BNP-Mengal refuses to attend prime minister’s dinner

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ISLAMABAD: Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) on Saturday refused to attend a dinner for government MPs and lawmakers from allied parties

The BNP-M maintained that since it was no longer a part of the government there was no sense in attending the dinner.

The Prime Minister Office had invited BNP-P chief Akhtar Mengal and party leader Jahanzeb Jamaldini for a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Last week the prime minister — in an attempt to pacify the former coalition partner – had directed his federal ministers to implement the 6% job quota reserved for the Balochistan province.

It is pertinent to mention here that on June 17, BNP-M leader Mengal had announced the party was parting ways with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government after remaining part of the coalition for nearly two years.

The directives, issued from the Prime Minister Office to all federal ministers and departments, said that the premier had expressed his grave concern over non-implementation of the job quota for Balochistan.

It should be implemented strictly in all ministries and government departments, it said.

The PMO also summoned a record of all vacant posts on the reserved seats for Balochistan within 30 days to ensure that recruitments are made against them.

It may be noted that on the next day of the BNP-M’s announcement to quit the federal government coalition it was decided to reach out to BNP-M to address their grievances.

During the meeting, PM Imran directed the government negotiation team to address the reservations of PTI-led government allies including the BNP-M. The prime minister had tasked Pervaiz Khattak to meet representatives of disgruntled allies and address their concerns.

Bilawal, Akhtar Mengal agree to devise joint strategy on budget

Separately PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday in a phone call with the BNP-M chief agreed to form a joint strategy against budget 2020-21.

The contact came a day after Bilawal contacted Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, head of JUI-F Maulana Fazlur Rehman, JI Ameer Sirajul Haq, head of QWP Aftab Sherpao, Aimal Wali Khan of ANP, Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo and MNA Mohsin Dawar and discussed the current political situation of the country, 18th constitutional amendment, COVID-19, locust and the federal budget.

Bilawal said the PTI-MF budget was against people which could not be accepted. He said the prime minister was attacking the Constitution of Pakistan by criticising the 18th Amendment. “The COVID-19 pandemic has spread everywhere in the country due to the incapability of Imran Khan and his government,” he said.

Both the leaders expressed concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

The PPP chairman also talked about the government’s actions concerning the NFC award and the All Parties’ Conference scheduled for next week.

Both the leaders also rejected the petroleum price increase and said that this hike is rejected because this is the time to provide maximum relief to the people. “This increase is an anti-people measure by the PTI government,” Bilawal said.

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