ISLAMABAD: Amid consultations over the formation of a new federal cabinet in the Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif-led regime, MQM-P has decided not to be part of it, The News reported.
Instead, the party wants to extend its support to the broad-based government from the outside.
With the decision already conveyed to the prime minister, MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said his party had discussed the formation of the new cabinet with the leaders of coalition partners in detail.
He said the MQM-P is more interested in the implementation of the commitments made by the coalition partners for the well-being of Karachi and other areas of the province.
“The commitments are significant, which need to be fulfilled,” Siddiqui said.
However, the politician did not comment on former Karachi mayor Wasim Akhtar’s remarks where he took exception to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for not mentioning commitments with the MQM-P in his maiden speech as the premier in the National Assembly.
The MQM-P had two slots of the federal cabinet in the ousted government of the PTI. Syed Aminul Haque was IT minister while Senator Farogh Nasim was the law minister, representing the MQM-P in the government.
Sources said the MQM-P was offered two slots in the federal government, Sindh’s governorship and about half a dozen slots in the Sindh cabinet beside municipal charge of three big cities of the province including Karachi mayorship but no decision has yet been taken about assuming these assignments.
PM Shehbaz consults coalition partners over cabinet formation
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is in consultation with the leaders of the coalition parties over the formation of his cabinet.
However, sources privy to the matter said that PPP is unwilling to be a part of the cabinet, saying that it would support the government from the treasury benches in a better way.
According to the sources, one group within the party favours the idea of joining the cabinet to strengthen the coalition, while the other group is of the view that the party should instead focus on electoral reforms for early election.
However, the final decision will be made as per the top leadership’s will in a few days.
Sources said the PPP was more interested in the constitutional offices of the parliament and it would join the cabinet in the second phase. There is a consensus in the party on taking over the office of the National Assembly speaker with Raja Pervez Ashraf and Syed Naveed Qamar as its candidates.
They claimed that Ashraf was a strong contender, while Maulana Asad Mehmood of the JUI-F, the son of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, could be the deputy speaker.