Can MQM-P bring down the PTI government?

Can MQM-P bring down the PTI government?

In house change is not on the cards

PTI government rushed to vow back the angry MQM-P. PM Imran Khan has taken notice of MQM-Pakistan’s decision to resign from federal cabinet for not addressing their concerns and demands. The prime Minister has directed the governor Sindh Imran Ismail and federal minister Asad Umar to immediately address the grievances of MQM-P leadership. MQM-P leaders are not seems happy with the PTI government for ignoring the development work in Karachi and not fulfilling the demands of MQM-P. 

 It seems that PM Imran Khan wants to keep the ruling coalition intact. It is not just because PTI needs MQM-P and other coalition partners to retain a majority in the national assembly but also to keep Karachi stable and calm. MQM-P still has some support in Urdu speaking population in Karachi.

MQM-P can boost the opposition in the national assembly and weaken the PTI government if it decided to sit on opposition benches. It will be political setback for PTI government. But it will not collapse like a house of cards. The pressure will mount on the PTI government if BNP-M decided to sit on opposition benches. 

PTI needs MQM’s support to keep pressure on the PPP government in Sindh. Without the help of MQM-P- PTI cannot threaten the PPP to dislodge its government through defections and forward block. MQM is the third largest party in Sindh assembly after PPP and PTI.

The decision of MQM-P to resign from federal cabinet once again sparked the discussion on the vote of no-confidence against PM Imran Khan and possible in house change through the parliament. Many people are speculating that PM Imran khan will not last long. But these are mere speculations and conspiracy theories.

The chairman of Pakistan People’s Party late last month had asked the MQM-P to break away from the ruling coalition in the Center and join the Sindh government, saying Sindh and Karachi could only get their share of development if Imran’s government collapses.

A very charged Bilawal had told MQM: “You can stop this injustice being done with Karachi and Pakistan by breaking your alliance with PTI and toppling Imran Khan’s government to save Karachi and we will fully support you. For the sake of Karachi, for the sake of people of Karachi, we are ready to offer to the MQM in Sindh, as many ministries as they have in the Center today.

“Bring down, bring down...bring Imran’s government down and save Karachi,” said the PPP chairman. His offer give rise to the speculations and conspiracy theories. 

The matter of fact it that even if MQM-P decides to join opposition parties in the national assembly-it still cannot bring down the PTI government. The number game suggests that opposition parties at least need the support of two other coalition partners BNP-M and PML-Q to cause serious problems for the PTI government.

The PTI does not enjoy a simple majority in the 342 member National Assembly. For the majority— 172 members required to form the government. PTI needs the support of smaller parties to maintain the simple majority. 

The MQM-P has the largest number of MNAs compared to any other coalition partner of the PTI. According to the NA website, the PTI has 156 MNAs, seven of the MQM-P, five each of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q and the Baluchistan Awami Party, four of the Baluchistan National Party-Mengal, three of the Grand Democratic Alliance and one each of Sheikh Rashid’s Awami Muslim League and Jamhoori Watan Party.

The total strength of the PTI-led coalition in the lower house reached 182 and the number game suggests that the PTI government will not fall even if the MQM decides to quit the federal government. Opposition still needs PML-Q and BNP-M to bring down the government through vote of no confidence.

In my personal view- MQM will not join the opposition benches immediately to destablise the PTI government. PTI government will be able to survive 2020. The numbers in the national assembly suggests that in house change is not easy to come by.

MQM-P is just trying to exert pressure on the PTI government to make more political gains. MQM-P wants another ministry. They want more say in the affairs of Karachi. They want more funds for their Mayor and member parliaments. That is why they are showing anger and displeasure.

It is not an effort to bring down the government but to push for some demands. MQM-P is using the same old tactics to blackmail the government. 
                                                  Khalid Bhatti

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