KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in the best interests of the democracy has decided to rejoin the government and would sit on treasury benches; however the party would not join the federal cabinet.
MQM leader Raza Haroon after negotiations with the Prime Minister, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, talking to media said that his party always sacrificed for the national interest and the democracy. Earlier, the PM paid a visit to nine-zero to meet the MQM leadership.
The announcement came after Mr. Gilani, accompanied by Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, visited the MQM headquarters for the first time. He was showered with rose petals and was accorded a warm welcome upon his arrival.
The premier held a long meeting with the MQM central committee members and also spoke to party’s London-based chief Altaf Hussain on telephone before he came out flanked by Sindh Governor, Sindh Chief Minister, Mr. Malik and senior MQM members.
Raza Haroon offered thanks to Prime Minister, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani and the other delegations members who paid visit to the nine-zero. He stated that MQM after detailed negotiations decided they would render sacrifices in the head of strengthening democracy, pubic welfare and national interests. He expressed gratitude over the decision of the government regarding reversing the petroleum prices and said that the PM ensured him that all the public issues would be resolved.
The MQM leader welcomed the decision of the governor for delaying RGST and hoped that the incumbent would take appropriate steps to eradicating the corruption. He also asked the government to make reduction in the government expenses.
Raza Haroon reiterated that they decided to sit on the treasury benches for keeping in view the good will gesture of the PM however they are not ready to join the federal cabinet. Withal, they would appreciate all the positive steps of the government by sitting together in the parliament.
Talking to media after meeting with MQM at Nine Zero on Friday Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani has said that this is the first government in the history that took every step with consultation and assured matters settled with MQM will be implemented.
He said that he held talks with Altaf Hussian several times on phone and hoped he would hold direct meeting with him soon.
He thanked the MQM for welcoming and respecting him and his delegation, adding that he discussed with Altaf Hussian various issues including inflation, unemployeement, law and order situation, RGST and war on terror.
The prime minister noted that the MQM quitted the government over recent hike in the prices of petroleum products and added he briefed the parliamentary leaders about economic problems and the decision about the price hike of the POL was withdrawn after dialogue and they return back to the MQM after the decision.
He said that every decision is being taken with consensus in the National Assembly and he congratulated the wise leadership of Altaf Hussian.
He said that he told Altaf Hussian that the government delayed the RGST bill, adding that he always consulted with Altaf Hussian about vital national issues.
He noted that he was on foreign tour when he learned of the MQM decision about quitting the government and added he phoned Altaf Hussian and told him that the MQM ministers are representatives of Pakistan and advised Babar Ghori to complete the visit.
PM Gilani said that he held telephonic talks with Altaf Hussian in morning and assured him the government would consult with MQM on every issue and unanimous Accountability bill would be presented. He said that the government had always accepted criticism in positive sense and never took revenge against any political party.
He said that Sindh government also assured consensus with MQM in Sindh cabinet. He assured on the behalf of the provincial government that complains of MQM ministers would be removed.
He said that the government would cooperate with political powers in the interest of the country, adding that the confrontation between PPP and MQM would affect economy of the country and he suggested that they should unite for greater interest of the country.
He noted that Shaheed Benazir Bhutto had desired for meeting with Altaf Hussian when she came into power for the first time, adding that he had accompanied her but could not attend the meeting due to rush of the MQM workers.
The prime minister vowed that they along with MQM would pullout the country from crisis and he invited the MQM to join the federal cabinet. He announced that commissionerate system bill would be tabled after consultation.
The return of the 25 MQM members to the government benches restores the Pakistan People’s Party-led government’s majority in the parliament at 183 seats out of 342.