MQMP may get Sindh governor’s post, up to three ministries in Centre

Raees Ansari
Sunday, Mar 03, 2024

LAHORE: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQMP) is likely to get the Sindh governor’s post along with two to three ministries as the party continues to negotiate to secure its interests in exchange for its support for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN)-led coalition government in the Centre, sources told Geo News.

According to the sources, the PMLN has decided to keep the number of cabinet ministers low, with the MQMP likely to get two ministries if the cabinet would comprise 20 members.

The party might end up with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and it is unlikely to get the Ministry of IT and Technology, the sources added.

However, negotiations with the PMLN are not the only challenge faced by the MQMP, as the Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui-led party is also facing internal division over the issue of Sindh governor’s post, wherein one party faction is backing Kamran Tessori, whereas another wishes to see Khushbakht Shujaat securing the coveted provincial post. The development comes as the party has been engaged in weeks-long negotiations with the PMLN over its share in the government in exchange for their support in the Centre.

Earlier this week, Geo News reported that MQMP’s dream of easily bargaining “four ministries” has been shattered by the PMLN, which “offered only one ministry” after multiple rounds of talks between the top leaderships of both sides.

Sources close to the Nawaz-led party revealed that the MQMP has demanded to retain the Sindh governor’s post.

The 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 Senate chairman’s posts, the sources revealed.

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

Both MQMP leaders confirmed the veracity of the audios; however, they termed them “out-of-context”.

It is pertinent to mention that the MQMP stood fourth as per party positioning in the National Assembly after the preliminary results of February 8 nationwide polls.