QUETTA: JUI-F provincial head Maulana Abdul Wasay said on Sunday whether the party would join the provincial coalition government or not would become clear in the next 24 hours, with the party’s central leadership reportedly giving the go-ahead to its provincial chapter provided the conditions are met.

Talking to reporters, he said the party had conveyed its stance and conditions to Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo for joining the six-party cabinet and Mr Bizenjo has sought two days’ time to make a final decision.

On the JUI-F side, its central chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and the central executive committee would make the final decision.

The negotiations for inducting the JUI-F as a coalition partner into th cabinet entered the final stage on Saturday when Mr Bizenjo spent a hectic day having a series of meetings with MPAs from the ruling Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), leaders of the JUI-F and other parties having representation in the provincial assembly.

Party’s leadership reportedly gives go-ahead to its provincial chapter for entering coalition

The chief minister also went to the residence of Maulana Wasay and discussed his party’s induction into the cabinet.

“If the party joined the government, it would be visible to everybody,” said Maulana Wasay, who has also been part of the federal cabinet since April as housing minister.

Meanwhile, sources said the JUI-F’s central leadership has given the go-ahead to its Balochistan chapter to join the provincial cabinet if conditions on the number of ministries and portfolios were met.

Chief Minister Bizenjo, who is also the president of the ruling BAP party, said a day earlier he will not remove any minister and adviser from the present cabinet, but reports suggest he would reshuffle the cabinet to accommodate JUI-F members.

Sources said the JUI-F wanted at least four ministries of its choice and two advisers on board, whereas the other side was making efforts to convince the JUI-F to accept two ministries and two adviser posts.

Mr Bizenjo, who met Maulana Wasay on Saturday and sought two days to finalise the issue, left on Sunday for Islamabad, where he was expected to meet Maulana Fazlur Rehman to discuss and seek his help in resolving the issue. Maulana Wasay, however, said his party believed in politics of principles and had never compromised on it.

He said Balochistan was facing a devastating economic crisis due to recent floods that caused massive destruction across the province, damaging roads, bridges, dams, and washing away thousands of houses, rendering hundreds of thousands of families homeless.

“All standing crops, including rice, sugar cane, cotton, vegetables and fruit orchards, have been destroyed, breaking the backbone of the provincial economy,” the JUI-F leader said, adding that his party was ready to cooperate with everyone in this challenging time and the federal government had also assured all possible help and cooperation for rehabilitating flood-affected people of Balochistan.

He also stressed the need to rehabilitate displaced people as soon as possible because winter was approaching, which would heap more misery on flood victims living in tent cities and in the open.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2022

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