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MQP-P and PTI agrees to oust Shah as opposition leader

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Tuesday agreed to replace the incumbent Syed Khursheed Shah with their joint candidate for the slot of opposition leader in national assembly.

According to sources, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan accepted request of the Imran Khan led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to support Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi for the important slot ahead of appointment of new chairman of the national accountability bureau.

But the acceptable is conditional and some terms and conditions have shared with PTI, a leader said, adding the response of PTI will decide the fate of Tuesday agreement but he refused to share further details.

This request, according to sources, was formally extended to MQM-P during visit of the high level PTI delegation to the former’s headquarters in Bahadurabad neighborhood of the city. The PTI delegation was led by Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, member national assembly Asad Umar, Karachi leaders Shamim Firdos Naqvi and Imran Ismail whereas MQM-P was represented by its chief Dr Farooq Sattar, leader of opposition in national assembly Khowaja Izharul Hasan, member provincial assembly Faisal Subzwari and other leaders.

Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhter was also part of the dialogue who complained that other parties didn’t raise their voice over the Sindh Government’s decision to curtail powers of the local representatives.

A high-level delegation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led by vice-chairman hah Mehmood Qureshi will visit office of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan on next Tuesday to finalize deal for bringing new leader of the opposition in national assembly ahead of appointment of the new chairman national accountability bureau (NAB) , it emerged on Saturday.

“The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), after getting positive signals from the MQM-P, has decided to visit its headquarters on Tuesday, September 26,” Dawa Khan Sabir, spokesman PTI Sindh, told The Frontier Post.

According to Sabir, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the PTI’s Vice-Chairman and likely candidate for leader of the opposition in national assembly telephoned to Dr Farooq Sattar, chief of the MQM-P on Saturday.

“The PTI leader got positive response from MQM-P supremo after which it was decided that a delegation led by Shah Mehmood Qureshi and comprising Asad Umar, Firdos Shamim Naqvi, Imran Ismail and others will visit the MQM-P’s headquarters for formal talks,” Sabir further told.

According to sources the decision was made in view of upcoming appointment of the Chairman NAB. The current Chairman is going to be retired next month and both PML-N and PPP are on the same page regarding the new appointment, sources added.

“Both the ruling PML-N and main opposition party, the PPP, want to bring a person, who is lenient towards the accused of plunderers,” a sources privy to these “efforts” told this scribe, adding that most of the accused in NAB cases belonged to PPP and PML-N.

When asked as what could be the driving force to agree the MQM on PTI’s candidate for an important slot with getting anything in return, the source said; “powerful quarters have persuaded both the PTI and the MQM to replace Syed Khursheed Shah with their joint candidate from the PTI. While talking to The Frontier Post, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s leader Faisal Subzwari confirmed that PTI’s delegation is scheduled to visit MQM’s headquarters on Tuesday.

“The MQM-P doesn’t take extreme stance and we are doors are open for every political party, including PTI, which had been keeping very extreme stance regarding MQM and if it’s coming it’s good,” he said.

Subzwari, however, said that agreement over leader of the opposition depends on what proposal the PTI delegation presents.

It is pertinent to mention that PPP Stalwart Syed Khursheed Shah is the incumbent opposition leader in the lower house of the Parliament. In Pakistan, leader of the house and leader of the opposition finalize the name of important slot of chairman NAB.

According to reports, the PTI is also in contact with PML-Q and other parties to evolve a consensus on ousting Khursheed Shah as opposition leader.

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