ISLAMABAD - A joint meeting of the negotiation committees of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Thursday decided that the stalled talks process with the disgruntled allies would start from the point where the previous committee had left.

The meeting also decided that negotiations with the coalition partners of the government including Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) would be moved forward quickly on the already agreed procedure and already settled matters with them by the previous negotiations committee would not be re-opened.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ruling party is trying to woo its coalition partners to save its thin majority government in the centre.

The meeting met under the chair of Defence Minister Pervez Khattak at the Parliament House and was attended by Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, Governor Sindh Imran Ismail, Planning & Development Minister Asad Umar, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood and other senior leadership of the PTI.

Before the meeting, the PTI leadership including CM Punjab, and governors of Punjab and Sindh met with the Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser in his chamber to get the latter’s input over the talk process with the unhappy allies. Deputy Speaker NA Qasim Khan Suri also attended the meeting.

The purpose of the meeting was to make a strategy on the process of future talks with allies, said Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar after the meeting.

He said that the demand of allies was not unfair that already agreed matters should not be re-opened.

Responding to a question that some allies have shown their reservations over the formation of new committees and wanted to get the previous committee restored, Umar while giving a reference to the Q League said that only one party had shown its reservations over the newly formed committees but it later changed it saying that it had no objection over the formation of new committee but already settled matters should not be re-opened. “This demand is not unfair,” he said adding that committee would abide by this demand.

Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak in his media talk after the meeting said that the government would start talks with the allies during this week. “We will talk with the coalition partners on the already agreed procedure,” he said. He said that the formation of new committees was the decision of the PM Imran Khan and the matter would be resolved within a week or 10 days’ time.

Responding to a question, he said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had to decide whether senior PTI leader Jahangir Khan Traeen should be included in the committees or not. “Tareen will also be having a meeting with PM soon,” he said adding that the talks process would be extended from where it was stalled by the previous committee.

Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar said that reservations of all allies would be addressed. “All allies stand by us and there is no pint to worry.” Governor Sindh Imran Ismail talking to reporters after the meeting said that MQM would soon be back in the cabinet. He said that PM had instructed to speed up the talks process.

MEETING OF ASAD UMAR WITH MQM:

Separately, the convener of the negotiations committee, Asad Umar held a meeting with the MQM leadership in Islamabad.

Governor Sindh also participated in the meeting.

Umar while talking to reporters after the meeting said that it was the right of the metropolitan city — Karachi — that it should be given due development funds. He said previous and successive governments did not give due share to Karachi when it comes to development projects for the city. He said that both the parties have agreed on the release of development funds for the city.

The planning minister made it clear that MQM in all meetings held with them never demanded another ministry for it.

Governor Imran Ismail said that talks were moving in a positive manner.

MQM leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui on the occasion said that Karachi was contributing to 65 percent of the total national budget and 95 percent to the provincial budget of Sindh. “It should be dealt with the same value.” He said that the traders of the metropolitan city contributing to national economy should be returned some share in the form of development projects.

In the last week of January, PM Imran Khan had formed three committees to hold meetings with the disgruntled allies of the government to address their reservations.

The committee mandated to hold talks with MQM comprised of Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar as its convener, and Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Firdous Shamim Naqvi and Haleem Adil Sheikh as its members. The committee tasked to hold negotiations PML-Q included Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar as its convener, Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar and Shafqat Mahmood as its members. The third committee comprising of Deputy Speaker NA Qasim Suri and Mir Khan Mohammad Jamali as its members was tasked to hold talks with the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Balochistan National Party (BNP) and Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP).

PML-Q had objected over the formation of new committees and said that the talks were moving in a positive manner with the previous committee including Pervez Khattak and Jahangir Khan Tareen. Before the formation of new committees, Khattak and Tareen had been holding talks with all the allies.