QUETTA: The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl has made it clear to the Balochistan Awami Party that it will join the provincial government only if the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is removed from the cabinet, a reliable source told Dawn on Monday.

Negotiations between the two parties in Islamabad have hit snags over the JUI-F demand, the source added.

A minister who belongs to the PTI expressed the fear that his party could be dropped from the cabinet at any time.

However, the provincial government remained silent on the matter.

The offer was made by Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo to the JUI-F a few days ago after he came under fire from members of his own party over issues of governance.

After initial contacts between Mr Bizenjo and Maulana Abdul Wasey, the JUI-F’s provincial chief, several rounds of formal talks have been held so far.

Maulana Wasey got in touch with Maulana Fazlur Rehman, his party’s chief, to take him into confidence about the negotiations.

A JUI-F delegation had a meeting with Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bezenjo in Islamabad and informed him about the party’s terms and conditions for joining the provincial government. These include ministries and portfolios of its choice.

Another meeting between the two parties is on the cards.

“Negotiations are in progress and a few more rounds for a positive result cannot be ruled out,” sources close to the chief minister said.

Malik Sikandar Khan, the JUI-F’s parliamentary leader in Balochistan Assembly, told Dawn late on Monday night: “We are in the dark about the talks. Negotiations are going on and no final decision has been taken. Chief Minister Bizenjo and the JUI-F leadership are in Islamabad and in touch with each other.”

Sources in BAP said Mr Bezenjo had also made an offer to Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal of the Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) to join the coalition government during his visit to Karachi.

Initial reports suggest that Sardar Mengal had declined the offer.

The Awami National Party, which is part of the coalition government in Balochistan, has expressed its displeasure over the chief minister’s offer to JUI-F, sources told Dawn.

Asghar Khan Achakzai, the party’s parliamentary leader in the provincial assembly, expressed his reservations over the offer while talking to the media on Monday.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2022

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