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August 1, 2018
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PTI, BAP to support each other in Centre, Balochistan

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August 1, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: The Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) on Tuesday formally announced support to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the formation of a coalition government in the Centre, while both parties will also form the government in Balochistan.

A delegation of the BAP led by its head Jam Kamal Khan called on PTI Chairman Imran Khan here at his Banigala residence to discuss the modalities of the coalition government in Balochistan and at the Centre.

“We will like to run Balochistan through a system and complete coordination with the Centre. We are here today with our elected members to join the PTI in the Centre. We are doing this without any pre-conditions,” Jam Kamal told journalists after the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, PTI’s senior leader Jehangir Tareen also endorsed Jam Kamal's nomination as Balochistan chief minister and explained that the BAP had won 15 provincial assembly seats in Balochistan and since then, four independent lawmakers-elect have also joined them after which their seat count in the province reached 19. PTI had five seats in the provincial legislature and together their number of seats has reached 24.

"BAP has the majority in the province and it has the right to choose the chief minister. The party has nominated Jam Kamal for the slot of provincial chief executive and the PTI fully supports his candidature," Tareen said, who was flanked by the PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Yar Muhammad Rind and other leaders.

Qureshi welcomed the BAP decision to join hands with PTI and hoped this would go a long way in improving the lot of people in Balochistan. "We know that there are forces out there that do not want Balochistan to prosper," he said, adding that the BAP wants to fight such forces. "After today's discussions, for the first time, I am foreseeing a government that does want to work with the Centre and not create an air of confrontation," Qureshi said during a chat with the media.

The party leadership was tight-lipped on the nomination of a lawmaker-elect for the slots of chief minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. However, there are speculations that Atif Khan from Mardan has emerged as one of the strongest candidates for this post, besides Pervaiz Khattak. But there was complete silence, as to who could be the candidate for the post of chief minister Punjab.

Dismissing any rumours regarding the formation of a forward bloc in the party regarding the candidate for the slot of KP chief minister, former chief executive of the province Pervaiz Khattak said that there was no such move in the party ranks. He maintained, "All of us will straight away accept the decision that Khan Sahib will make."

Later, Jehangir Tareen claimed that 18 independents had already joined the PTI in Punjab and more would follow suit shortly. Independent MPA-elect Punjab Assembly from PP-106 Malik Umer Farooq announced to join the PTI.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned Imran Khan and congratulated him on his party’s victory in the general elections, wishing him and his party all the best with regards to formation of the government.

A statement issued by PTI Central Media Department said that Pakistan and Turkey agreed to begin a new chapter in bilateral relations. Both leaders demonstrated warmth for one another. Imran expressed gratitude to the Turkish president for his greetings.

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Pakistan Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Al-Zaabi met Imran at Banigala and greeted him over the success of the PTI in the July 25 elections. Both sides discussed matters of mutual interest and the ambassador held out an assurance to Imran that his country would cooperate with Pakistan in its efforts to combat money-laundering.

Matters with regards to Pakistani labourers in the UAE also came under discussion. They agreed to work for further strengthening of bilateral relations. The ambassador wished Imran success and prayed for Pakistan’s prosperity and well-being. Imran thanked the ambassador for his good wishes.

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