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January 26, 2020

Govt, opposition step up activities amid political upheaval

Top Story

 
January 26, 2020

LAHORE/QUETTA/PESHAWAR: The government and opposition have stepped up political activities in the wake of differences and groupings within the ruling parties in Centre Punjab, KP and Balochistan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to visit Lahore today (Sunday) and likely to meet the disgruntled PTI MPAs from Punjab. The premier will also visit Karachi after the Lahore visit tomorrow (Monday). The premier has also taken notice of groupings within the party in KP and called a meeting in this regard. Chief Minister Mehmood Khan has already reached Islamabad, while the negotiating team head Pervaiz Khattak and Jehangir Tareen have also been invited to the meeting. Pervaiz Khattak confirmed that the meeting has been called in Islamabad in which important decisions will be taken.

The prime minister has also taken notice of dubious activities of two KP ministers Atif Khan and Shahram Khan Tarakai in Islamabad along with PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhry and Aleem Khan.

Meanwhile, 12 out of 20 disgruntled members of the PTI in the Punjab Assembly on Saturday met Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and expressed confidence in his leadership. The disgruntled leaders told Buzdar that they will continue supporting him through thick and thin. Buzdar thanked them for their continued support and assured that their genuine concerns will be addressed. He said conspirators will fail to achieve their designs. Sardar Shahabuddin Khan, Ghazanfar Abbas, Mohammad Ali Raza Khan Khakwani, Mamoon Tarar, Khwaja Dawood Sulemani, Amir Inayat Shahani, Mohammad Ahsan Jahangir, Sahibzada Ghazain Abbasi, Taimoor Ali Lali, Sardar Mohiuddin Khan Khosa and Mohammad Ijaz Hussain were among the lawmakers who met the chief minister. Provincial Law Minister Basharat Raja, Chaudhry Zaheeruddin and MPA Syed Abbas Shah were among those present.

Meanwhile, PTI senior leader Jahangir Tareen also called on Usman Buzdar and discussed political matters with him. Buzdar said the difference of opinion was the beauty of democracy, adding that those conspiring against the government and doing negative propaganda would remain unsuccessful. He stressed that there was neither any forward bloc nor a pressure group in Punjab, and added that the PTI was taking along all political allies in the province. He said all stakeholders of the Punjab government were on the same page and the PTI was standing united under the leadership of Imran Khan.

Meanwhile, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, LDA Vice-Chairman Sheikh Mohammad Imran and a delegation of the Insaf Lawyers Forum led by Advocate Chaudhry Akbar Gujjar also held meetings with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

In a related development, Balochistan, the ruling Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) has also called a meeting to discuss the recent statement by Balochistan Assembly Speaker Abdul Quddus Bizenjo about changing Chief Minister Jam Kamal. Sources said the chief minister will take the meeting into confidence and the option of removal of the speaker may also come under discussion. The sources said the prime minister has decided to take action against those involved in making forward blocs in the party in KP and Balochistan.

The PML-N has also called an important meeting of the party leaders in the UK in which a strategy will be discussed to give a tough time to the government on the issue of inflation. Sources said PML-N leaders Khawaja Asif, Rana Tanveer, Ayaz Sadiq and Atta Tarar have been asked to reach Birmingham for the important meeting. The sources said Rana Sanaullah would not be able to reach the UK because his name is still on the ECL. However, PML-N leader Khawaja Asif has denied the news about the PML-N meeting in Birmingham. ­