The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has sought removal of Sindh Home Minister Zulfikar Mirza for accusing it of extortion and target killings in Karachi.
According to sources, a five-member delegation of the party presented its demand to President Asif Ali Zardari when it called on him to discuss a one-point agenda—a recent statement by Mr Mirza blaming the MQM for the unrest in the country’s commercial hub.
The meeting lasted about an hour.The president assured the MQM delegation that their grievances would be addressed, but said that the party should also support the coalition’s decisions, including the imposition of Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST).
A source in the MQM said the delegation conveyed its reservations to the president and urged him to maintain discipline in the government by taking action against the home minister.
“If Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani can remove two federal ministers for violating government discipline, why not Mr Mirza who created a breach in the ruling coalition through his humiliating statement,” the MQM delegation said.
Mr Mirza had said: “The biggest political party in Karachi is involved in extortion and killing innocent people of other linguistic groups but if these groups retaliate, only innocent people of the Urdu-speaking community will be killed.”
The MQM delegation comprised Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Farooq Sattar, Minister for Shipping Babar Ghori, Syed Hyder Abbas Rizvi, Adil Siddiqui and Raza Haroon.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Law Minister Babar Awan and President’s Spokesman Farhatullah Babar were present at the meeting.
“We have been assured by the president and prime minister that action will be taken on our request. Let us see what action they take,” Mr Sattar told.
President Zardari assured the delegation that he would soon visit Karachi to sort out the issue.
The MQM leaders had met the prime minister on Sunday and expressed their concerns.
The prime minister talked to Mr Mirza and barred him from issuing statements against any ally of the PPP.
“President Zardari took cognisance of the reservations expressed by an MQM delegation and said that appropriate measures will be taken to address issues,” said the president’s spokesman.
Responding to a question about the RGST, the spokesman said: “Coalition matters in Sindh and the MQM’s concerns were discussed in the meeting.”
The MQM delegation left the matter of their concerns to the president for a resolution and said that they had full confidence in President Asif Ali Zardari.