We did not ask for the law ministry neither did we propose Farogh Naseem’s name. The two names that we had proposed for the ministry did not include [Farogh] Naseem’s name. The government had selected his [Farogh Naseem] name on its own.”

Siddiqui denied that his decision had anything to do with the recent proposal of provincial ministries by Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Siddiqui in exchange for MQM-P’s help in toppling the government.

“This has nothing to do with PPP’s offer,” Siddiqui said.

Last month the PPP chairman had offered MQM-P provincial ministries if it helped “topple the government.”

Bilawal had said, addressing the MQM-P. “The PPP will support the toppling of PTI rule”.

“The economic situation is dangerous and the PTI government is making policies that go against the [interests of] poverty-stricken people,” he said.

“We are ready to give you the same number of ministries in Sindh,”

Talking about Karachi, Bilawal said that the city “is very important” and acknowledged that, “we need to give basic rights to the Karachiites”.

He had also blamed the PTI for the ongoing gas crisis in Sindh and accused it of “stealing gas”.

‘Govt has not received Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui’s resignation’

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that “Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui has not sent his resignation to the federal cabinet.”

“A committee headed by federal minister Asad Umar will meet MQM-P leaders tomorrow and try to address their grievances,” she told Geo News, adding that “MQM is our coalition partner and will remain so.”

Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to informed sources, has tasked Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and other party officials in Sindh to meet MQM-P leaders.

The prime minister is said to be in agreement with MQM-P’s concerns, deeming their grievances “legit” and vowing that the promises made to them will be “fulfilled”.

The prime minister, as per sources, said that he was aware of Karachi’s importance as an “economic hub” and vowed not to ignore it.

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