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MQM announces return to government

KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Friday announced their return to the Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition government at the centre, DawnNews reported.

Yousaf Raza Gilani Pakistan News

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani waves as he arrives at the headquarters of political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in Karachi. -AFP Photo

After holding talks with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani at MQM’s Pakistan headquarters, ’90?, MQM MPA Raza Haroon announced the party’s return to the treasury benches.

Today’s visit was Gilani’s first visit to the premises since becoming premier in 2008.

The talks came just one day after Gilani reversed controversial fuel price hikes, bowing to a key demand of the MQM and the main opposition party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The MQM walked out of government last Sunday, taking its 25 lawmakers on to the opposition benches. The move saw Gilani lose his majority in parliament and raised fears that his administration could be forced to call early elections.

In public, the party attributed its decision to a hike in fuel prices and government failures to handle fiscal reform, corruption and inflation.

But the MQM has also been at odds with the Gilani’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) over an explosion in political violence in Karachi last year, which senior PPP leader Zulfiqar Mirza blamed on MQM supporters.

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