MQM rules out possibility of rejoining govt

KARACHI - The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Saturday resubmitted an application along with signatures of its 48 MPAs with Assembly Secretariat, seeking allocation of seats for its 51 MPAs on opposition benches in Sindh Assembly. Three MQM MPAs are out of the country. The fresh application was submitted by Parliamentary Leader of MQM in Sindh Assembly Syed Sardar Ahmed along with other MPAs. The MQM moved early this week an application for allotment of seats for its MPAs on opposition benches, but same was not accepted by Assembly Secretariat because application carried signatures of only 25 MPAs as against its total strength of 51 MPAs in the provincial legislature. According to Assembly Secretariat officials, the signature of all the party legislators was mandatory to move an application for opposition benches, which has now been submitted by the MQM. After parting ways with PPP in province and Centre, the MQM had already submitted an application in the Senate and National Assembly for its members, seeking allocation of seats on the opposition benches. The strength of the MQM in the Sindh Assembly is 51, while there are 25 members in the National Assembly and six in Senate. Talking to the media after submitting application in Sindh Assembly, MQMs Coordination Committee member and former minister for health department Dr Sagheer Ahmed said that his party had become party of opposition after submitting the application. To a question, he categorically rejected the reports of talks under way between former ally parties. He said that no contacts and talks are under way between PPP and MQM as his party was firm on its decision to sit on opposition benches in national and provincial assemblies and Senate. Meanwhile, Syed Sardar Ahmed talking to TheNation said that he had submitted application with the signatures of 48 MPAs, adding, the three lawmakers of provincial legislature were out of country currently. He said that Assembly secretariat did not reject the application as Deputy Speaker of assembly had only objected verbally. Sardar Ahmed contended that being a parliamentary leader of his party he was competent to move application for opposition benches with his signature. He however informed that all of his MPAs signed the application, except three who are out of country. MQMs parliamentary leader confidently said that there was no chance to rejoin government as his party was firm to sit on the opposition benches. He also said that no contacts have been between two former allies. Meanwhile, it has been learnt that President Zardari, who is co-chairman of ruling PPP is scheduled to return from London to Karachi on Sunday. He is expected to camp in the city for three days. During his stay in Karachi, the president Zardari will meet with party leaders and cabinet ministers of Sindh government to discuss the political situation and government affairs in the aftermath of MQMs separation from ruling coalition. An indication that the PPP leaders are trying their best to bring MQM back in government was evident in the delay in the acceptance of resignations of the MQM ministers. Meanwhile, official sources said that the Sindh Chief Minster Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Friday night proceeded to Islamabad, where he is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani and others to discuss situation arising out of MQMs leaving the government.

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