PTI panel formed to assuage allies

In this picture taken on May 24, 2018, Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician and head of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan speaks during an interview with AFP at his home in Islamabad. A former World Cup cricket hero turned politician, Khan has become the main opposition leader in recent years and makes no secret of his ambition to become prime minister. / AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI / To go with 'PAKISTAN-ELECTION-CANDIDATES-POLITICS,PROFILE'

By Ali Imran

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday formed three committees of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, to keep liaison with the allied parties. The decision to this effect was taken during a meeting at the PM Office with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair to discuss the issues raised by the parties allied to the government. The meeting in particular discussed in detail the process of PTI’s engagement with its allies. The prime minister felt that the process needed to be strengthened and formalized so that there were no gaps in communication between all the allies forming the government, and for the purpose he ordered the formation of PTI committees under the chairmanship of Pervaiz Khattak. The committee formed under the convenership of Minister for Planning Asad Umar, will keep liaison with the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) and the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA). Other members of the committee include Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, and members of Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi and Haleem Adil Sheikh. The committee formed under the convenership of Punjab Governor Chaudhary Mohammad Sarwar, will keep liaison with the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q). Other members of the committee include Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood. The committee formed under the convenership of Pervaiz Khattak will keep liaison with the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Balochistan National Party (BNP) and Jamhoori Wattan Party (JWP). Other members of the committee include National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri and Member of the National Assembly Mir Khan Muhammad Jamali. Meanwhile, The Muttahida Qaumi Movement- Pakistan (MQM-P) on Thursday denied that it had demanded another ministry from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) federal government. The Karachi-based party’s deputy convener, Amir Khan, refuted the claims, saying the news was baseless. The MQM-P did not want a ministry but wishes to solve the city’s issues, he said. The party also did not request for a ministry during the meeting at senior PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen’s residence, Khan added. Earlier, sources in the party had told Geo News that it had demanded another ministry from the federal government as a condition for its return to the cabinet. The sources had told newsmen that MQM-P has asked for a ministry for its leader, Syed Aminul Haque, in order to return to the federal cabinet. Until the federal government gives Haque a ministry, the party would not rejoin the cabinet, the sources added. The sources had further said the federal government had assured to release development funds for Karachi and give the MQM-P another ministry. The assurances were given by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and senior PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen at the latter’s residence. However, the government has not acted on its assurance till now, so the Karachibased party cannot return to the cabinet, the sources had added.