LAHORE/PESHAWAR - Jamaat-i-Islami has finally decided to quit the PTI-led government in KP after a week, allowing its seven MPAs to draw April’s salaries from the national kitty before leaving the government.

The decision to leave government was announced by JI KP chapter President Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan in an interaction with media in Peshawar on Wednesday.

A senior central leader of the JI also confirmed the development. He, seeking anonymity, said JI members will submit their resignations on May 1. He, however, added that JI would continue supporting the treasury benches until the completion of the assembly tenure. The JI is the fifth largest party in KP following Qaumi Watan Party, PML-N, JUI-F and PTI.

“Despite having difference of opinion on many issues, we managed to successfully run the provincial government with PTI for five years. Now as we have entered into a fresh political alliance in the shape of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), it is time to end the coalition with PTI. But we want to end it on a positive note without getting into any blame game and dirty game of trading allegations,” said Mushtaq Ahmad Khan.

He said JI would come out of the government in next two or three days, but support the treasury in adoption of the upcoming budget and against any move to topple the government. “Hopefully, the announcement of JI leaving the provincial government would be made at a joint press conference along with the PTI leadership,” he said.

The decision of quitting the provincial government was not taken due to differences with the ruling coalition partners, but owing to some recent political developments, especially the revival of the MMA, he added.

He averred MMA was going to hold a provincial meeting on April 27 wherein the provincial set-up for the conglomerate would be finalised and a programme for the next general elections unveiled. On May 2, the alliance of the religious parties was going to hold a grand workers’ convention in Islamabad after which formal electioneering would be started, he pointed out.

Regarding possible propaganda from other political parties, especially PTI, after quitting the government, Mushtaq said JI believed in positive and constructive opposition and was not afraid of any such propaganda.

According to a recent survey, he claimed, JI is the leading political party with regard to internal democratic system. It proved its worth of fair play and having loyal and honest leadership and workers in the recent Senate elections, he added.

“JI also has a vast network of Al-Khidmat Foundation under which not only 8,000 orphan children are being provided best education and accommodation in its orphanages. The JI also provided ambulances and medical service to 6.2 million people in 2017 only. Therefore, we believe in our political competence and spirit of serving the masses without being scared of any propaganda by anyone,” he remarked.  Flanked by JI KP secretary general Abdul Wasi and Secretary Information Jamaat Ali, Senator Mushtaq said MMA had not been formed against anyone and its election campaign would not be against any individual or party.

“We would launch a positive and pro-active election campaign. We would present our manifesto and programme before the people. Our campaign would be manifesto-centric, leadership-centric and performance-centric,” he said.

The revival of MMA was an explosive idea having extraordinary potential as it drew a spontaneous pre-emption from other political forces which expedited their efforts to attract ‘big guns’ and ‘winning-horses’ to their party folds, he said, referring to the Saifullah family’s joining PTI.

He said the MMA had a strong organisational base and trained political workers. The leaders of major parties of MMA belong to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which gives it a clear edge over its political opponents and these would be the contributing factors to the victory of the religious parties’ alliance in the next general elections.