Muttahida and PPP inch closer to forge alliance

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have inched closer to announcing formation of a coalition government in Sindh, according to media reports.

By Our Correspondent

Published: Mon 24 Mar 2014, 11:41 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 1:44 AM

It is believed that the MQM will get five cabinet posts, including two coveted slots of local government and home.

The Express Tribune reported that leaders of the two parties are also expected to meet at the Governor’s House in a day or two, where the portfolios would be finalised. The names of the potential ministers have been sent to MQM chief Altaf Hussain for approval.

According to sources, the ministries of health, information technology, Auqaf, industries and commerce are likely to be offered to the MQM. All these departments were led by MQM ministers in the last coalition government. Meanwhile, out of the important ministries — local bodies, finance, planning and development, and home department — one will be given to the MQM. If all goes well and the new coalition is formed in the province, two advisers will also be appointed from the MQM.

However, after the 18th Amendment, the Sindh cabinet can only have 15 ministers and five advisers on the board.

Currently, there are 16 ministers and two advisers serving as part of the provincial government. In case a coalition government is formed and five ministries are awarded to the MQM, the PPP will have to remove six of its own ministers from their posts.

A section of the PPP is opposing coalition with the MQM in view of the mercurial nature of the its leadership who have been leaving the government at the slightest provocation.

Senior party leader Syed Khurshid Shah yesterday ruled out the prospects of forming a coalition with the MQM while takings exception to repeated “anti-democracy statements of MQM chief Altaf Hussain”. Altaf has been inviting the army to intervene and take over country’s affairs. PPP patron-in chief Bilawal has also been critical of Altaf Hussain’s statements.

Former president Asif Zardari, however, is keen to rope in the MQM and asked the party leaders to stop making anti-MQM statements. Earlier, Altaf made a similar statement. —

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