KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) announced their decision on Friday to withdraw their resignations submitted earlier and rejoin the national and provincial assemblies and the Senate from next week onwards.
The party’s decision was announced by MQM leader Farooq Sattar in a joint press conference also addressed by Federal Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between MQM and the government following a successful dialogue process between the two sides.
“The party will take take back their resignations from next week onwards,” said Sattar.
Farooq Sattar also thanked the government for showing political maturity and resolving all issues in an amicable manner. He further stated that the government had taken the party’s resignations seriously from day one.
The MQM leader further demanded an end to the restrictions placed on the party’s social and welfare activities and expressed hope that the committee being formed would address their grievances in a timely manner.
“We wish for the complete elimination of crime from Karachi,” stated Sattar
Ishaq Dar has also announced the formation of a complaint redressal committee.
The federal minister stated that the redressal committee will have to complete its work on complaints received with in 90 days.
The redressal committee will have the secretary interior as its convener, and the committee will comprise five members.
Dar stated that the names of the committee members will be announced after consultations with MQM, and a notification in this regard will be issued once a consensus is reached on all issues.
“We want the MQM to play its role in the parliament,” said Dar.
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam –Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman played his role in negotiations with MQM, Dar further said.
“MQM has a huge vote bank in Sindh and is a large political party of Pakistan,” stated the federal minister.
Earlier in September, MQM in an emergency press conference had announced its decision to withdraw from talks with the government once again, alleging that the government was not serious about the dialogue process.
The party had simultaneously resigned from the National Assembly, Senate and the Sindh Assembly in August over what it said were “excesses” committed by security forces against its workers and members during the Rangers-led operation in Karachi.
Following the party’s resignation from the three legislative floors, the government was reluctant in accepting the resignations and tasked JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to hold talks with MQM in an attempt to persuade the party to withdraw its resignations.
But talks broke down abruptly almost immediately after they began when an assassination attempt was made in Karachi on MQM MNA Rashid Godil, whose driver was killed in the gun attack. The attack had happened as Maulana was holding talks with an MQM delegation at Nine Zero in Karachi.
Subsequently, after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Karachi, MQM had announced it would not continue dialogue on the matter of resignations anymore, saying it will instead focus on relief work and the “creation of a new province.”
But the government, through Maulana Fazl, was able to break through yet again, convincing MQM to come back to negotiations. In a joint press conference with federal minister Ishaq Dar and an MQM delegation led by Farooq Sattar, Fazl announced that a grievances redressal committee would be formed to address all of MQM’s reservations.
MQM leader Farooq Sattar had also stated that the government’s nonserious attitude had pushed the party to withdraw from the dialogue process, adding that “in the current scenario dialogue is useless.”
Sattar said during dialogue with the government, MQM had raised three core issues: the ban on MQM’s political activities, relief activities and speeches of party chief Altaf Hussain.
Sattar was of the view that these issues were not up for discussion and had to be addressed by the federal government.
Farooq Sattar had demanded then that the government accept the resignations of MQM’s legislators.
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