ISLAMABAD - The federal government has failed so far to convince the Sindh government against putting the LNG deal on the agenda of much-awaited Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting.

The meeting of CCI will be called soon after resolving the matter. It is expected the issue will be resolved in the current month, sources in the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) shared with The Nation.

The federal government has almost convinced Khyber Pakhtunkhwa about the agenda of the CCI meeting as some of small matters are under consideration, they said. The government side, sources said, was deliberately delaying the CCI meeting to avoid discussing controversial matters with the members of major opposition parties. The government side even faced much criticism from opposition parties for violating the constitution, as it did not call the meeting for the last one year.

According to the constitution (Under sub-clause 3 of Article 153), “the government is bound to call the council’s meeting at least once in three months”. This provision was inserted in the Constitution through the 18th Amendment.

Talking to The Nation, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Riaz Pirzada said the government is making grounds to call the Council of Common Interests (CCI) as earlier as possible. He was hopeful to convene the meeting in the current month after successfully handling the matter regarding its agenda. “I can’t give exact date for CCI meeting, as matters are under discussion,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, sources said the matter regarding non-formation of permanent secretariat of CCI has also created differences within government’s ranks. Even an opinion to devolve ministry of IPC and form permanent secretariat of CCI is also being discussed, they said. This government has shown interest to convene the CCI after much criticism from opposition parties, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) and MQM. The lawmakers from PPP and MQM have time and again raised this matter in and outside the parliament during last fifteen days.

The government side, despite much criticism raised from opposition benches in last two weeks, had come with unsatisfactory response. The federal government has also faced a taunt from PPP on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for violating the constitutional obligation.

As, opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah around a week before commented in the National Assembly’s proceeding that incumbent government has violated the constitutional clause and only five CCI meetings were held since its inception in May 2013. This government has to constitutionally convene ten meetings during half of its tenure. The five meetings held on July 23, 2013, July 31, 2013, February 10, 2014, May 29, 2014, and March 2015.