MQM governor, ministers submit resignations
By Syed Irfan Raza
ISLAMABAD: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement formally parted ways with the ruling coalition on Tuesday after the Sindh governor and its two federal ministers and a minister of state sent their resignations to President Asif Ali Zardari.
The resignations of the governor and the ministers have not been accepted because the president is in the United Kingdom where efforts are said to be under way to persuade Muttahida chief Altaf Hussain to reverse the decision.
Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad, Minister for Ports and Shipping Babar Ghauri, Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Dr Farooq Sattar and Minister of State for Overseas Pakistanis Dr Nadeen Ehsan have sent their resignations to the Presidency, MQM leader Zahid Hussain said.
Asked if Muttahida might reconsider its decision, he said: “We have closed doors for the return to the government,Â” he said.
However, President`s Spokesman Farhatullah Babar said he hoped that the MQM would rejoin the government. “We will overcome some misunderstandings between the PPP and MQM soon,” he said.
Sources in the government said that after the PML-Q joining the ruling coalition the government did not need MQM`s support to have majority in parliament. However, alliance with the MQM is needed for peace in Karachi.
The MQM leader negated a perception that his party would do something to disturb Karachi`s peace. “The law and order situation was not satisfactory even when the MQM was in the government,” he said.
He regretted that his party had not been given any authority to curb lawlessness in the city. “We managed to curb crimes for five years when the MQM headed the home ministry in Sindh,” Mr Mehmood said.
Responding to a question about the presence of President Asif Ali Zardari and Interior Minister Rehman Malik in London, he said there was no possibility of MQM chief Altaf Hussain meeting them. “Altaf Bhai will definitely not meet Rehman Malik because of his controversial role in the AJK elections,” he said.
The party`s ministers in Sindh also tendered their resignations.