ISLAMABAD - In order to avoid criticism, particularly from civil society, and to show an enlightened and moderate face to the world, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa Chief Minister, in negation to the party policy, Wednesday attended the meeting called by Prime Minister on formulating a strategy to eradicate polio from the country.

It was well over five-month time that the KP Chief Minister attended any meeting under the chair of Prime Minister in, what many saw a clear negation to their policy of having no interaction with the federal government, dubbed by the party chairman a product of rigged and engineered elections.

Besides attending the meeting on formulating policy on polio eradication, which has mainly affected Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa, Khattak also attended the informal interaction with Prime Minister Nawaz ahead of the meeting wherein host of issues ranging from political matters to law and order situation in the country came under discussion.

Sources aware of the interaction of the Prime Minister with all the four chief ministers informed that the meeting was held in a comfortable atmosphere with Khattak.

Sources further said that neither side spoke about the irritants between the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf. However, Prime Minister while taking to all the four chief ministers stressed the need of close coordination between the federal and provincial governments.

Sources in the PTI said that the decision to attend the meeting was taken in a meeting of senior party leaders wherein the negative fallouts of skipping the meeting came under discussion and finally majority of senior party leaders nodded in favour of attending the meeting to avoid undue criticism on the party for doing politics on issue mainly concerning their province.

Some of the party leaders were of the view that ruling PML-N would make an issue out of their non-participation in the meeting concerning the whole nation. At the same time as the issue was under spotlight at international level and their non-participation would be dubbed as non-committal towards the international cause against polio eradication which would cost the party’s popularity dearly both locally and internationally.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting could not be held for well over five months due to the KP CM’s refusal to attend it owing to the party’s decision not to participate in any meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

But the presence of Khattak in the meeting in Wednesday’s meeting is indicative of his readiness to attend CCI meeting as well to pave the way for settlement of many important pending issues between the provinces and Centre like the decision on holding population census.

Previously when PTI Chairman Imran Khan had announced that the KP Chief Minister would not attend any meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister, a number of senior party leaders opposed the decision in the party’s core committee meeting taking the plea that the forums like CCI should not be skipped as the serious matters relating to the province needed to be discussed and debated at the forum for the benefit of the people of the province.

They said that the issue of royalty on power generation, holding of population census and share in assets of the ministries devolved to the provinces are some of the issues which needed to be resolved and instead of avoiding the CCI meeting Khattak should forcefully plead his province’s case at the forum.