Govt may not entertain MQM plea for Rs 300 billion for Karachi


Naveed Miraj

ISLAMABAD, JAN 14 (DNA) -Prime Minister Khan’s government after managing multiple issues on civil-military-judiciary entangle has walked into another crisis. One of its key coalition partners has walked out of the cabinet and has threatened that it won’t come back. At this stage it still continues to say that it will not withdraw support to the government, however source claim that it eventually may walk out of the coalition also. Currently Khan government has very thin majority in the National Assembly. Its actual strength on the treasury benches is 176. It needs a minimum of 172 votes to maintain its majority.

MQM is demanding that the federal government should commit Rupees 300 billion for Karachi’s development and the project should be launched with MQM’s consent.

The finance team of the PM Khan however is not ready to commit this large amount as Mr. Hafiz Sheikh the Finance Adviser claims that there is no fiscal space available over the next few years for such a large undertaking for one city alone. Sources claim that MQM also knows that but actually wants a way out and this is the first shot that they have fired. MQM has 7 seats in the house.

In the meanwhile, another coalition partner Grand Democratic Alliance is also demanding another Rupees 10 billion for the constituencies in Sindh where its candidates have won. It has 3 seats in the National Assembly.

Meanwhile PML (Q) continues to engage various political actors to see how it can increase its share in the power structure. Khan government for the next few months will have to walk this tight rope of managing coalition partners.=DNA