ISLAMABAD/karachi               -             Taking notice of the resignation by MQM-P convenor Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi from the federal cabinet, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday directed Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar to lead a party delegation to engage MQM-P leaders today.

According to informed sources, the Prime Minister after a huddle with senior party leaders here at Bani Gala House directed Asad Umar to lead the PTI team and meet with MQM-P leaders in a bid to address their concerns.

The sources said that Asad is already in Karachi while other party leaders including Jhangir Tahreen and Pervaiz Khattak will also join Asad in the meeting with the MQM-P leaders.

The sources further said that the Prime Minister has also contacted Sindh Governor Imran Ismail to contact MQM-P to address their concerns.

They said that the Prime Minister has described the demands of the MQM-P as “valid”, and reiterated to fulfil his commitment to address all the genuine concerns of the Karachi-based coalition partner.

“The MQM-P is the best and most trusted ally of the PTI-led government,” the PM was quoted as telling the party leaders. Karachi is the economic hub of the state and it cannot be neglected, the PM added.

He further said that people of Karachi had expressed their confidence in the PTI, therefore, their trust would not be hurt, the Prime Minister added.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood expressed the hope that the MQM-P would remain an ally of the PTI government, and stated that their concerns would be resolved together.

He said that dream of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for elections in 2020 will never materialise.

In another related development, Minister for Water Resources, Faisal Vawda also contacted Federal Minister for Law and MQM-P Senator Justice Farogh Naseem and discussed about the current political scenario in the country.

Vawda assured the law minister of resolution of all problems.

While reacting to announcement of resignation by MQM-P convenor Dr. Maqbool Siddiqui as Federal Minister for Information Technology, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said “the initiatives for the public welfare have been delayed due to the economic constraints.”

Dr. Firdous said that MQM is PTI’s coalition partner and will remain so, adding that Dr. Siddiqui has not yet sent his resignation. It is Prime Minister’s prerogative to accept the resignation or not, she added.

Earlier in the day, MQM-P convener Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui announced to quit his federal ministry, for what he said, lack of implementation from the PTI-led federal government over the promises made with the MQM for the development of urban areas of Sindh.

Announcing his decision at a crowded press conference at the party’s makeshift headquarters in Bahadurabad, Karachi, Siddiqui said that he deemed it unfit for him as the party’s convener to remain part of the federal cabinet as no implementation was made on any of the promises committed from the federal government when they joined the coalition government.

He, however, announced that the party would continue its support and remain part of the federal government.

“I want to further clarify that this disassociation from the federal cabinet has nothing to do with a party offering us ministries in the provincial government,” he said in a reference towards Bilawal Bhutto, who had offered MQM-P to distance itself from PTI in return of ministries in the provincial government.

He said that the party had not accepted the results of the general elections but announced support for the incumbent government for the continuity and strengthening of the political system.

The convener who was flanked by top party leaders including Amir Khan, Kanwar Naveed and others revealed that they conveyed the PTI leadership separate names for the ministerial posts in the federal government as compared to those announced and conveyed to them through media.

“My name was nowhere in it and they announced it without prior information.”

“I did not take oath and returned to Karachi but later, on the insistence from the party leadership joined the cabinet just only to properly plead the case of urban areas of the province,” Siddiqui said.

He said despite assurances no real progress was made on Hyderabad University, whose inauguration was also held in Islamabad and release of one billion rupees funds for the city.

“We could have easily collected this amount from the city in a low-scale fund-raising campaign in the city,” he said.

Siddiqui clarified that they are not eyeing ministries and instead want implementation on the memorandum of understating signed between the Bani Gala and the Bahadurabad - referring to the PTI and MQM-P leaderships.

He hoped that the PTI-led federal government would ally their concerns and implement the MoU signed between the two parties.