LAHORE /KARACHI  - Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah’s public sulk about MQM almost killed the understanding reached between the Karachi-based group and ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz about presidential election.  Since the time Sanaullah launched his diatribe, it took a flurry of meetings and news conferences at the either side to heal the fissure the Punjab minister made by saying his opinion of this (MQM) party was unchanged and was the same as it was in the past. Nevertheless, MQM was at pains to affirm its support for PML-N’s presidential candidate late on Monday night. Before a group of newsmen, Sanaullah said neither MQM had been invited to the government nor the PML-N forged any alliance with it. But following Sanaullah’s statement, MQM Coordination Committee called an emergency meeting to reconsider its decision of supporting PML-N presidential candidate. Later, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar phoned Ishratul Ebad, and said Sana’s statement did not reflect the party policy.

Afterwards, Interior Minister Pervez Rasheed told a news conference his party PML-N respected MQM’s mandate and that Rana’s statement was against the party policy. He categorically stated Sannaullah’s remarks about MQM did not reflect the party policy.

Rasheed said the two parties would continue efforts for improving mutual relations. He also said MQM was a mainstream political party and enjoyed support of the masses.

He urged MQM leadership not to take any negative impression from Sanaullah’s statement.

According to sources, PML-N contacted MQM to defuse tension arising from Sanaullah’s statement.

But Sanaullah insisted MQM had misunderstood his remarks and was overreacting. He told a private television in the evening, “I only said that MQM offered unconditional support to PML-N’s presidential candidate and that there was no question of any political adjustment.” 

He said this was already stated by MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi when PML-N delegation visited Nine-Zero to drum up support from MQM for their presidential candidate Mamnoon Hussain.

MQM had announced it would vote ruling party’s candidate unconditionally after a meeting between leaders of the two parities at Nine-Zero, MQM headquarters.