The ruling party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), is now facing an apparently challenging situation as the allies, Chaudhry brothers of Pakistan Muslim League (PML), decided not to attend the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Earlier, the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), a now-former ally of the PTI government at the Centre, parted ways with its coalition partner. Analysts are mulling over if Chaudhry brothers going to part ways with the PTI government in the coming days.
— The Express Tribune (@etribune) June 28, 2020
On Sunday, the prime minister, in order to address reservations expressed by his government’s allies about the proposed federal budget, extended a dinner invitation to the member parties of the coalition. According to reports, the leadership of BNP-M was also invited, however, it decided against attending the event, scheduled to be hosted at Bani Gala, the premier’s official residence.
A spokesperson for PML-Q confirmed that the federal government, in fact, contacted the party leadership and invited them to the dinner. However, he said, the Chaudhry brothers would not be attending because of their “busy schedules”. Nonetheless, according to the spokesperson, the party would vote for the budget.
Sources informed media that the ruling party’s ally did not attend the event because of a private event organised by the Chaudhry brothers.
Later, during a meeting with a delegation from Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), PM Imran said that development of Balochistan is one of the top most priorities of his government.
Giving special impetus to the province of Balochistan, the premier said his government wants to rid it of its feeling of being marginalized. He said that the government is paying special focus to development projects in the province and expressed hope for their timely completion.
He also said that the government is striving hard to sustain the country’s economy during tough times of coronavirus. He added that the government will ensure that all the grievances brought forth by government allies will be addressed and resolved.
The members of delegation apprised the prime minister of their concerns regarding a slash in the provincial budget. They also told him about problems of the people of Balochistan and the development projects currently being worked on there.
Previously, it had emerged that the prime minister would also reportedly take the ruling members of parliament (MPs) into confidence regarding the policies of the government, including its approach to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been a matter of intense debate both on social and mainstream media.
Multiple reports, which cited sources, suggested that the purpose of the gathering is to ensure the presence of MPs of the ruling party and its allies in the National Assembly (NA) where the budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 is pending approval. The premier was also expected to discuss the government’s strategy for the approval of the budget. Besides, reports said, Imran would also address the concerns and grievances of miffed allies of the ruling party.
Sources also said that 15 lawmakers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had refused to attend the dinner but were convinced by Planning Minister Asad Umar to attend it.
“Implement the six percent job quota reserved for Balochistan”
As the news, Chaudhry brothers going to part ways with the PTI government is in the air, and in a bid to placate his former coalition partner BNP-M, PM Imran had directed the federal ministries to implement the six percent job quota reserved for Balochistan.
The directives issued from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to all federal ministries and departments said that the prime minister has expressed serious concern over the non–implementation of the job quota. “It should be implemented strictly in all ministries and government departments,” the official memorandum had said.
The PMO also summoned a record of all vacant posts on the reserved seats for Balochistan within 30 days.
It is important to note that Mengal’s six-point agenda includes recovery of missing persons, implementation of the National Action Plan, implementation of six per cent quota for Balochistan in the federal government, immediate repatriation of Afghan refugees and the construction of dams in the province to resolve the acute water crisis.
The BNP has 4 seats in the National Assembly and nine in the Balochistan assembly. It established a working relationship with the PTI-led government and demanded the development of the province. Experts believe that PM Khan is committed to ensure the implementation of the six-point agenda signed with the BNP to lessen the anger of the people of Balochistan who have historically been ignored and exploited.
There are some more reliable reports which suggest that the Chaudhry brothers going to part ways with the PTI government. However, a reliable source told GVS that if the party decides to be an alley of the PML-N, former ruling party, Chaudhary brothers may lose their control over Punjab. “So I think there are grim chances of any big political upset in the country,” he added.
It is yet to be seen whether the premier will be able to maintain his collation government or faces a political crisis in the coming days.