The Muttahida Qaumi Movement rejoined the federal cabinet on Tuesday and its three members took oath as ministers.The party`s deputy convener and parliamentary leader Farooq Sattar and Babar Ghauri were administrated oath as ministers and Dr Nadeem Ahsan as minister of state. Their portfolios were not announced. Political observers noted the absence of Waseem Akhtar who was earlier tipped to be inducted as minister of state for interior. “The government never offered us the office of state minister for interior and thus the party never proposed the name of Waseem Akhtar for the slot,” said Wasay Jalil, in-charge of MQM`s media cell. He said the MQM had been offered another office of minister of state for which different names were being considered by the party`s Rabita Committee. “Waseem Akhtar is one of the candidates whose names are being considered,” he said. The speculation, however, reportedly infuriated PPP`s Zulfiqar Mirza who was eased out as home minister of Sindh and sent `on long leave` to the US. His wife National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza, joined him there.But her extended stay abroad is being interpreted here as a sign of growing dissent in the PPP over what is being termed a policy of appeasing the MQM in the multi-party turf war in urban Sindh. It is learnt that the government has turned down MQM`s demand for the minister of state for interior and the party may be given some other portfolio in a few days. President Asif Ali Zardari administered the oath to MQM`s ministers at a ceremony held at the Presidency. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Senate Chairman Farooq H. Naek, National Assembly`s Acting Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi, Gilgit Baltistan Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah, federal ministers and secretaries and office-bearers of PPP and MQM attended the ceremony. An official statement issued from the Presidency said portfolios of the ministers would be decided later. The MQM which had left the federal cabinet in protest against hike in oil prices rejoined the government after a series of talks with President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani.
By: Dawn News