ARIF MEHMOOD KHAN
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has formed three committees comprising members of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in order for them to work in liaison with political allies, a notification from the Prime Minister’s Office said on Thursday. A four-member committee has been constituted to work alongside PTI’s Sindh allies — Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and Grand Democratic Alliance. The committee comprises Planning Minister Asad Umar, who will be the convener, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi and PTI Sindh president Haleem Adil Sheikh. A three-member committee, comprising Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, who will be the convener, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood will coordinate with PML-Q — PTI’s allies in Punjab. Another three-member committee, with Defence Minister Pervez Khattak as convener and comprising National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri and lawmaker Mir Khan Muhammad Jamali, will work in close liaison with the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) and Jamhoori Wattan Party. Defence Minister Khattak will be the chairperson of all committees, the notification said.
The decision to form committees was taken during a meeting held in the PM Office, where the “process of PTI’s engagement with its allies” was discussed “in detail”.
“Prime Minister felt that this process needed to be strengthened and formalised so that there were no gaps in communication between all the allies forming the government,” the notification read.
The ruling party is facing troubles with nearly all its allies, who have complained that the PTI has failed to fulfil the promises it made when forming the government. Each ally is critical to the PTI since the party holds only a slender majority in the National Assembly.
Worries in official quarters were observed after at least two ministers belonging to PML-Q and MQM-P did not attend a meeting of the federal cabinet earlier this month. Some believed that the three major allies had genuine demands while others are of the opinion that it was the first step towards a possible in-house change.

Following the development, PTI leaders had held three separate meetings — two in the federal capital and one in Karachi — with PML-Q and BNP leaders in Islamabad and with the MQM-P in Karachi.

The major partners in the ruling coalition have grievances about the helplessness of their ministers in decision making, PTI government’s failure to include them in the consultative process and to provide any relief to inflation-hit people.

Number game
Currently, the PTI enjoys a majority in the National Assembly with 156 seats while along with all its allies it has a total of 186 seats in the lower house of parliament. The MQM has seven, PML-Q has five, Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) five, BNP-M has four, Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) has three and Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) and Awami Muslim League have one seat each besides four independent lawmakers.

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