PM, allies decide not to accept MQM resignations
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a meeting with parliamentary leaders of various political parties decided on Thursday not to accept Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) lawmakers' resignations from the assemblies.
"The government will treat MQM resignations issue the same way it treated PTI's resignations," it was decided in a meeting of parliamentary leaders with the PM at his chamber in the National Assembly. The prime minister also decided to form a committee comprising multiparty representation to negotiate the issue with the MQM. Further, all parliamentary leaders in the meeting decided to coax MQM into talks instead and to address their reservations. "National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq will keep the issue of MQM resignations in adjournment until the issue is resolved," an official privy to the proceedings of the meeting said.
During the meeting, it was also decided that the Karachi operation will contin- ue targetting terrorists in the metropolitan city; however, the government will hold talks with the MQM to bring the party back to parliamentary politics.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar contacted MQM leader Farooq Sattar over the phone and requested him to take their resignations back. However, the MQM leader said that his party had already conveyed its concerns to the government. "The government does not want see the MQM out of parliamentary politics," Dar said. He also assured the MQM leader that he will discuss the issue with the prime minister and contact him again.
On Wednesday, the government tasked its key aides to negotiate with the leadership of the Karachi-based party. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had been assigned to resolve the controversy and convince the MQM legislators to take back their resignations. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who returned from his three-day official visit to Belarus on Wednesday, had discussed the issue with Chaudhry Nisar at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad.
The JUI-F chief said that while leaders said members could not return to Parliament once they submitted their resignations to NA speaker and chairman Senate, they also argued the court could only interpret the law and it was the speaker's prerogative to accept or reject the resignations. "I would consult legal experts before reaching out MQM leader Altaf Hussain and his party lawmakers," he said.
MQM's Farooq Sattar wanted the Rangers operation in the city but that it shouldn't be specific to the MQM, which showed positive signs. "If their reservations are addressed, the MQM may return to Parliament." Meanwhile, according to Express News, Fazl called Sattar urging the party to return to Parliament and play their constitutional role. The MQM leader has demanded to constitute a judicial commission and a committee to probe the impartiality of the surgical operation in Karachi.