MQM quits Pakistan’s ruling coalition


Islamabad: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Sunday formally announced it was withdrawing support to Pakistan’s ruling coalition over the hike in commodity prices but Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani ruled out any threat to the government.

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The party’s Coordination Committee held meetings simultaneously in Karachi and London Sunday before arriving at the decision, Geo TV said.

The meetings took serious exception to the massive hike in the prices of petroleum products, among other items, by the government.

Reacting to the MQM’s decision, which was first made known last week, Gilani told reporters in Lahore that the government will continue to function even if any party decides to quit the coalition.

“The government will continue to function with or without the coalition partners,” he said.

MQM leader Faisal Sabzwari regretted that despite repeated calls made by his party, the government failed to take any practical steps towards redressing its grievances.

“This forced Muttahida Qaumi Movement to take the extreme step of sitting on the opposition benches both in the National Assembly and the Senate,” he added.

Sabzwari said MQM is now weighing all the options, including parting ways with the provincial Sindh government. He said MQM would oppose all “anti-people” decisions of the government.

Reiterating MQM’s stance on imposition of taxes, he said: “The government should tax landlords rather than the poor.”

Replying to a question, Sabzwari said the MQM meetings did not discuss a no-confidence motion against the government.