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PTI coalition on thin ice as two more MNAs from Balochistan threaten to quit

Jamhoori Wattan party (JWP) leader Shahzain Bugti and Member of National Assembly (MNA) Aslam Bhutani speaking during TV show Capital Talk, on Wednesday. — Geo News

The pressure on the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has intensified further as two more members National Assembly from Balochistan have threatened to quit the coalition if the promises made with them were not fulfilled within a week.

Jamhoori Wattan Party (JWP) leader Shahzain Bugti and Member of National Assembly (MNA) Aslam Bhutani on Wednesday blamed the ruling party for not taking their grievances seriously and delaying implementation on their demands.

The announcement from the two lawmakers came as a jolt after Akhtar Mengal-led BNP-M’s decision to part ways with PTI.

While speaking on Geo News TV show “Capital Talk”, Bugti said: “If the government is serious about the problems in Balochistan, then the prime minister should pass executive orders, issue a notification and make an announcement on national television.”

“The problem with the incumbent government is that they only believe in taking U-turns,” Bugti remarked.

Meanwhile, Bhutani said there was a dearth of “treating MNAs with respect”.

“We only say respect should be accorded. Ten things may be done while 10 many not come to fruition. We are allies and are independent. For us, all roads are open. If one path does not lead to success, we will choose another. But they must at least accord respect to their own party members,” he said, referring to the discussions he had had with PTI members.

Referring to the government’s stance of “reviewing” the 18 Amendment, Bugti said he does not agree with it at all. “The 18th Amendment was done after arriving at a consensus with all political parties. The prime minister only has his own PTI views. He cannot develop a consensus for the whole of Pakistan.”

Meanwhile, Bhutani was of the view that whether anyone likes the PPP or not but the 18th Amendment and National Finance Commission award were commendable accomplishments on their part.

“The grant for Balochistan in the seventh NFC award was never before witnessed and will probably never again be seen so we will protect it,” he said.

Govt ‘satisfied’ after talks

Talking to media after meeting Shahzain Bugti, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak said they are satisfied with the progress made so far. “Everything is fine, there’s more propaganda than reality. There will be no damage to the government.”

Khattak said Shahzain is our partner and we will remain in touch with him.

BNP-M says goodbye to coalition

Last week, the federal government was dealt a blow as Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) leader Akhtar Mengal had announced that his party was breaking its alliance with the ruling coalition.

“Today, I announce in Parliament [the BNP-M’s] separation from PTI’s [ruling] alliance,” Mengal had said while addressing the National Assembly.

However, the lawmaker had clarified that his party will continue to be part of the National Assembly and keep talking about Balochistan’s issues.

Mengal had reminded the House that his party had two agreements with the ruling party, adding that it was the Imran Khan-led party which had come to him for an alliance, not the BNP-M which went to Bani Gala — the personal residence of PM Imran Khan.

“The first agreement was done on August 8, 2018 and signed by Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Jahangir Tareen and Yar Muhammad Rind,” recalled Mengal.

He had added that his party had demanded that the missing persons issue be resolved and the National Action Plan be implemented in letter and spirit in the agreement.

Later, Mengal revealed that in the days leading to his separation from the Centre a ruling party delegation had met with him to dissuade him from the decision but that he had firmly told them that they “failed to deliver”.

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