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MQM-Pakistan: The ally who sank Imran Khan's ship

In just less than a week, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's political fortunes have plunged to an extent that his being booted out of power is a certainty.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan: The ally who sank Imran Khan's ship
Islamabad, First Published Mar 30, 2022, 12:03 PM IST

In just less than a week, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's political fortunes have plunged to an extent that his being booted out of power is a certainty.

This is especially after his ally, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, broke away from the coalition and cosied up with the Opposition who are leaving no stone unturned to oust the incumbent dispensation from power. 

Also Read: Reverse swing in Imran Khan's political fortunes

Four days ago, another coalition partner Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid had ditched Khan to crack a pact with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. The party is being managed by his brother Shahbaz Sharif and daughter Maryam Sharif. 

The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid withdrew support from the Khan government just hours before he was to address a huge gathering in Islamabad. The prime minister had alleged that foreign hands are involved in the no-confidence motion and expressed hope that he will sail through. 

Why is MQM-P's exit from the alliance significant? 

The National Assembly of Pakistan has a total strength of 342 lawmakers and to throw out the Imran Khan government, the opposition requires a simple majority i.e. 50 per cent of the lawmaker + 1. 

Prior to its ally's announcement to support the no-confidence motion, the Imran Khan government had the support of 179 lawmakers, including 155 of his own. 

Also Read: 3 reasons why Imran Khan lost Pakistan Army's trust and will lose PM's chair

With the MQM-P deciding to join the opposition ranks, it is next to impossible for Imran Khan to survive one of his toughest challenges since he turned to politics in 1996. The MQM-P has seven lawmakers in the National Assembly of Pakistan. 

The Number Equation 

Imran Khan's government has now been reduced to just 164 while the Opposition's support base has risen to 175. 

Khan's PTI has 155 members and his allies like PML-Q has 4 members, GDA has 3, AML has one and BAP also has a lone member (Zubaida Jalal).

On the other hand, the opposition has 175 members on its side, including PML-N’s 84, PPP 56, MQM-P 7, MMA 14 (minus JI's Maulana Chitrali), Independent 3 (minus Ali Wazir), PML-Q (Tariq Bashir Cheema) 1, ANP 1, BNP-M 4, BAP 4 and JWP 1.

How did the Opposition and Khan's ally MQM-P crack a deal? 

Karachi administrator Murtaza Wahab prepared the draft, which was signed by the joint opposition leaders and MQM-P.

In the meeting, they discussed several clauses about a future agreement between them over Sindh’s administrative and local government issues.

MQM-P convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui was the Information Technology and Telecommunication minister in the Imran Khan government that was formed in 2018. He had to resign ahead of the Cabinet reshuffle on April 6, 2020. He became a member of the National Assembly in 1990, 1997, 2013 and 2018. In 1997, Siddiqui was appointed as the Industries and Production minister in the Nawaz Sharif government. In 2018, the Karachi city court had declared him and other leaders of his party as absconders in a case pertaining to a violation of the Loudspeaker Act.

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