Karachi: Pakistan`s longest serving Governor Ishratul Ebad Khan, a senior leader of the MQM, has resigned over targeted operations being conducted by security forces against criminals and terrorists here.
Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, a key aide of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, confirmed that Khan, Governor of southern Sindh province, had submitted his resignation to the President.
"Yes, we have got his resignation but we have not accepted it and we have told him he should return from Dubai and continue as Governor," Dar told reporters today.
There was speculation in the media about Khan`s resignation soon after he left for Dubai last night. Khan was appointed Governor by former President Pervez Musharraf`s regime and has held the post for more than a decade.
"The federal government has no reservations about (Khan) at all despite his being a member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and we want him to continue serving as Governor," Dar said.
Khan`s resignation followed disagreements between the federal and Sindh governments over targeted operations being carried out by police and paramilitary Pakistan Rangers in Karachi against criminals and terrorists.
The MQM has said the operation is aimed against its workers and supporters after one of its former legislators was arrested for the killing of two policemen earlier this week.
"They are indications that if the law and order situation does not improve in the province, the centre might consider imposing Governor`s Rule in Sindh," a source close to Khan said.
MQM leaders refused to comment on Khan`s resignation. "As Governor he worked independently and we can`t comment on this," one MQM leader told.
Khan is expected to stay in Dubai for the next few days, after which he will travel to London.
According to sources, Khan felt he was not fulfilling his role as Governor and was concerned that he was not being informed about the situation or measures being taken during the crackdown by security forces that was ordered by the federal government.
This is the third time that Khan has resigned from his post. He announced that he was quitting in June 2011 and again in February this year.
He assumed office on December 2, 2002, becoming the youngest Governor of Sindh since Pakistan`s inception.