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Asif Zardari meets Altaf Hussain (London)

Posted by on Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 9:03
This news item was posted in Pakistani News category and has 0 Comments so far .

President Asif Ali Zardari and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain Monday held a meeting here to iron out issues threatening their partnership in the ruling coalition, Media News reported.

Asif Zardari meets Altaf Hussain

Asif Zardari meets Altaf Hussain

According to sources both the leaders hashed out various issues including current political and economic affairs of the country.

Earlier President Zardari flew to London for a day as sources said the issue of Dr Zulfiqar Mirza’s possible reinstatement was the main bone of contention between the two sides.

President Zardari, accompanied by his son Bilawal and Interior Minister Rehman Malik, arrived here in the afternoon after being hurriedly called to London to facilitate the meetings between the two sides.

Sources said that Rehman Malik would discuss with the MQM leadership the key points of the meetings before briefing the president on the agenda.

Wajid Shamsul Hasan was present in the hotel where President Zardari was staying but it was clear that he was not playing a role in facilitation of the meeting between the two sides.

Both the sides were quiet earlier in the day about the meeting as media speculation grew but with Rehman Malik arriving in London in haste, the likelihood of a meeting grew.

President Zardari was due to leave for Pakistan on Monday and sources said the meeting would be held late on Sunday in the hotel where the president was staying.

This meeting is seen as very important because only a few days ago the MQM called off its three-day ultimatum after a telephonic chat between President Zardari and Altaf Hussain. The two sides are in a bitter dispute over the issue of the new local government system.

The MQM complains that the PPP has dragged its feet on introducing the new ordinance for the local government system in Sindh. It was certain that the MQM would raise the issue of former Sindh home minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza’s reinstatement in the party.

The coalition partner was shocked when recently President Zardari paid a visit to Dr Mirza, after having remained estranged with his long-term friend for sometime.

A source close to the MQM said it believed that Dr Mirza had launched an assault on the junior coalition partner as part of a plot. Dr Mirza’s rehabilitation in the party – which looks definite with the election approaching as Dr Mirza will be used to gather the Sindhi votes for the PPP – will be a test for the MQM as well as the PPP.

It is believed that Rehman Malik is against the re-entry of Dr Mirza into the active folds of the PPP and is supporting the MQM’s point of view.

But Wajid Shasmul Hasan is among those PPP leaders who are in favour of DrMirza’s active role in the PPP, hence he is not playing an active role in the marathon talks between the two sides.

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