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Friday Aug 10 2018

Despite alliance at centre, MQM-P, PTI leaders engage in war of words

KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM-P) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were unable to restrain their leaders from making hostile remarks towards each other despite having joined forces at the centre.

When the matter of opposition leader for the Sindh Assembly surfaced, Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan, who has previously held the same post, tweeted his disapproval towards the candidate the PTI is expected to nominate.

He wrote: "Our alliance with the PTI is conditional; these conditions come before any individual or party, and include a collaborated effort for the development of Karachi and urban Sindh and the transfer of the municipality representatives' powers."

The MQM-P "would have reservations should Firdous [Shamim] Naqvi's name be put forward for the opposition leader post" in the Sindh Assembly, Izhar-ul-Hassan added.

On Sunday, Naqvi, a leader of the PTI, had said the deal with the MQM-P was based on "certain necessities".

Taking into account that the two parties had signed a deal of reconciliation just a few days back, this spat indicated that the partnership was already starting to show signs of weakening.

PTI leader Naeemul Haque later, however, added subsequently that Naqvi's remarks did not reflect their policy but were, in fact, his own opinion, and did not benefit the Imran Khan-led party in any way.

"The alliance with MQM is a strategy, not a necessity," Haque added. 

However, at the instruction of Imran Khan, the Prime Minister-in-waiting, Naqvi had to set aside the differences and rescind his statement on how the cooperation with the MQM-P was a bitter pill.