PTI MNAs vent displeasure at ministers’ attitude

Published: January 17, 2019


ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary meeting of members of national assembly (MNAs) of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf saw a torrent of complaints, with coalition members saying coordination has come to a standstill since they joined the government.

Members of South Punjab and Faisalabad division told lawmakers that if such conditions persist, then the ruling party will face difficulties in winning seats from South Punjab in the next elections.

The meeting, which was presided by Finance Minister Asad Umar, took place at the Parliament House in Islamabad.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar, Chief Whip Amir Dogar and other MNAs were present in the meeting.

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According to sources, PTI members complained to the finance minister regarding the lack of coordination between federal ministers and MNAs. “Since the formation of government, party-level coordination has ended,” one lawmaker was quoted as saying.

The members of South Punjab and Faisalabad division were extremely vocal about their grievances, and insinuated that the ruling party could face a tough time in getting the desired support when polling occurs next.

During the meeting, it was suggested that ministers ensure constant contact with MNAs. The meeting chair, Asad Umar, said that since the past five months, no one has asked for a party-level meeting and now that the issue has come to the government’s attention, all grievances will be addressed forthwith.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also assured the meeting of constant and continuous contact between the members of the assembly and the federal ministers while Defence Minister Pervez Khattak said that all ministers will brief the assembly’s PTI members once a week.

The meeting also discussed and decided the government’s strategy on the economic situation in the country as well as the recently formed alliance of opposition parties. The finance minister briefed the participants on the supplementary budget, while also sharing the government’s vision about the same.

PTI’s chief whip Amir Dogar too was apprehensive about the federal ministers’ attitude. Speaking to the media after the meeting, he took a hit at the ministers, saying their lack of participation in the meeting was a clear indicator of their seriousness or the lack thereof. He further said that it is unfortunate that members of the party have to ask for time to meet the federal ministers.

Dogar also told the media that the meeting was only convened as PTI’s National Assembly members demanded a briefing on the country’s economy.

He also briefly touched upon the trading of words between Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Pakistan Muslim League’s Moonis Elahi. Dogar said the prime minister will certainly look into the matter. In addition, Dogar also hinted at certain factions in Sindh vying for change in the province.

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