No open support from MQM after PM visits party headquarters
Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Karachi on a one-day trip today (Wednesday) to win assurance of support from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P), one of his coalition partners, as the opposition has moved a not-trust motion against him in the National Assembly. However, MQM-P's Amir Khan has told a press conference that the party has not discussed the no-confidence motion with prime minister.
SAMAA TV reported that MQM-P presented three demands to Imran Khan and the government has agreed to the reopening of MQM offices across Pakistan. Shortly afterwards, MQM's zonal office in Hyderabad was reopened.
Speaking at the press conference, Amir Khan said that MQM-P did not present any new demands or complaints to the PM and the meeting was held in cordial atmosphere.
To a question about Shah Mahmood Qureshi's statement that the MQM-P has assured Imran Khan of their support, Amir Khan said that "not a single word was discussed about this no-confidence."
However, Khan also said that he would not reveal the details of their meeting with PM Khan to media. The MQM-P leader said that there had been no contact between MQM-P and opposition parties since the motion was submitted in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
He also said he was unware if MQM offices had opened anywhere, but if that is happening it is a good development.
MQM offices reopen
The PM's helicopter landed at the National Stadium where he was welcomed by PTI MPAs. The premier reached MQM-P's Bahadurabad office shortly afterwards along with leaders Asad Umar, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Imran Ismail, and Ali Zaidi.
Security in the area was beefed up and roads were cleared.
The prime minister's meeting with MQM convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and other leaders lasted nearly 10 minutes.
The allied party put forward three main demands during the meeting: de-sealing of offices, recovery of missing persons, and speedy implementation of Karachi Development Package, SAMAA TV reported.
SAMAA TV's Zamzam Saeed says the PM had a one-on-one conversation with Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. The MQM-P leader asked the premier about the political situation to which he replied, "It's in front of you. We need MQM's support."
Here, Siddiqui reminded the prime minister that the parties' offices have not yet been de-sealed. "Your offices will be reopened soon. We won't let the no-confidence succeed," the PM said according to sources privy to the discussion.
The meeting then ended and MQM-P announced that a press conference will be held later in the day. Subsequently, as Amir Khan spoke to journalists SAMAA TV broadcasted visuals of an MQM zonal office being reopened and cleaned in Hyderabad.
MQM offices across the country have been closed since August 2016. They were sealed during crackdown against the party following MQM supremo Altaf Hussain's anti-Pakistan speech.
'MQM had no demands'
Speaking to SAMAA TV, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the MQM has not put any demands in front of the prime minister. "They welcomed us warmly and assured of their support."
He added that MQM is with PTI and have taken the prime minister into confidence regarding the no-confidence movement.
'Proof of being good Pakistanis'
Speaking to SAMAA TV ahead of the prime minister's arrival, MQM leader Khalid Maqbaool Siddiqui said that his party and its leaders will prove to be "good Pakistanis and good humans" today (Wednesday).
In an interview just before the meeting, MQM's Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui promised to give proof of being a "good Pakistani" today pic.twitter.com/u08jdxvILY— Samaa English (@SamaaEnglish) March 9, 2022
After the meeting, the prime minister headed to the Sindh Governor House to meet PTI leaders.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Prime Minister's Office reached out to Pir Pagara, head of the Grand Democratic Alliance, for a meeting with the premier, but the party refused. National Assembly member Saira Bano said that Pir Pagara was not doing well, while Pir Sadruddin Shah was in Khairpur for some personal engagements.
PM Khan's visit to Karachi comes at a critical juncture as opposition parties move to dislodge him.
On Tuesday, the opposition submitted a requisition with the National Assembly secretariat to convene an NA session where it plans to move a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
About half a dozen senior opposition MNAs, including Naveed Qamar and Rana Sanaulllah, also submitted the no-trust motion with the NA secretariat.
“Through this resolution under clause (1) of Article 95 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, this House resolves that it has no confidence in the Prime Minister, Mr. Imran Khan, and consequently he shall cease to hold office under clause (4) ibid,” reads the no-trust motion.
SAMAA TV reported that at least 152 MPs have signed the motion.