Bilawal seeks MQM’s support to topple Imran Khan government

Bilawal seeks MQM's support to topple Imran Khan government

KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Monday offered Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQMP) an equal number of ministries in the Sindh provincial Cabinet if the party breaks off its alliance to topple the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The MQMP with seven lawmakers is one of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) main allies in the federal government. Two of its lawmakers, Farogh Naseem and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui hold the federal ministries for law and information technology, respectively.

The Opposition parties have been trying oust Khan’s government, alleging that the PTI came to power with the tacit backing of the powerful military. “Topple it, topple it, topple Imran’s government,” the 31-year-old scion of the Bhutto political dynasty said at a function here in the southern port city, where he inaugurated four development projects.

“We will give you equal number of ministries in Sindh. The only condition is that you send Imran home,” the PPP chairman said. During his address, Bilawal said if MQMP breaks off its alliance with the PTI and manages to get Sindh its share in resources, the provincial government will “stand by (MQMP) for the sake of Karachi’s people”.

“Today or tomorrow, all the facilitators, all the allies [of PTI] will have to take this decision, will have to save Pakistan and end Naya Pakistan,” Bilawal said. He criticised the Khan government, saying the people were suffering due to the wrong policies of the PTI.

“The entire nation is embroiled in a plethora of issues. The problems of the masses are escalating every day,” Bilawal was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune. “The economic situation is dangerous and the PTI government is making policies that go against the [interests of] poverty-stricken people,” Geo News quoted him as saying.

Cash-strapped Pakistan has received loans worth billions of dollars in financial aid packages from friendly countries like China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE in recent months. It has also got a USD 6 billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund to support the country’s ailing economy.

Bilawal also complained that the federal government was not providing adequate funds to carry out development in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest metropolis. Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, who was present at the event, said that it was the party that would decide on Bilawal’s offer.

“MQM-P has never indulged in the politics of ministries and our support for PTI is based on Karachi’s issues, Akhtar said. “However, we [the MQM and PPP] can sit together for the resolution of Karachi’s problems,” he said.

“Our party might sit and hold a discussion on this, what can be done in future,” he added. The Khan-led government has 156 PTI lawmakers in the 342-member National Assembly. The government has the support of 28 other lawmakers, including seven from the MQM-P. The combined Opposition has 158 members in the lower house of Parliament. PTI