Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and JI leader Inayatullah Khan address a joint press conference on Thursday.—White Star
Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and JI leader Inayatullah Khan address a joint press conference on Thursday.—White Star

PESHAWAR: Despite lacking a majority in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has claimed that he will continue to run the government in the province as the Jamaat-i-Islami left the PTI-led ruling coalition on Thursday.

“I got assurances that no-trust motion will not be brought against me and that I will continue to serve as CM,” he told a news conference when asked that his government has neither presented the next budget nor will it convene the assembly session for losing a majority.

He however did not explain that who gave him those assurances.

PTI, Jamaat formally end ruling coalition in province

“I know the tricks of how to pass the budget and show majority in the house,” he said when asked about reasons for the prevailing uncertainty regarding the presentation of the next budget.

The government is indecisive about the budget apparently due to a lack of majority in the assembly.

Currently, no political party has majority in the 124-member house. The PTI’s strength has shrunken from 63 to 43 after its leadership issued show cause notices to its 20 MPAs for allegedly selling vote in the recent Senate elections.

The JI has only seven members in the house.

Under the Constitution, the chief minister requires 50 per cent of the total members to show majority in the assembly.

CM Pervez Khattak and senior minister Inayatullah Khan, who belongs to Jamaat-i-Islami, formally announced the breakup of the coalition government during a joint news conference at the CM’s House.

“The JI has become part of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal and has decided to leave almost five years long partnership with the PTI on a positive note,” said Khattak, who praised the Jamaat for its cooperation and contribution as the PTI’s coalition partner.

He said the PTI and JI had no differences and that the latter’s separation from the government was a political decision.

“Both parties might negotiate after general elections,” he said.

Senior minister and JI leader Inayatullah Khan termed the day historic saying both the rling parties have set a healthy tradition.

Mr Inayatullah said the JI would not withdraw support to the PTI despite leaving the government.

He said such healthy traditions should be promoted in politics.

“The JI and PTI had signed memorandum of understanding before forming the coalition government,” he said, adding that major aspects of the MoU were removal of certain material from textbooks, establishment of colleges, medical college and campus of engineering university in Upper Dir, Lower Dir, Chitral and Buner districts, the strongholds of the JI.

The minister said the coalition government fought against corruption, improved governance and followed merit in recruitments in different departments.

Meanwhile, the government abruptly withdrew a notification regarding the summoning of the assembly session.

The sitting was scheduled to meet at 3pm Thursday (April 3) and even preparations for it, including the agenda, were finalised.

The law and parliamentary affairs department moved a letter to the secretary of the provincial assembly in the morning regarding the convening of the house’s session but that was treated as withdrawn.

Another order was issued early morning reading that KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra had summoned the provincial assembly’s session on May 14. Entry cards were also issued to media to cover proceedings.

“Everybody was shocked by the withdrawal of the previous notice and issuance of new for the summoning of the session,” said a senior official in the assembly secretariat.

A close aide to the chief minister declared the postponing of the sitting part of the ‘time-buying’ strategy.

He said the government and opposition were just fulfilling formalities and had nothing serious to discuss in the assembly.

Five opposition parties had filed a requisition with the assembly secretariat on April 25 to call a session of the house. The requisition carried the signatures of 32 opposition MPAs.

Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2018

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