ISLAMABAD - The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Thursday made first formal contact with chief of Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) Sardar Akhtar Mengal to persuade him not to quit the coalition government at the centre. Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani called on Mengal to convey message of government’s negotiating committee headed by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak. On Wednesday, BNP-M had formally announced to part ways with government ahead of vote on the federal budget putting the ruling party into trouble that has a fragile majority in the National Assembly. BNP-M chief had made this announcement on the floor of the National Assembly what he said that PTI failed to implement the six points already agreed with his party to become part of the government alliance.

Chairman Senate in his meeting informed BNP-M chief that the negotiation committee would soon meet him. Akhtar Mengal however remained stuck to his position and said he had nothing to do now as it was the government to take decision on the issue, the official sources informed. “I have done what I had to do and the ball is now in the government’s court,” Mengal was quoted as saying. Sanjrani said that he would convey his message to the negotiating committee. Talking to reporters after the meeting, Sardar Akhtar Mengal said that he had announced to quit the ruling coalition on the floor of the NA.

He said though Sanjrani was not from the PTI, but was associated with Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), which was part of the ruling coalition. He said chairman Senate met him to understand their demands and the issue as well. He said he made it clear that the decision to quit the government had been taken by his party and he had no authority to reverse it in his personal capacity. “I have told chairman Senate to ask government as to why it could not fulfill promises made in the past and our problems could not be resolved,” he said and asked who was responsible for it. In August 2018, PTI and BNP-M had signed a six-point memorandum of understanding (MoU) to make a coalition government in the centre. The six points include recovery of missing persons and construction of dams in the province.