KARACHI               -             The Muttahida Qaumi Movement - Pakistan Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said Monday he would not rejoin the federal cabinet as both MQM-P and PTI could not resolve differences.

Hours after the meeting with, Prime Minister Imran Khan summoned Maqbool Siddiqui to Islamabad and assured him of fulfilling MQM-P’s all valid demands.

The PTI delegation led by the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Monday visited the MQM-P headquarters in Bahadurabad. The delegation also included PTI Central Vice President Haleem Adil Shaikh, Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Firdaus Shamim Naqvi and MPA Khurram Sher Zaman. Besides MQM-P Convener, Senior Deputy Convener Amir Khan, MQM-P Parliamentary Leader in Sindh Assembly Kanwar Naveed Jameel and MPA Khawaja Izharul Hassan were also among the host delegation.

The delegations of both parties held meeting which they said was preplanned. Speaking to media after the meeting, Siddiqui said that their meeting was scheduled way before his resignation and they discussed different issues including uplift works in Karachi. “There was nothing sensational in Sunday’s press conference. There will be a good news for all of us when the development work in Karachi is visible,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Asad Umar said, “Sometimes, a person thinks there is no wrong on not being part of the cabinet. I have also spent seven months outside the cabinet and can understand Khalid Bhai’s wish. The PTI wants the MQM-P to stay in the cabinet. Our wish is that Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui remains in the cabinet and there will be discussion on that.”

“PM will visit Karachi in the first week of February and update the MQM-P on the developments related to Karachi. He will also inaugurate more projects for the city,” he added, downplaying reports that the governor of the province would be changed.

Umar said the PTI delegation came to the MQM-P headquarters to brief the latter about the uplift works being carried out by the federal government. The federal minister said the meeting was not aimed at perusing Siddiqui to rejoin the cabinet but making mechanism for the future.

However, the MQM-P’s key leaders stated that the party’s recent move was a part of pressurising the federal government to give it another ministry because, the party believes, Farogh Naseem, the minister for law and justice, has been solely working on behalf of the federal government.

Following the announcement, Prime Minister Imran Khan tasked PTI’s Karachi leaders to meet the MQM-P leaders and address their grievances.

Speaking to reporters alongside Umar, Siddiqui said that he had not taken back his resignation.

However, Siddiqui said that MQM-P would remain an ally of the ruling party.

“We promised to support the government with our numbers and we will continue to do that,” said Siddiqui.

After the general elections in August 2018, PTI and the MQM-P had signed a nine-point memorandum of understanding (MoU) following which the latter joined the PTI-led coalition government in Centre and was also assigned two federal ministries – those of information technology and law.

Senior MQM-P leader Faisal Subzwari said that after Siddiqui’s press conference, Prime Minister Imran had personally contacted the MQM-P convener and assured him that he would look into his party’s legitimate concerns.

Siddiqui’s announcement came just weeks after PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s public offer that the PPP was ready to embrace the MQM-P as a coalition partner in Sindh provided it helped the opposition in bringing down the PTI-led federal government.

Siddiqui clarified that his decision to quit the federal cabinet had nothing to do with the “recent offer of ministries from a party”.

He explained that MQM-P had supported the PTI government for strengthening the democratic system, but to date, it had not seen any serious headway on even one of the many points of the MoU it had signed with PTI.