QUETTA: Days after it was invited to join the Balochistan government, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) is still mulling over the offer and yet to make a final decision.

The party was invited by Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo a week ago when he had visited the residence of JUI-F provincial chief Maulana Abdul Wasey.

The party had shown willingness to be a part of the government at its own conditions and sought some important ministries.

After the visits, Maulana Wasey had said that JUI-F’s position on the matter would become clear within 48 hours. On the other hand, a senior party leader, Maulana Abdul Wahid Siddique, cle­arly stated that the JUI-F was going to join the coalition.

However, as the party was still undecided even after a week, political observers say it appeared in no haste to join the coalition government.

Discussions in political circles link the indecision to Mr Bizenjo’s meeting with former chief minister Jam Kamal Khan to resolve differences which developed after a no-confidence motion was moved against Mr Bizenjo by Jam Kamal. However, the motion failed as it didn’t have the requisite number of signatories needed to table it.

In the meantime, Mr Bizenjo also met BNP-Mengal’s chief Sardar Akhtar Men­gal and offered him to join the coalition.

Accepting the offer, Mr Mengal said the BNP-M and the JUI-F would jointly take a decision as both parties were in no hurry to join the coalition.

He said the BNP-M’s central committee would make a decision in this regard.

Later, Mr Mengal held a meeting with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and discussed the offer.

Political observers are of the view the chief minister is facing the consequences of his meeting with Jam Kamal Khan as it had clearly miffed the ‘friendly’ opposition, of which JUI-F and BNP-M are a part of.

Moreover, the offers did not sit well with some members of the ruling Balochistan Awami Party as they feared the new induction would deprive them of their ministries in the provincial cabinet.

As Mr Bizenjo awaits a decision from JUI-F and BNP-M, reports suggest that he might be running short on time as some BAP members, who were already with former chief minister Jam Kamal, were considering changing the parliamentary leader — the chief minister — in the Balochistan Assembly.

However, Mr Bizenjo’s close aides have denied such reports and said the party was unanimous in its support for Mr Bizenjo as the party’s president and parliamentary leader. They denied any change in the government and said that JUI-F would soon join the cabinet.

Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2022

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