PTI challenges Jamaat to quit KP coalition govt

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ISLAMABAD: Angry over remarks of Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq questioning the credibility of last month’s election of the Senate chairman, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has indirectly suggested to the JI to better part ways with the coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa if it sees any negative role of the PTI in the Senate polls.

“I am surprised as to why the JI has not yet quit the PTI-led KP government,” said PTI information secretary Fawad Chaudhry in a statement issued here on Sunday in response to the JI chief’s recent claim that the PTI had voted for Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani following an “order from the top”.

On the other hand, the JI says the two parties have been working together in the KP government for five years and the party cannot end this long-time association abruptly in reaction to an “emotional reaction” of the PTI information secretary.

Mr Chaudhry regretted that on one hand, the JI had filed the petition in the Panama Papers case in the Supreme Court against Nawaz Sharif and, on the other hand, it became an ally of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in the election of the Senate chairman and deputy chairman. He alleged that the JI’s politics was based on “hypocrisy”.

“The JI has so much love for the government that it is not ready to come out of the PTI-led coalition in KP,” the PTI leader said, terming the allegations of Mr Haq against his party “baseless”.

When contacted, JI secretary general Liaquat Baloch endorsed the viewpoint of his party chief, stating that whatever Mr Haq had said about the Senate elections was based on “facts”.

Mr Baloch said the PTI’s reaction to Mr Haq’s remarks was incomprehensible for him as Imran Khan had himself issued show-cause notices to 20 party MPAs for selling their votes in the Senate elections, thus proving that whatever Mr Haq had said was true.

Mr Baloch was of the view that Fawad Chaudhry had issued the statement without prior approval of the party leadership. He expressed the hope that the PTI leadership would take notice of the statement and would not endorse it.

Talking to the media at Mansoora last week, Senator Sirajul Haq had disclosed that KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had called him some days before the Senate chairman’s election and sought JI votes for their nominee.

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