ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday hosted a “dinner” in the honour of his party members and coalition partners just one day before the scheduled approval of the federal budget for fiscal year 2020-21.

On this occasion, Imran Khan assured his coalition partners that their rightful grievances will be addressed at the earliest. Amid growing political differences the opposition parties have announced that they would use every constitutional option to remove this government.

Most interestingly, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-Mengal), the two coalition parties didn’t attend the dinner party, citing different reasons while Sheikh Rashid Ahmed of Awami Muslim League Pakistan could not come to the function due to his ailment.

While addressing the participants after the dinner party, PM Imran Khan said that there was no other choice for anyone except his government under the democratic rule. “Don’t worry. I am not going anywhere,” the premier told his coalition partners. He said oust him would fail. “Conspiracy is afoot to fail me,” he said. He also said that he never had thought that he would fail.

Imran Khan says conspiracy afoot to fail him

The ruling alliance enjoys a razor-thin majority in the House and failure to pass the money bill means that the ruling party has lost majority in the House and the government stands dissolved. Recently, some of the PTI members even had started expressing their reservations over the government decisions and the party policy which possibly persuaded the Prime Minister to take the members parliament into confidence.

PTI MNA Raja Riaz from Faisalabad and few others were among those who complained about not getting development funds. Few days back, an independent member from Balochistan, Muhammad Aslam Bhutani and Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) leader Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti had also warned the PTI government of breaking alliance if the promises made to them were not fulfilled.

According to the source, Prime Minister Imran Khan took party members and the coalition parties into confidence over the budgetary proposals. Addressing the participants, he assured the coalition partners that the government will take them along in the government affairs. He also assured them of better coordination with the cabinet members in future and release of development funds at the earliest.

Sources told The Nation that the PML-Q had reservations with the Prime Minister due to which they decided not to attend the event and silently recorded their protest in this regard. According to a senior member of the party, it is up to the Prime Minister if he wants ‘reconciliation’ as the reservations are directly concerning to the Prime Minister himself. He said despite reservations, his party would vote for the passage of the money bill.

BNP-Mengal leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal had, few days aback, announced to end their alliance with the ruling party. Mengal had announced to part ways with PTI government’s coalition in the centre citing reasons for non-implementation of two agreements made with his party. The BNP-Mengal is represented by the four parliamentarians in the National Assembly. The party is likely to abstain from the Monday’s proceedings in connection with the passage of the federal budget.

 

The ruling alliance would most likely pass the money bill despite BNP-M having parted ways with the government. Prime Minister Imran Khan was elected as Leader of House with 184 votes and after BNP-M’s quitting the alliance is now left with support of 180 members whereas he requires confidence of 172 members in the House. On the other hand, the opposition parties have 156 votes in the National Assembly following death of an opposition member, Munir Orakzai few days back.

Earlier, according to the official sources, a delegation of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) called on the Prime Minister. The delegation included Zubaida Jalal, Ehsanullah Reki, Khalid Hussain Magsi, Muhammad Israr Tareen and Rubina Irfan. Minister for Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Education Minister Sahafqat Mahmood, Deputy Speaker National Assembly Muhammad Qasim Suri and PTI’s Chief Whip Malik Amir Dogar were also present on the occasion. Separately, a delegation of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) also met with the Prime Minister ahead of the dinner.

The delegation included Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Dr. Fehmida Mirza and Saira Bano, MNA. Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, a PTI MNA from Jhang also called on the Prime Minister. MQM-P delegation also met with the Prime Minister in the leadership of Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, according to the sources. The Karachi-based party discussed Karachi’s developmental projects, their reservations and demands besides other important matters with the PM. Separately, Independent member Muhammad Aslam Bhootani, and Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) leader Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti also called on the Prime Minister ahead of the feast.