Coalition formation: PTI to retain K-P education ministry, JI to get finance

Published: May 17, 2013
Former Engro CEO Asad Umar with PTI chief Imran Khan at a press conference at PTI Secretariat in Islamabad. PHOTO: SANA

Former Engro CEO Asad Umar with PTI chief Imran Khan at a press conference at PTI Secretariat in Islamabad. PHOTO: SANA


Senior leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) denied reports that the PTI would hand over the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa education ministry to its new coalition partner, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), though they confirmed that the JI would be getting the provincial finance ministry.

“There is no ideological difference between the PTI and the JI as far as the finance ministry is concerned,” Asad Umar, a senior vice president of the PTI, told The Express Tribune. “When it comes to matters relating to taxation, the PTI and JI see eye to eye.”

Umar, considered to be the party’s main leader on economic policy, confirmed reports that JI’s Sirajul Haq, elected to the K-P Assembly from Lower Dir, would be the provincial finance minister. It is not yet known who the PTI will be nominating to lead the education ministry, though the party leadership has made it clear that it will be one of their own.

The rumour that JI had been given three ministries – finance, education, and zakat – in exchange for joining the coalition with PTI caused a stir among the party’s supporters, who expressed their disappointment on social media. Particularly distressing to most PTI supporters was the fact that their party’s education plan was among the highlights of the policy agenda on the strength of which the PTI ran its election campaign.

Sources familiar with the PTI leadership’s deliberations suggested that the party’s top brass acknowledged those concerns and were keen to run the province’s education policy according to their own policy agenda. And even on the question of the finance ministry, the PTI appears to be taking measures to ensure that its economic platform gets implemented.

According to sources familiar with the matter, while Sirajul Haq will be the provincial finance minister, he will not be in charge of the planning and development department, which the PTI plans to keep for itself. The planning and development department in provincial governments is an absolutely critical one, since it is the starting point from which the implementation of all policy reforms must originate.

The K-P government consists of 30 departments, but under Article 130 (6) of the constitution, can only have a maximum of 15 cabinet members. Ministers, therefore, will be running more than one department. The education minister, for instance, will be in charge of two separate departments, that of higher education and elementary and secondary education.

Provincial finance ministers typically run three departments: finance, revenue, and planning and development. The PTI leadership appears to be comfortable letting its coalition partner run the finance and revenue departments, but wants to keep planning and development for itself.

After the 18th Amendment to the constitution, and the passage of the 7th National Finance Commission Award, provincial governments in Pakistan have been given far more autonomy than at any point in the country’s history. The PTI leadership views its government in K-P as an opportunity to compete on governance quality with its arch-rival, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. The provincial government in Peshawar is viewed by the PTI as a stepping stone for gaining the trust of a broader swathe of voters nationwide as competent managers of economic and social policy.

Sources familiar with the matter say that the PTI leadership plans to use “party resources” to help shape the provincial government’s policies, a reference to PTI’s embryonic policy think tank which has helped develop the party’s economic platform.

Yet in order to compete on policy, the PTI must first master coalition politics. It must keep its coalition partners satisfied while retaining the ability to shape the direction of the government’s policy agenda. The initial announcement – made by a JI spokesperson – that the PTI had given the crucial education ministry to a coalition partner represents a stumble, though one from which the party appears to have recovered, at least for now.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • FP
    May 17, 2013 - 10:12AM

    Its a wise decision by PTI to retain education ministry. Best of luck to PTI and my K-P brothers and sisters.


  • Imran
    May 17, 2013 - 10:29AM

    When there is a will; there is a way


  • Pakistani
    May 17, 2013 - 10:33AM

    Good decision. Nation is counting on you! KPK should be a model province.


  • Zubair
    May 17, 2013 - 10:46AM

    Please PTI supporters, do not criticise Imran Khan for his decissions. If you trust him, just support whatever he decides. He will not do it in bad faith.


  • Falcon
    May 17, 2013 - 11:18AM

    Thanks a lot for this clarification. Education & strategic economic planning too critical to be handed over to coalition partners.


  • hassan
    May 17, 2013 - 11:20AM

    A relief to hear that ….!


  • Farhad Ali
    May 17, 2013 - 11:21AM

    To me this looks like a complete non-natural alliance. JI as a party has never delivered in KPK or else where. They have a very specific agenda which is clearly different than PTI.

    PTI should actually retain both, Education and Finance and all important ministries as they claim to have the majority there.

    In my opinion they will not be able to deliver if they depend on JI and eventually will be wiped next time for KPK,


  • TaimurKhan
    May 17, 2013 - 11:49AM

    One disaster averted.


  • Syed Zulfiqar
    May 17, 2013 - 12:27PM

    All the best to PTI and it is better that you are not forming govt in center now you can focus your energies on one province and gain strength and potential from tough mountain and terrain of KP. After serving KP you will spread in length and breadth of this country to give people of Pakistan a new life.


  • Bhatti
    May 17, 2013 - 12:42PM

    Best of Luck PTI! Make us Proud!


  • Tariq Sohail
    May 17, 2013 - 12:50PM

    Well they have no ideological differences as far as finance is concerned, Is Ideology is confined to a single domain only ???


  • paposhia
    May 17, 2013 - 1:05PM

    When we talk about Pakistan, JI is the only party in Pak which has history of delivering to the people we have examples of 100s of hospitals, health project, ambulances and 1000s of school are running by JI across Pakistan. But ppl like me and u dont liketo come out of of wall of comfort nad just pass comments without knowing and realizing whole situation.


  • Nein
    May 17, 2013 - 1:35PM

    I think the educated class needs to be a bit patient. I also have similar concerns regarding JI, but you have to understand that there may be minor compromises as JI is not PTI. But as IK says, compromise for the objective not on the objective. JI has a record also for bulding schools and hospitals, there might be differences and even suspicions with regards to the ideological part for eg. too much emphasis on religion in a region and society already confused due to role of religion in politics. However it would be in the interest of both parties and KPK people that they avoid controversy wherever possible, for eg. don’t go for unnecessary curriculum changes without consensus and focus more on re-building schools, ensuring teachers are there, bringing the local body and empowering the masses at grass root (health services, free education upto some point), improve the police system (who I think have already put so much sacrifices and cannot be compared to Punjab and sindh police). Do infrastructure development, improve taxation. A lot can be done regardless of who has what ministry. There is a lot of common grounds as humans, and if they do not indulge in confusion for the sake of it, I believe all the 3 major coalition parties seem to have a will and can deliver on these basic points.


  • ashar
    May 17, 2013 - 1:50PM

    Dear IK, if you put Education on right track, your job is done. Is their any body in Sindh think like that. We have seen a picture of the Chairman Intermediate board visiting examination centers, while other news say there is a massive cheating going on in the exams…Reason the chairman is a retired person, retired nine years back, still on job. There are news that more than half of all Boards Chairman and Controller of exams are retired persons in Sindh. This is it.


  • Azmat Shah
    May 17, 2013 - 2:23PM

    I am a diehard PTI supporter but would request my PTI fellows to please restrain themselves from creating bad blood between the parties at this stage when they are about to form a coalition. Most of the people criticising JI are not aware of what they stand for and I think ideologically speaking they are the closest party to PTI in Pakistan. Siraj ul Haque is a living example of the austerity and transparency that PTI stands for and they have many scholars and well educated people from the middle class who can contribute a lot to the new KPK government. JI was the only democratic party before PTI that conducts free and fair election within its ranks since its inception. Their Ex Amir, Qazi Hussain Ahmad was a very dear friend and admirer of IK and he was very upset at the Islami Jamiat Talba’s attack on IK and extended a personal apology to IK . I think its better to build up on the positives instead of picking up on the negativities


  • Faizan
    May 17, 2013 - 2:25PM

    You should write “Vice-President Pakistan tehreek e Insaf” for Asad Umer Sb.

    And PTI is showing up to be a sensible political party, wise decision retaining education ministries.


  • Azmat Shah
    May 17, 2013 - 2:28PM

    My personel reservations are not about JI. I am more concerned about Aftab Sherpao,s QWP. But again these are he kind of compromises you have to make if you want to run the coalition successfully


  • afridi
    May 17, 2013 - 2:46PM

    we pray for IK to change the life of KPK people


  • Pro Bono Publico
    May 17, 2013 - 2:51PM

    PTI should show the way forward and disband the information ministry. The government’s official voice will be better heard from good governance. Instead, the chief minister can do with an assistant cabinet minister level press officer with a small cabinet. The savings should be poured into education.


  • faheem
    May 17, 2013 - 4:53PM

    Asad Umar is no more senior Vice President of PTI, Mr. Umar did not took part in Intra party elections


  • Sara Khan
    May 17, 2013 - 5:38PM

    I am a PTI supporter a,d i strongly believe in IK decisions that he will make them in good faith. At the same time JI members are extremely honest and trustworthy.

    If PTI can somehow manage to bring Asad Umar to KPK assembly and give him finance, that will make a huge difference…

    Good Luck IK…. we love you regardless of you win or lose…God Bless


  • zubair
    May 17, 2013 - 7:45PM

    IK was so wish that he is able to fulfill the hopes of Pakistan and to lead the country in different direction, but people chose different leader now PTI have time to piratically prove their mandate success in Peshawar. I hope they can improve the environment system, tourism sector, traffic system, security system, police & law enforcement system, economic system, education system and youth programs to rise this province in whole world. I wish all the best!


  • ihtesham ul haq
    May 17, 2013 - 11:04PM

    pti will change kpk and the other provinces look it soon.


  • Naveed Razzaq
    May 20, 2013 - 1:33PM

    More appropriate!


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