Former Federal Minister Azam Khan Swati addressing a press conference on Tuesday. – Online Photo

ISLAMABAD: The JUI-F is unlikely to get soon the status of an opposition party in the National Assembly because the PPP-led government is reportedly using delaying tactics in this regard, apparently to gain time for settling issues with its disgruntled former ally.

According to sources, the attitude of the National Assembly Secretariat which has received a request from JUI-F for opposition seats in the lower house provides ample evidence of the government’s delaying tactics.

“It is not an easy process to allot seats on opposition benches to any parliamentary party when the house is in order,” an official of the secretariat said. “Because of the already occupied seats in the lower house, it is a difficult task to adjust JUI-F members on opposition benches,” he added.

It is believed that the JUI-F would not be getting the status of an opposition party in the next couple of weeks.

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman suggested in a statement that the seats currently being used by his legislators might be declared opposition benches. In case this happened there would be no need for readjustments.

Members of MQM, one of the key allies of the government, sit on opposition benches due to shortage of space. Its members are also using the lobby of opposition benches.

Two former federal ministers belonging to JUI-F — Rehmatullah Kakar and Attaur Rehman — who resigned after their party had announced to quit the government are still working in their respective ministries. Both of them are enjoying all perks and privileges of a minister.

A close associate of Mr Kakar told Dawn that the former minister was of the view that he could not leave official house and car unless his resignation was accepted by the prime minister.

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