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MQM-P formally parts ways with ruling PTI, joins united opposition

MQM-P party convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui makes announcement at joint press conference with opposition leaders
Updated 31 Mar, 2022 01:30pm
Photo by PPP media cell/ Twitter
Photo by PPP media cell/ Twitter

The Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan has formally announced parting ways with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and supporting the united opposition on the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the National Assembly.

MQM-P's party convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui made the announcement at a press conference in Islamabad alongside leaders of the joint opposition.

With this announcement, the united opposition have the numbers to defeat PM Imran in the no-confidence vote for which the count is expected to take place on Sunday, April 3.

The move came after a late-night accord between the Pakistan People's Party and the MQM-P, which was announced by leaders of both parties on Twitter.

Historic moment

While speaking at the occasion, the MQM convener called it a historic moment, while adding that it was a test for the national leadership. "I expect that this time we can [strive for] a democracy whose effects can reach the common people of Pakistan."

He said that the MQM-P's decision was made for the common public and not for "individual or party benefits".

"[The clauses in the agreement] are for the areas that we have been representing for the last 35 years. The areas for which we believe immediate steps are needed," he added.

"We have prioritised Pakistan's interests over all individual interests," he added.

Shehbaz Sharif, who is expected to be the opposition's candidate for prime minsiter if the no-confidence vote is successful, thanked the MQM-P for agreeing to join the opposition, while calling the joint opposition "a national jirga" to preserve natonal unity.

He also singled out PPP leaders Asif Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto, whose party is in power in Sindh, for setting aside past differences during the negotiations with MQM-P.

"This agreement will be implemented in letter and spirit," said Shehbaz.

JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, while speaking during the press conference, welcomed MQM-P into the opposition fold. "As a result of these decisions (government allies joining the opposition), our strength in the National Assembly now stands at 175 while we need only 172."

Let's hold voting tomorrow: Bilawal

Bilawal underscored the importance of Karachi, stating that PPP's relationship with MQM-P was not limited to the no-confidence motion. "PPP and MQM-P have to work together under any condition, if we want to work for Karachi and Pakistan's prosperity," he said.

He also fired another salvo at Imran Khan, as the premier stares at possible defeat in the no-confidence vote after the MQM-P's decision to switch allegiance.

"Imran Khan has now lost his majority. He is not the prime minister anymore," he said while stating calling for the no-confidence vote to take place when NA session reconvenes on Thursday, instead of on Sunday as expected.

"Let's hold the vote tomorrow and settle this matter. We can then start working on transparent elections and the journey towards restoration of democracy and an end to economic crisis can then begin."

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