ISLAMABAD              -           Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed his key political aides to engage the main opposition parties in the parliament for legislation on issues of national and public importance.

Knowledgeable sources say the Prime Minister has tasked Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser and Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak to keep engaged Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) for the important legislation.

According to the sources, although the Prime Minister and his ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) do not foresee in near future any major challenge in keeping the ruling coalition intact, the Prime Minister wants to keep the main opposition parties engaged as part of the strategy.

The Prime Minister’s move to write a letter to the opposition over the issue of appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and two members of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is also being seen as part of that strategy.

Likewise, the Prime Minister is also seeking to engage PML-N, the main opposition party in the National Assembly as well as PPP and other smaller parliamentary parties on revisiting the existing anti-graft laws giving immense power to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) which the main opposition parties believed were being used by the government to victimise its political opponents.

Interestingly, the opposition parties have already shown its willingness to the government for rationalising the NAB related to the committee the Prime Minister had given the task to secure their support on amending the NAB laws.

The position of the Prime Minister and his party has gained more advantage on the issue in terms of timeline given by the Supreme Court to the government few days ago to amend the NAB laws within three months.

Political analysts believe the Supreme Court’s decision on NAB laws has also provided ample space to engage the opposition parties not only on NAB laws but also secure their support over other issues the government is seeking to do legislation on.

There are more than a dozen presidential ordinances including bunch of those the government has recently withdrawn on the request of the opposition parties in the National Assembly under a tacit understanding they will support the government to make them laws.

The Presidential Ordinances withdrawn by the government on the request of the opposition are largely issues of public interest.

On the other hand, some critics of the government are looking at the Prime Minister’s move with their scepticism saying the government’s strategy to keep engaging the opposition parties is an indirect effort aiming to secure opposition support in the opposition-dominated Senate.

Opposition’s support in the Senate, they believed has become more critical for the government after resignation of MQM-P convenor Dr. Maqbool Siddiqui from the Cabinet. MQP-P is one of the key coalition partners of the PTI which also enjoys significant presence in the Upper House.

In a related development, the Prime Minister has also stepped up efforts to address the genuine concerns of all the coalition partners of PTI to ensure smooth working of the ruling alliance.

The Prime Minister’s move comes after chairing crucial meeting of PTI’s core committee held the other day in which it was decided to address concerns of the coalition partners through mutual understanding.

Also, the Prime Minister in a major step has told Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar to ensure that allocation and disbursement of developments is done district wise through the Finance Commission Award ostensibly in a move to do away with grievances of the party MPs members and the PML-Q.

For this, the credit goes to Federal Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhary Fawad Hussain who, according to PTI’s insiders, had pointed out this ticklish issue during the core committee’s meeting as a major hurdle in the governance and service delivery in the Punjab province.

The Prime Minister is also expected to visit Karachi shortly for his crucial huddle with the leaderships of the MQM-P and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) to address their concerns.