Setback for PTI as Jamaat-e-Islami declines 'alliance offer' in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Setback for PTI as Jamaat-e-Islami declines 'alliance offer' in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa


Liaqat Baloch says cooperation only at provincial level isn’t possible

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PESHAWAR (Dunya News) – In a major development, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has refused extending cooperation to the PTI, which earlier sought the religiopolitical party’s assistance to accommodate its independents who had won the Feb 8 elections for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

Liaqat Baloch – the deputy emir of JI – on Wednesday said the decision was taken after having consultations within the party over the request made by the PTI.

He said the PTI only wanted the JI’s assistance in forming the government only in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as they were ready for cooperation at the national level across Pakistan.

It means the PTI may not get any of the reserved seats – 26 for women and four for minorities – in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly unless it is able find an alternative.

The PTI is facing a dilemma since the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had deprived the party of “bat” – its election symbol – forcing it field the candidates as independents who contested the polls on different symbols.

It means the PTI, despite having been able to get a large number of members elected to the provincial legislatures in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab as well as the National Assembly – won’t get any of the reserved seats for women and minorities unless it members join one of the parties contesting the recently-held elections.

The JI’s decision comes as the PTI opted for another option – Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) – for the rest of the country.

On Tuesday, MWM Chairman Allama Raja Nasir Abbas welcomed the PTI’s decision to form an alliance his party. “The MWM is the PTI founder's own party. He can decide whatever he wanted regarding this party. We will accept it unconditionally and unanimously.”

Earlier, the PTI announced that it would form the government together with the Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) in the Centre and Punjab, as its spokesperson Raoof Hasan said the party founder had approved an alliance.

He said talks would be held with all parties except the PPP, the PML-N and the MQM, but added that the PTI was going to form an alliance with the JI in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where Ali Amin Gandapur had been nominated as a candidate for the chief minister’s slot.

But the problems won’t just vanish for the PTI even if all its independents join the MWM in the National Assembly as the electoral laws require every party to provide separate lists of candidates for the minorities and women seats. And the MWM reportedly hasn’t filed these lists.

But there are some experts who say that any party – the MWM in this case – can submit the lists at any stage even after the elections are held for the direct seats.