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December 8, 2019

Govt decides to reach out to BNP-M, GDA

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December 8, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to reach out to the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) and the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) after contacting the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and the Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Geo News reported on Saturday.

The government's coordination committee will hold meetings with representatives of the BNP-M and the GDA after it establishes contacts with the MQM and the PML-Q. The coordination committee will meet leaders from the GDA next week. The committee will apprise Prime Minister Imran Khan of the reservations of its coalition partners.

The meetings are being held to ensure that the government knows about the reservations and demands of its allies.

The development comes a few days after BNP-M chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal threatened to leave the coalition government over the arrest of four women from Balochistan's Awaran district.

Mengal had led a sit-in protest in front of the speaker's dais at the National Assembly to protest the women's arrest. He had accused the government of being negligent about he rights of the people of Balochistan.

"Neither did the previous government want to take Balochistan forward nor does this one," he had said during his speech in parliament.

Mengal had blamed the government and said that when it wanted to secure votes, it contacted him or Shahzain Bugti.

A few days ago, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held talks with an MQM-P delegation in Karachi. The MQM-P leadership had assured the foreign minister that it had stood with the government since day one and will continue to do so.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan directed the federal government to bring necessary legislation in parliament within six months about the extension in General Qamar Javed Bajwa's tenure as the army chief and other matters related to his post. Ever since the apex court's order, the government has started contacting its allies.