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July 4, 2020

PM likely to have meetings with PTI MNAs to show numerical strength


July 4, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan is likely to have meetings with members of National Assembly belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to show numerical strength and unity in the ranks of the ruling party, sources told The News here on Friday.

The sources said senior members of PTI would make schedule of the meetings between the prime minister and PTI MNAs who are constantly showing reservations due to non-provision of development funds for their constituencies.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) maintains that the federal government despite its maximum efforts passed the annual fiscal budget with the help of only 160 votes, which means that it lacks the support of 172 members that constitutes simple majority in the National Assembly.

The government allies -- Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) and Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) -- have distanced themselves from the federal government after developing differences on various political issues.

The sources said key PTI members also including Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi and Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser would form groups of party MNAs that would meet Prime Minister Imran Khan in the coming weeks.

“Imran Khan will definitely give assurance to the party MNAs of issuance of development funds under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) besides considering their reservations regarding local administration of their respective constituencies,” the sources said.

According to sources, senior PTI members have convinced Prime Minister Imran Khan that in absence of local bodies at the provincial level it is necessary to provide funds to MNAs so that they can carry out development work in their constituencies.

Imran Khan always maintained that the responsibility to carry out development work and provide basic amenities of life to the people lies with the local bodies and member of the Parliament should have nothing to do with it.

Sources confided to this correspondent that it rang alarm bells when some government officials came to know that 14 party MNAs were not willing to attend the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Imran Khan one day before passage of the annual fiscal budget.

“Then came the stalwart, who is not often seen playing active role in the party politics due to nature of his official portfolio, and he worked wonders at that crucial time. He not only convinced these disgruntled MNAs to attend the dinner but also facilitated their face-to-face interaction with Imran Khan,” the sources said.

The sources said Prime Minister Imran Khan would also meet party MPAs from Punjab during his upcoming visit to Lahore and listen to their grievances along with Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

According to the reports, various PTI MNAs have so far publicly showed their reservations over performance of the PTI-led government including Raja Riaz Ahmad (Faisalabad), Khawaja Sheraz Mehmood (Taunsa Sharif), Makhdoom Syed Samiul Hasan Gilani (Bahawalpur), Ghulam Muhammad Lali (Chiniot) and Haji Imtiaz Ahmad Chaudhry (Mandi Bahauddin).

“Some MNAs from Karachi and South Punjab are also believed to have developed differences with senior party members who according to them are misguiding Prime Minister Imran Khan over party affairs,” the sources said.

Despite repeated attempts by this correspondent, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz, Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi were not ready to give official version in this respect.