BAP and PTI all set to steer Balochistan

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  • BAP leader Jam Kamal to become chief minister of coalition govt
  • PTI claims it has attained required majority in Punjab to form govt as PML-N makes efforts to retain NA and PA speakers’ slots

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is all set to form a coalition government in Balochistan after the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), which secured the highest number of seats, 15, in the province in general election, has agreed to join hands with the PTI in the most troubled province of the country.

In a press conference on Tuesday, BAP chief Jam Kamal made the announcement that his party will form a coalition government with the PTI in the province.

Following this announcement, PTI’s Jahangir Khan Tareen also endorsed Jam Kamal’s nomination as the Balochistan CM.

Speaking at a press conference, Tareen said BAP has the right to choose its chief minister as it has a majority in the province.

“The party has nominated Jam Kamal and the PTI fully supports him as the candidate for Balochistan CM,” he added.

PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi also welcomed BAP’s decision to join hands with PTI for the “greater good” of Balochistan. “We know that there are forces out there that do not want Balochistan to prosper,” Qureshi said, adding that BAP wants to fight such forces.

“After discussions, for the first time, I am seeing a Balochistan government that does want to work with the Centre and not create an air of confrontation,” he said during his brief media address.

The PTI emerged as the leading party in the July 25 polls and has the required numbers to form its government in the Centre and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

PUNJAB:

With PTI and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) all set to form the government in KP and Sindh, respectively, Punjab’s fate hangs in balance as tussle intensifies between the PML-N and the PTI over who will rule Punjab. However, the PTI is in a comfortable position to form the government in Punjab.

In a breakthrough for the PTI, PML-Q senior has agreed to support the PTI in forming the Punjab government. In return, the PML-Q will reportedly get the slot of the speaker. As Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s name has been propagated for the coveted slot, he would have to give up his National Assembly seats.

Earlier, the PML-Q asked the PTI for the CMship which the party flatly refused, but it remains ambiguous who will rule Punjab on behalf of the PTI. Imran Khan also refused to make PTI’s Tahir Sadiq CM of Punjab, whose name was proposed by the PML-Q as a second option.

“An MPA-elect will be the CM of Punjab,” Babar Awan, a senior party and close confidant of Imran Khan, was quoted by a media outlet as saying. He ruled out Yasmin Rashid for the top post, saying she will be sent to Punjab Assembly on a reserved seat.

At present, the PTI claims it has gained the support of 17 independents and PML-Q MPAs which, in addition to its own 123 members elected to the house, brings its total tally to 149 members in the present provincial assembly of 295 — enough to form a coalition government.

Meanwhile, PML-N is still striving hard to convince the independent MPAs-elect for support in forming a government in Punjab, whereas PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah also failed to woo Maulana Muavia Azam and Taimur Bhatti.

After failing to keep the PTI out of Punjab, the PML-N is now eyeing the slot of speakers in National Assembly and Punjab Assembly and its leaders have been making all out efforts for the job.

According to media reports, PML-N leaders Hamza Shehbaz, Rana Sanaullah and Saad Rafique have approached independent lawmakers-elect in this regard.

Failing to live up to its claims of forming the government in Punjab, the PML-N leaders are now asking the MPAs who joined the PTI to support PML-N’s candidates for the slots of speakers and deputy speakers in the National Assembly and the Punjab Assembly.

MQM IN SPOTLIGHT

Meanwhile, Jahangir Tareen has sought the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) support to form the federal government.

MQM Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui on Tuesday announced that the MQM Rabita Committee will take a final decision regarding PTI’s invitation to join the federal government.

The meeting was held at MQM’s Bahadurabad office and PTI leaders Firdaus Shamim Naqvi, Imran Ismail and Haleem Adil Siddiqui were also present.

In a press conference after the meeting, Tareen said, “To move forward we have to think of the masses and it is in PTI’s manifesto to resolve basic issues of Karachi.”

“We will resolve water, transport and infrastructural issues of the city,” he added.

The MQM convener said, “It is a pleasant surprise for us that we have commonalities and we have an agreement over creating a strong and independent local bodies system.”

“We spoke on the re-counting and census issues in our meeting and PTI Chairman Imran Khan has already said that he would address reservations of the people regarding election results,” Siddiqui added.

MQM’s demands, before it can accept PTI’s offer, reportedly includes a Karachi package, constitutional amendment in favour of empowered local bodies, administrative units for the urban Sindh, community police and mass transit in Karachi.

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