PESHAWAR: While the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) announces ways to party with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) says the former has never been a coalition partner of the government.
Confusion reigned over the status of the KP section of the BAP – having four MPAs in the 145-member KP Assembly – as it was unclear whether the party belonged to the Treasury or to the opposition group.
The issue arose after Bilawal Afridi, the parliamentary leader of the BAP in the KP Assembly, posted a video message announcing that his party had split from the ruling PTI over “broken commitments”.
Confirming the development on Wednesday, Mr Afridi said that in the coming days his party would make decisions that would benefit people in their constituencies and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Ruling PTI says party was never part of coalition formation
He alleged that the government had failed to deliver on its promises to release funds of Rs 110 billion under the National Finance Commission award for the districts merged with the KP and to provide employment to people in the tribal areas. .
“We are not involved in any discussions when meetings are held on newly merged districts and the use of funds is on the instructions of two to three people. No [assembly] members of tribal districts are included in all meetings and that is unfair,” Mr. Afridi said.
For these reasons, he added, BAP legislators in the KP Assembly were breaking ranks with the government.
The BAP had never been part of the KP Assembly and it first emerged when elections were held in the former Fata in 2019, after which three independent members announced their membership of the BAP and, thanks to their strength, a woman was elected to a reserve seat.
Shaukat Yousafzai, PTI Chief Whip in the KP Assembly and Provincial Labor Minister, wondered how the BAP could break away from the provincial government when it was never part of it. He said the BAP’s status in the provincial assembly was unclear as they sometimes supported the Treasury and sometimes the opposition.
The BAP has never been invited to any parliamentary party meeting of the PTI, nor to any meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, he said, adding that the PTI had 94 lawmakers in the 145-member chamber. and that he did not need the support of any other party.
Posted in Dawn, March 17, 2022