The Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) on Wednesday turned down the PTI’s offer to form a coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), linking its decision to the PTI limiting its alliance to just provincial level.

The statement from JI’s Central Naib Emir Liaqat Baloch comes a day after the PTI announced to form a coalition in Centre and Punjab with the Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen (MWM) and align with the JI in the KP.

“He (Imran) has approved [of a coalition] with two parties. We will form a coalition with the MWM in the Centre and Punjab and a coalition with the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) in KP for the reserved seats. These are his decisions and we will implement them, we have already begun work on them,” PTI’s Central Information Secretary Raoof Hasan had said.

In a social media post today, JI’s Baloch said his party had held a meeting with the PTI after the Feb 8 elections for a consensus on the way forward.

He said the JI had communicated its displeasure at the poll results but welcomed the PTI-backed MNAs who won through the public’s mandate.

Baloch said the JI had also extended its unconditional cooperation with these MNAs in terms of party, constitutional and parliamentary protection.

“The PTI welcomed it but in the last stage conveyed the message that they only wanted a coalition for the government in KP,” the JI leader said.

“JI has decided that coalition with PTI at the national level would be in the national interest, but if the PTI has changed its position, then they can settle their affairs with whoever they want in KP,” Baloch added.

Earlier in the day, JI spokesperson Qaiser Sharif claimed that the PTI had “changed its stance” on their plan regarding cooperation in the upcoming government.

Sharif said that both parties had agreed to “cooperate at national level in the national interest”.

“They can settle their affairs in KP with whoever they wish. JI would be glad,” he added.

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