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MQM denies meeting with Gilani

gilani_ajrak pakistan newsKARACHI: Mystery shrouds a much publicised meeting between Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and a delegation of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement here on Tuesday.

Sources in the MQM denied that any such meeting was held, saying it was not scheduled.

Prior to the prime minister’s arrival here, it was widely reported that the MQM would take up the issue of target killings and the alleged role of the ‘Amn Committee’ in the city’s violence. The issue had pushed the alliance to the brink. The official news agency APP reported that a delegation of the MQM called on Prime Minister Gilani at the Governor’s House.

The delegation comprised Dr Farooq Sattar, MQM’s deputy convener and Minister for Overseas Pakistanis, and Minister for Ports and Shipping Senator Babar Khan Ghauri. Sindh governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah were also present.

Karachi’s situation was discussed in the meeting, the agency reported. But when provincial Information Technology Minister Raza Haroon was contacted to solicit information about the meeting, he denied that it had taken place. “It was never scheduled. There is some confusion about the whole thing,” he said.

Mr Haroon said that an MQM team was having a discussion with the governor before the prime minister’s arrival at the Governor’s House.

When the prime minister arrived there, Federal Ministers Farooq Sattar and Babar Ghauri received him “as a matter of protocol”. After that the MQM team left and no meeting took place, he added.

It was not clear whether it was a coincidence or a deliberate act on part of the MQM to send some message to the major coalition partner due to estranged relations over target killings.

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