MQM agrees to meet PML-N over resignations' issue
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has agreed to hold meeting with Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) leaders to discuss party resignations and its return to the Parliament.
Sources close to JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is mediating between the MQM and the government, said the meeting is expected to take place in the next two or three days. The JUI-F chief is coordinating with government in this regard and will inform the MQM after deciding a meeting date with PML-N leaders, sources added. Moreover, a meeting of the MQM coordination committee will be held in London to discuss the matter.
MQM lawmakers had simultaneously submitted their resignations in the National Assembly, Senate and the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday August 12, 2015 due to reservations over the Rangers-led operation in Karachi. The MQM legislators had accused the law enforcement agencies of discriminatory action against MQM, forced disappearances and extra judicial killings.
The prime minister had then requested the JUI-F head to hold talks with the MQM leadership in an attempt to convince them to withdraw their resignations.
Maulana visited the MQM headquarters earlier this week but the mission remained inconclusive in the wake of an attempt on the life of Muttahida MNA Rashid Godil. However the two sides had agreed to put the talks on hold for a while and start the process again in a couple of days in Islamabad. But before the next round of talks could begin, MQM in a statement said its members' resignations from all three legislative floors were final, adding that it would not partake in dialogue over the matter anymore.
Earlier, Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal defended Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's decision to not visit the Liaquat National Hospital to inquire after the health of Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmaker Rashid Godil, saying he did not want to cause trouble for patients and visitors at the health facility.
While shutting the door of negotiations with the federal government on the issue of its lawmakers' resignations from parliament and the Sindh Assembly, the MQM had late on Friday night also criticised the PM for not visiting the wounded MNA during his recent visit to Karachi.
Mr Iqbal visited the LNH to inquire after Mr Godil's health. He told reporters that he visited Mr Godil on behalf of PM Sharif as the premier did not want to put thousands of patients and visitors in trouble in the hospital by visiting it with the mandatory protocol.
"We are ready to talk on all the issues," he said, adding that the prime minister's attitude towards the MQM was not hostile as had been reported in a section of the media and asked the MQM to review its decision of resigning from the legislatures. Reiterating that the operation in Karachi was not against any political party, Mr Iqbal said his government was keen to see the MQM represent its constituents as the PML-N had desired for the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on the same issue. Special assistant to the chief minister of Sindh for culture and tourism Sharmila Faruqui also visited the MNA.