Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui ruled out returning to the cabinet as a federal minister, a few months after he resigned from the post citing the PTI’s inability to fulfill promises made to the Karachi-based party.
Siddiqui said this during his interview on Geo News’ programme Jirga saying that even if the MQM-P’s issues with the PTI were resolved, he would not be the one to return to the federal cabinet.
The MQM-P leader was the federal minister for information technology before he dropped a bombshell on January 12 by announcing he had resigned over the PTI’s non-fulfillment of demands made to the MQM-P.
“If [MQM-P] has to return to the federal ministry after issues with the PTI are resolved, I will not be the individual [who takes up the ministry again],” he said.
Siddiqui said that when he was not supposed to take up the federal ministry the first time as the MQM-P had nominated Amin ul Haq and Mohammad Ali Iqbal’s names to the government for inclusion in the cabinet.
“After people congratulated me, I came to know that I had been appointed minister,” he said. “I phoned Jahangir Tareen and he told me not to say no [to the ministry]” he added.
He said that the MQM-P had not asked for the law ministry but the government had insisted on Farogh Naseem’s name. “We told them to appoint him [Naseem] from their quota,” he said. “The PTI needed Naseem for the law ministry.”
Siddiqui said that the MQM-P was compelled to become part of the federal cabinet owing to “past experiences and some friends”.
“Told the PTI right from the start, if you don’t count us correctly, you will have to weigh us later,” he said. “We kept our promises but the PTI didn’t fulfill our demands,” he added.
The MQM-P chief urged the PTI to remember that the largest mandate in Sindh is from Karachi. “We gave them that,” he said.
Siddiqui’s interview on Jirga will be air tomorrow (Saturday) at 10:05pm on Geo News.
The interview comes a day after reports started doing the rounds that the MQM-P and the PTI had reconciled following a meeting between PM Imran and Siddiqui.
The two, according to sources, had discussed matters related to Siddiqui’s ministry during the meeting.
Sources had earlier informed that the MQM-P leader had taken up charge of the Ministry of Information Technology and Communication; however, the Karachi-based party refuted the report.
MQM-P was not the only ally of the ruling party that threatened to quit its coalition at the centre. The PTI got much needed relief on Monday after its leaders managed to convince the estranged PML-Q to not leave the alliance.