JUL 28, 2018: With Imran Khan led PTI needing more votes to form a coalition government at the center — as it lacks simple majority, movers and shakers of the party have reached out to the independents and to Karachi-based MQM-P whose several candidates won national assembly seats from the mega city.
Once its stronghold, MQM’s Karachi mandate has now changed hands after Khan’s party won more national assembly and Sindh assembly seats from the mega city than MQM won.
“The possibilities are limitless after PTI tsunami hit Karachi”, the party’s Karachi President Firdous Naqvi told PKonweb. Naqvi who was directly incharge of PTI campaign in the metropolis, won a provincial seat from the same constituency Imran Khan won the national assembly seat for the first time — Gulshan-i-Iqbal and Gulistan-e-Johar wider area, once stronghold of the MQM.
As things stand, PTI has emerged as the single-largest party in the National Assembly with 115 seats countrywide, however, it still requires 22 more votes to get a simple majority. Even if all 13 independents join the PTI, the party still needs nine more MNAs. MQM-P has 6 elected lawmakers which can bring PTI inches closer to forming a coalition government. Sweetener: PTI and MQM-P will work closely on federal, provincial and city level to resolve Karachi-centric issues.
According to sources, PTI has already gathered enough seats to form coalition govt at Center.
MQM-P, which a day before had rejected the election results, has also chosen not to side with the parties complaining of massive rigging in the general elections. The party’s announcement that it was not attending the multi-party conference convened by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in Islamabad is being seen as an attempt to keep its door open for successful negotiations with the PTI.
The two parties have also supported each other’s candidates in the July 25 elections in various constituencies in the interior of Sindh. Their stances on local government matters are identical specially related to the metropolis’ decades old issues.
Against this backdrop, PTI chief Imran Khan’s point man Jahangir Tareen called MQM-P convener Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui on Friday to pave the way for future negotiations on forming a coalition at the Center.
MQM-P spokesperson Aminul Haque told Dawn that Mr Tareen congratulated Dr Siddiqui on his party’s success in the election.
He said both sides accepted each other’s mandate and agreed on having a meeting soon. Mr Haque said nothing had been decided about formation of a future government.
But sources said the MQM-P was ready to support the PTI at the Center and wanted Imran Khan to visit its Bahadurabad headquarters to seek its support. Besides, it wanted a package for Karachi and Hyderabad and funds and powers for the local bodies in the two cities.
In the past, the MQM-P had extended unconditional support to former prime ministers Yousuf Raza Gilani, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Both parties are also expected to have a strong presence and united stands in the upcoming Sindh Assembly led by PPP.