‘Ministry’ makes the mare go


–Cracks in ruling coalition repair as PTI gives allied PML-Q another provincial ministry

–Chaudhry’s assured of no interference in ministries of PML-Q leaders

LAHORE: The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday decided to give allied Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) another provincial ministry after having met an agreement that reportedly patched things up between the two political parties.

Under the agreed formula, reports said, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar will administer the oath to PML-Q leader Bao Rizwan at Governor House on Friday at 10 am.

According to a private media outlet, while the portfolio has not yet been disclosed, the provincial government has also addressed other concerns of the Chaudhrys and assured them of no longer interfering in the affairs of PML-Q ministers.

The PML-Q leadership has been informed about the oath-taking ceremony and preparations are underway.

Prior to this development, it was reported that Prime Minister Imran Khan had arrived in Lahore last Saturday to patch things up with the leadership of PML-Q while taking them into confidence to address their reservations.

The one-day visit had come amid speculations that the ruling coalition in Punjab is going through a rough patch. The PML-Q had earlier decided to take up a host of issues with the premier after Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had failed to placate the Chaudhrys of Gujrat.

The PML-Q leaders have been complaining about the provincial chief executive’s “callous attitude” towards the issues raised by the party.

In his resignation note, PML-Q minister Hafiz Ammar Yasir had pointed out “unwarranted interference, undue pressure and hurdles” in his ministry of mines and minerals since he assumed the portfolio over four months ago. “Owing to undue pressure and hurdles, I can no longer perform my duty, therefore, I resign,” the minister had stated.

Cracks within the ruling coalition started appearing after Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry’s remarks about creating a forward bloc in the PML-Q that prompted a strong reaction from the party compelling him to apologise.

Both in Punjab and at the Centre, the PML-Q is an important ally with 10 MPAs and five MNAs, respectively. As the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is ruling, particularly in Punjab, with a thin majority, it may not afford to lose PML-Q support.

Earlier in the elections for the office of Punjab chief minister and president as well as Senate polls, the PML-Q leadership had reportedly made inroads in the opposition, particularly PML-Nawaz (PML-N), and secured votes for the coalition candidates.