PML-N shatters MQM-P's dream of getting ‘four ministries' in new coalition govt

Waqar Satti
February 29, 2024

Khalid-led party apprises PML-N "not to be part of cabinet if demands not met"

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif (right) addresses the media after a meeting with MQM-P's top leaders ahead of the 2024 general elections in Lahore on December 29, 2023. — Online

Despite announcing unwavering support to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led coalition government, hardships of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) have not ended yet as it faced “refusal” from the former for bargaining at least “four ministries” in return for fully backing the next governing setup at the Centre.

The alliance between the Khalid-led party and the Nawaz-led party has once again in the doldrums as the MQM-P, which won 17 National Assembly (NA) seats after the general elections 2024, “failed to get assurances from the PML-N for its desired numbers of four ministries in the next federal cabinet,” Geo News reported citing sources.

The party’s dream of easily bargaining “four ministries” was shattered by the former ruling party which “offered only one ministry” after multiple rounds of talks between top leaderships of both sides.

Sources closer to the Nawaz-led party revealed that the PML-N has also been demanded to retain the Sindh governor from the MQM-P.

The Khalid-led party is ready to take part in the voting for the prime minister, and the National Assembly (NA) speaker slots, however, it signalled to abstain from voting in the upcoming elections for the president and the Senate chairman’s posts, the sources revealed.

In a tit-for-tat move, the MQM-P also “decided not to join the next federal cabinet until the fulfilment of its demands,” it emerged.

However, the PML-N leaders were hopeful for “finding a solution to convince the MQM-P as both sides have not concluded the dialogues yet”.

The development came to the limelight after the MQM-P’s top leaders — Kamran Tessori and Mustafa Kamal — faced an untoward situation of their purported audio conversations leaked on social media platforms in which they were complaining about “paying the cost of becoming part of the Shahbaz Sharif-led coalition”, and accusing the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of attempting to corner them.

Both MQM-P leaders confirmed the veracity of the audios, however, they termed them to be taken “out-of-context.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the MQM-P stood at fourth rank as per party positioning in the National Assembly after the preliminary results of the February 8 nationwide polls.


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